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George Burpo, Ken Johnson and Rene Picota, former Reds figures, pass away

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  • George Burpo, Ken Johnson and Rene Picota, former Reds figures, pass away

    George Burpo played for the Reds in 1946, posting a 15.43 ERA in two games. He died December 20 at 93.
    George Burpo passed peacefully into Gods hands on December 20, 2015. ...

    George began a career of professional baseball while still in high school by signing his first contract with the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1939. He was sent to Muskogee, Oklahoma that year. Other teams he played for were the Tucson Cowboys, where he pitched the first no hit game at High Corbett field in 1941, the Columbia, So. Carolina Reds, the Birmingham, Alabama Barons, the Syracuse Chiefs in addition to half a season with the parent Cincinnati Redleg club in 1946. His baseball career was interrupted by serving three years in the United States Navy in the second World War and received an honorable discharge in December, 1945.
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    Ken Johnson played briefly for the Reds in 1961, going 6-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 83 frames with the club. Not too shabby a short stay.

    Kenneth Travis Johnson, Sr.

    Memorial services for Mr. Kenneth Travis Johnson, Sr. will be held at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at New Life Community Church with Dr. Gary Baldwin officiating, under the direction of Hixson Brothers, Alexandria. ...

    Ken played baseball all his school years and upon graduation from High School, was drafted into the Army for 2 years at Fort Jackson in Columbia South Carolina. That is where he met his wife of 60 years, Lynn who at the time was attending the University of South Carolina. Joanna Lynn Ergle was studying education when they married March 11, 1955. After his stent in the Army, he started AAA baseball and played for 4 years until he was drafted into the "Big League" with the Kansas City Athletics. He played for the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series against the Yankees. He played four years with the Houston Colt 45's/Astros, where he pitched a no-hitter and lost the game. He played four years with the Atlanta Brave with Hank Aaron. He retired from baseball in 1970, and worked for Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida and then came to Pineville to work at Louisiana College as an assistant baseball coach. He was a deacon at his churches and at New Life Community Church, he had a very active nursing home visitation for many years.
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    Rene Picota scouted for the Reds.


    The details of his death was confirmed by his son, former national team pitcher Lenin Picota.

    Picota worked for organizations like the New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins. It had to do with the signatures of former big league as Roberto Kelly, Sherman Obando and Jose Macias, among others.
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