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2-time All-Star and former MLB pitcher joins Team Storm

Dave Kost

Storm Products, Inc. announced today that 2-time All-Star and former Major League pitcher John Burkett has been inked to a staff contract.

Storm Products, Inc. announced today that 2-time All-Star and former Major League pitcher John Burkett has been inked to a staff contract. A native of Beaver, Pennsylvania, the 50-year-old John David Burkett (born November 28, 1964) pitched for the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox during a 16-year career that began in 1987 and ended with his retirement in 2003 at age 38. He posted a 166-136 record with 1,766 career strikeouts. He was an all-star with the Giants in 1993 (when he contended for the National League Cy Young Award with a 22-7 record) and in 2001 with the Braves. Burkett also was a National League All-Star in 2001, with the Atlanta Braves, who retired following the 2003 season after going 12–9 with the Red Sox at age 38. His 1996 postseason win with the Rangers in the Divisional Series was the first postseason win in the franchise's history. His career as an athlete enters a new chapter when he began his professional bowling career in earnest in the PBA50 Pasco County Florida Open, two weeks ago. “I’ve been practicing and working out,” Burkett said. “More recently I’ve been working on getting my rev rate back up by changing my grip. I have a tendency to squeeze it and the ball knuckles off my hand, but I’m starting to turn that problem around.” Burkett, an accomplished bowler for most of his life who now resides in Southlake, Texas, is no stranger to bowling in PBA competition, having bowled in a handful of Tour events since making his debut in 1990 in Pinole, Calif. He also competed in several regionals along the way, and most recently, he competed in PBA’s 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Resort Summer Swing and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI as part of the process to get ready for PBA50 competition. Now that he plans to make the commitment to bowl a majority of the PBA50 Tour events this season, Burkett likes his chances of putting together a successful season, although he is hesitant to make any specific goals. “I have high expectations and I believe in myself, but I’m not kidding myself that it won’t be a work in progress,” said Burkett, who plans to bowl seven or eight stops this year. “For most of the guys, making the right adjustments and ball moves is second nature, where for me it’s going to be more of a continual learning experience. “Being an athlete and bowling more competitive games on a regular basis should produce some good results,” he added. “What I’m going to have to guard against is getting too anxious and going into panic mode when I get lost. If there’s an area that I really need to concentrate on, that would probably be it.” Burkett’s introduction to the sport came as a youngster when his first job was setting pins at Wedgewood Lanes, a duckpin center which converted to tenpins, in his hometown of Beaver, Pa. A career as a professional bowler might have been in his future had he not also found he had exceptional skills throwing a baseball at a young age. Now, after a successful professional baseball career, he can return his sights to his other passion of bowling. “I’m so excited and blessed to be able to do it,” he said. “I want to bowl and get to know the guys that I’ve admired for so many years. I’m just looking forward to the whole experience.” Seemingly, the missing piece of the puzzle for Burkett's bowling career was a partnership with a ball manufacturer that allowed his desires to accelerate his craft to be realized. With today's news that search has formally come to end by joining Storm Products' Regional Staff Team. "John has been throwing our equipment for some time now with regular success at all levels of competition", Storm public relations manager Dave Kost said. "But now knowing that he is committed to bowling full-time, we (Storm) felt the timing was a perfect match not only for John, but equally for our brands". "JB brings a wealth of pride, professionalism and strong character that undoubtedly comes from his playing days and, that coupled with his passion to grow the sport makes it a win-win partnership". The PBA50 Tour heads to Mooresville, N.C., April 26-29 for the Miller High Life Classic presented by Columbia 300 at George Pappas Victory Lanes. Fans can follow PBA action through the entire PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world.

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