The Portland Sea Dogs (Class AA; Eastern League) will honor team founder and former owner Dan Burke, as well as throughout the team’s 2012 home opener on Thursday.
Burke passed away on October 26, 2011.
In the spring of 1992, Burke, then the CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, applied for one of two expansion franchises available at the Class AA level of Minor League Baseball. Burke’s hope was to bring professional baseball back to Portland. Maine’s largest city had been without a pro baseball franchise since the 1940s.
In October 1992, Portland and New Haven were selected to join the Eastern League as new entries for the 1994 season. In 2003, Dan was instrumental in bringing the Boston Red Sox to Portland as the Sea Dogs’ new affiliate replacing the Florida Marlins. In 2006, the Sea Dogs captured their first Eastern League Championship. Thanks to Burke’s efforts more than seven million fans have enjoyed Sea Dogs’ baseball at Hadlock Field.
Opening ceremonies will include a moment of silence to remember Burke.
A video tribute of Burke, produced by ABC News and voiced by retired ABC News personality Charlie Gibson, will be played on the Hadlock Field video board. The video documents Burke’s life with a focus of making his dream of bringing professional baseball back to his beloved state of Maine a reality.
In Burke’s honor, the Sea Dogs will wear a patch with Burke’s initials “DBB” on their uniform throughout the season.
RELATED STORES: In memoriam: Dan Burke
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