Pat Burrell arrived in San Francisco in 2010 just in time to help drive a wild run to a World Series championship. He was back in AT&T Park on Tuesday night to throw out the first pitch of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team he spent 10 of his 12 major-league seasons with after they drafted him No. 1 overall in 1998.
Burrell will sign a one-day contract with the Phillies so he can retire as a member of the team, though he is currently working as a special assistant to Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
He said he was honored by the invitation to participate in Tuesday’s game, but that he didn’t want to draw attention away from what was really important.
“It’s actually kind of uncomfortable,” said Burrell, who played his high school ball at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. “I don’t like to be the center of attention. And I hope that’s not the case because the game is what’s important. But I certainly appreciate what the Giants are doing having me come out here.”
Burrell hit .252 with 25 home runs in 188 games for the Giants in 2010 and 2011. He was a member of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship team.
He got a standing ovation from the crowd as he threw the opening pitch to former college roommate and current Giant Aubrey Huff.