The Ernest Burke Memorial Statue Committee and the City of Havre de Grace will unveil the Ernest Burke sculpture on June 26, 2021, at 1:00 PM.
Ernest Burke began playing serious baseball as a member of the Marine Baseball team while stationed in Hawaii. A “natural” all-around athlete whose team won the Pacific Championship, he played against Johnny Wrigley, who suggested Ernest should consider the Negro Leagues after the service. After his discharge, Burke contacted the Baltimore Elite Giants, a storied Black team that played at Bugle Field in East Baltimore.
In 1947, the 23-year-old veteran joined the team as a walk-on pitcher. In 1948, when he compiled a record of 4-1. Among Burke’s teammates were Junior Gilliam and Joe Black, future Rookies of the year of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Burke played for the Elites for two years, and in South America in the off seasons. In 1949 he joined the Poughkeepsie-Kingston team in Western New York as a pitcher, outfielder and third baseman. In 1950 and 1951 the left-handed hitter/right-handed pitcher played for St. Jean in the Canadian Provincial League, hitting .308 and .258 and sporting a pitching record of 15-3 and 8-8.
The Early Years Ernest Burke, born June 26, 1924, was the youngest child of Clarence (b. 1890) and Teresa Mitchell Burke (b. 1896) of Perryville,