Hurricane Katrina shook his life to the core, but he kept on going.
When a tragedy strikes and an individual is faced with hard times, they must decide whether the circumstances will make them or break them. Earl Burl could have easily used Hurricane Katrina as a reason to slow his progress and point a finger at the mass misplacement, deaths and governmental neglect as reasons why he couldn’t ascend. Instead, he took the grief, pain and damage with him to the baseball diamond and released it with each passing swing. “All of it hurt me to the core but as years went by I realized this was a blessing in disguise for my family,” Burl says. The hurricane made the Burl family stronger, and gave Earl the edge that would make him a professional baseball player.
“All of it hurt me to the core but as years went by I realized this was a blessing in disguise for my family”
Growing up in New Orleans, Earl’s childhood was filled with love and the amazing food and culture that makes the city so unique. At an early age, he picked up the game from his father. “Basically from the moment I could walk I had a bat and ball in my hand,” Earl says. “Fortunately he never forced the game on me, I just naturally fell in love with it over time thanks to his leadership.” That love of the game led him to a standout high school career and a full scholarship to Alcorn State University. “My time at Alcorn shaped me into the young man I am today,” He states. “The great times I had and the relationships I formed there will be memories I forever cherish.” Among these relationships are two that Burl is particularly proud of. Meeting his future wife and becoming an Alpha, two bonds that he says will “Never be broken.”
“Being a professional baseball player isn’t all glamour and outright success, it’s actually is a grind”
Upon graduation, Earl’s hard work truly paid off and his struggles and successes came full circle when he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. “All I could do was give thanks and glory to god and hug my mom with a face full of tears of joy” Burl says. “Being a professional baseball player isn’t all glamour and outright success, it’s actually is a grind….yet I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.” While his career as a baseball player is taking shape, so is his entrepreneurship. He is currently a partner in a successful BBQ restaurant in Dallas, and on the verge of opening a second, all while enrolling in classes for his MBA. “Ultimately, I would like to own many properties, from affordable housing for people of color, to large multi family homes,” He says. “A dream of mine is to open my own restaurant focused on Cajun/Creole and French influence.” Clearly New Orleans is still on Earl Burl’s heart. The city that brought him tragedy and triumph can now say it gave birth to one its brightest stars.
IG: @eb3__ (Photo credit: Jay Blue, used by permission)