Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are American historical figures and two of the most famous political rivals of all time. But now there’s a new chapter in the story of Hamilton and Burr. Well, sort of. Ian Hamilton and Ryan Burr, two Chicago White Sox prospects, are currently pitching out of the Double-A Birmingham Barons bullpen. They share last names with Alexander and Aaron, but their paths don’t seem to be leading them toward a duel on the coast of New Jersey.
They’re not related to Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr, right?
As far as we know, neither Ian Hamilton or Ryan Burr are related to Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury, or Aaron Burr, the third vice president of the United States and the man who killed Hamilton during a duel in 1804. Burr was the first sitting vice president to shoot someone, and remained the only one until Dick Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner in the face in 2006. While there is a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton and his eventual duel with Aaron Burr, there is not yet a musical about Dick Cheney’s hunting incident.
Considering Burr killed Hamilton during an illegal duel, it’s probably not a bad thing that the baseball Hamilton and Burr aren’t related to their early American counterparts.
Hamilton and Burr are roommates and friends
The elder Hamilton and Burr were political rivals, and the baseball Hamilton and Burr were once closers on rival PAC-12 teams. Hamilton pitched for Washington State, and Burr for Arizona State. However, James Fegan reported for The Athletic that once they were on the same team, they became friends and roommates. They even try to help each other out. Here’s what Burr told Fegan about how the two of them work together to try and get better:
“He’s got me beat right now,” Burr said of his roommate. “He’s throwing the absolute crap out of the ball, so I’ve got some work to do. We play catch every day so he’s the guy I talk to about working on pitches.
“For him right now he’s trying to get a little more backspin on his fastball, which is hard to believe because the kid throws a million, but just playing catch with him we just bounce ideas off each other.”
The two have emerged as top prospects in the White Sox system, and could one day pitch in the same major league bullpen. They approach pitching very differently. Hamilton, who has a lean pitcher’s build, is openly enthusiastic about closing. Burr, who is a stockier guy, models himself after — who else? — Kenny Powers from “Eastbound and Down.” And even though Hamilton is getting most of the saves for the Barons right now, Burr still takes the Kenny Powers mentality with him to the mound.
What would Aaron Burr think of Kenny Powers? Thankfully, we’ll never, ever know.
The Hamilton-Burr jokes just had to be made
When Burr was traded to the White Sox from the Arizona Diamondbacks in August of 2017, the White Sox Twitter account got the joke immediately.
The organization was wide enough for both Hamilton and Burr. pic.twitter.com/KPgJdDSdqf
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 11, 2017
When your organization acquires a player named Burr when it already has a player named Hamilton, you almost have to recite lyrics from the musical “Hamilton.” (They used the song “The World Was Wide Enough.”) After Fegan’s piece on Hamilton and Burr went live, White Sox GM Rick Hahn couldn’t stop himself from cracking wise.
“Finally someone wrote a Hamilton & Burr article. We set that up a year ago.” – Rick Hahn https://t.co/oa6o05ilYw
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 18, 2018
Hopefully both Hamilton and Burr make it to the majors together, because the jokes would amazing.
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