Burrill, Jim (Jimmy) (1992)
Has anybody ever brought more dedication to baseball into our Hall of Fame than the indomitable, enthusiastic Jim Burrill? From 1950, when he his first sneakers and donned his Little League cap, until 1987 - 37 continuous years - when he closed out a successful American Legion coaching career, the Burrill name was linked to Westbrook baseball.
The Burrill baptism in baseball began with the 1951 Little League playoffs - the first held in Maine.
Jim Was a leading member of the Cumberland County Suburban League State Championship team that became Maine's only Little League nine to play in the Williamsport World Series. Jim pitched a 2-nit shutout with 10 strikeouts in the State final 3-O win over South Portland.
re was the victor in the regional win at New York, 2-1. And at 4’10” and 67 Ibs., he was the smallest member of the squad!
At Williamsport the young curveballer pitched 2 1/3 innings in Maine's 3-1 loss to Texas.
Playing for Mickey Dolan (HoF) at Westbrook, Jim contributed to Telegram League titles in 1955 and 1957. In 1956, he won three games in four days, pitching 25 innings.
After a 2-0 nine-inning whitewash of South Portland, he went five innings for a relief win over Biddeford and closed the remarkable skein with an 11-inning 3-2 victory over Portland.
As a Legion pitcher, Burrill was #1 for Joe Morse’s Manchester Post club and had a fine career. Jim was so competitive that Morse employed him at second base when not on the mound.
‘He was such a hustler’, Joe recalls, we had to have him in the lineup every day."
Jim, pastimed in the Twilight League before turning his attention to coaching. From 1963 to 1987, Jim devoted his time, when not working at Warren, to the development of the Paper City's budding baseballers.
He was a tough taskmaster and an always-learning teacher.
He was a real student of the game.
He brought the same feisty manner he displayed as a player to the coaching lines.
He pursued excellence himself, and he demanded his players do the same. Those who got the message - and many did benefited immeasurably from his tutelage.
His Sebago-Moc Babe Ruth team was 39-17 from '63 to '66 and contributed four members - Gary Randall, Bruce Libby, Steve Fournier and Mark Flaherty - to the State Championship club of 1963.
And Jim, himself, was a valuable coach on that club. From 1967 to 1987, he coached the Manchester Post American Legion team with an overall total of 241 wins.
His 1981 team copped the State Championship led by Ernie Webster, Brad Wise, Bruce Crosby and Gary Two of Jim's Legion performers - Don Douglas and Mark Woodbrey - are already enshrined in the Maine Hall and Tony DiBiase, John Mullen, Larry Theriault, Art Boothby and Jim Philbrick all starred for the Manchester Post.
Jim and his wife, Ellen, will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in October. They have two children, Krista and James, and two grandchildren.