Giants hold emotional ceremony for Burns
Bonds on hand as club honors late senior general partner
SAN FRANCISCO -- If Giants fans didn't know Sue Burns before Monday, they became well-acquainted with her during the brief but emotional pregame ceremony that honored her.A video presentation lasting approximately 90 seconds featured a montage of snapshots of Burns, the Giants' senior general partner who died July 19 of cancer at age 58. The sequence included several shots of her with relatives, along with photos of her posing with members of her extended family -- Giants players and alumni such as Barry Bonds, Mike McCormick and Vida Blue. One Bonds photo showed him hugging Burns after he hit his 755th career home run to tie Hank Aaron's all-time record. There was also a shot of Burns kissing Lou Seal, the club's mascot. "She had the emotions of a fan and the enthusiasm of a child," said Giants broadcaaster Mike Krukow, who served as master of ceremonies with announcing partner Duane Kuiper. Except for Tim Lincecum, who was obliged to warm up for his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the entire Giants ballclub stood near the pitcher's mound behind Krukow and Kuiper in tribute to Burns. They were joined by various club employees and clubhouse personnel, many of Burns' relatives and Bonds himself. The event ended in celebration, with Burns' daughters, Trina Burns Dean and Tori Burns, tossing ceremonial first pitches to Bonds and infielder Rich Aurilia. Fittingly, nobody sat in Burns' seat adjacent to the Giants dugout. It was filled with floral arrangements and draped with a Giants jersey dedicated to her. "G MEN MOM" was stitched where a player's name would go; the jersey bore the number 1. Players sported a patch reading, simply, "Burns" on their right sleeves in honor of Sue and her husband, Harmon, from whom she inherited her title upon his death in 2006. More than six hours before the game, many players joined club employees and the Burns family for a private remembrance in the field club area at AT&T Park. Giants third-base coach Tim Flannery, an accomplished singer and guitarist, opened the tribute by performing "All My Tears," which Burns had requested. Flannery, accompanied by a fiddler, ended the ceremony with a song titled "Pilgrim." Flannery said that he had never discussed his musical pursuits with Burns. Yet before her death, she told Giants president Larry Baer of her wish to have Flannery perform at her memorial. Baer relayed her request to Flannery, who said, "That kind of blew my mind." "We're going to miss Sue so much," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You can tell how much she's loved by everybody."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.