A former Negro Leagues baseball player, Burton excelled on the diamond and in the community. As a 16-year-old in 1947, he began playing in the Negro Leagues with the Harrisburg Giants. For Burton and many others, that year proved to be monumental as Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier on April 15. Over the years, Burton played with many baseball greats, including Hall-of-Famers Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Minnie Minoso, and Buck O’Neal. In 1954, Burton’s Giants won the Eastern Negro League championship. While Burton certainly made a name for himself on the baseball field, he was also a trailblazer in the Civil Rights Movement, becoming the first black president of the District 91 Machinist Union.
To improve educational funding for high school student-athletes attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), the Knights and Dry-Burton are committed to providing two $1,000 college scholarships to local high school seniors.