Burt's Work Ethic Second to None

It was 9:50pm on July 31, and most of the Brooklyn Cyclones players were packing up their bags and pillows for the overnight bus ride to Aberdeen, Maryland. That was not the case for Jim Burt. Right after the 10-5 loss to the Lowell Spinners, when the rest of the team was showering, and packing up their possessions, Jim Burt was in the Cyclones weight room working out.

"I am always in the weight room after each game I play. When I am in the lineup I do my lifting after the game, this way I am fresh for the game" said Burt with sweat dripping down his face following his intense workout.

"No question about it" said Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina when asked if Burt is the hardest worker on this team. "He is intense, focused, and is here early everyday working with Mitch [hitting coach Donovan Mitchell]. He breathes, lives, and eats baseball. He loves being here at the ballpark, and works harder than anybody, and eventually that will carry into baseball."

Finding playing time for Burt has been hard for Tijerina. With four productive outfielders, and Tyler Davidson at first base, Tijerina always looks for a way to try, and get Burt some playing time, either at first base, or as the designated hitter.

"I called Jim into my office privately in Aberdeen (July 27), and really credited him about the work he puts in off the field. I really see it beginning to progress for him, and told him I will find a way to get him his at bats."

Tijerina's feeling was correct, and Burt proved him correct. He has started the last four games (July 30-August 2), and has gone a combined 5-15 with two home runs, and five runs batted in.

"When you do get in there you want to do your best, and make sure you're productive so you can stay in the lineup" Burt said.

Burt has played well in those three games despite sitting on the bench, and not having played in the previous six games. Burt however is sort of used to that time off between games.

"I came off the college season in which we played Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then we did not play until the following Friday, so I am kind of used to it" said Burt.

"Still, your timing is a little off" he continues saying.

So why does Burt constantly work so hard, and when did it all start out for him?

"It has always been part of my family. My dad has always pushed me since I was small. I would go on the field and take extra swings, field extra ground balls" said Burt.

"My dad was always my hitting coach. He would spend hours just pitching to me."

When asked about his motivation about his work ethic Burt responded with a simple answer.

"I don't want to have any regrets. I want to know I did everything I could, and gave it everything I had."

Burt will usually get to the stadium about 1:30 pm for a 7:00 pm start time. At that point he will check the lineup card, and if he is not in the lineup he would go to the weight room, and lift for about 45 minutes. He follows that up by going to the indoor batting cage, and taking some swings for half an hour. He then takes a short break, and then heads out to the field to do some stretching, running, and then take his normal outdoor batting practice session.

"I don't think it is a standard routine" Tijerina said on Burt's workout. "He is relentless working in the weight room, not just pumping iron, but small weight drills we have in our program. He goes outside with our strength coach, and does different agility drills. He is always somewhere in the facility working. He would go to the cage take couple of swings, and I would then see him sitting in his locker grabbing something to eat, and then he is back out working again. He is constantly working, tremendous work ethic."

Burt said he slightly has changed his workout since leaving Miami University, because of the fact that the weight room is always available to him now.

"It is a little different since we have the weight room available to us all the time. In college we only worked out twice a week. Here I work out 4-5 times a week. At college I would do everything in the span of 2 days, but here I can spread things out over the 4-5 days, and it makes things easier."

What is even more impressive about Burt is that this "tough" workout of his is not even his maximum effort. Burt "cuts his workload" during the season to prevent fatigue, and injury. The off-season is the period that he really pushes himself.

"I am very careful with what I do. I try not to do too much to the point that I would get hurt. My workouts are not as hard during the season, as they are during the off-season. My main objective during the season is to stay healthy, so my weights are lighter, and stuff like that."

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