George Donald Bullard
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By Bob Keaney
George Bullard, who had one at-bat against the Detroit Tigers in 1954 died in Lynn, Mass., on Dec. 23, 2002 at the age of 74.
The 5-9, and 155 pound Bullard was a close friend of former Red Sox player Harry Agganis. The pair grew up and were inseparable as kids in West Lynn, leading Lynn Classical High to the 1947 state title, the last one achieved by the school.
In football, Bullard was the running star and Agganis the quarterback as Classical won the national title by beating Granby High of Virginia. Granby featured Chuck Stobbs, who would play for the Red Sox and Senators, as its quarterback.
Agganis and Bullard both made their Major League debut in 1954. Sadly, Agganis died in his second season at age 26.
Bullard's only at-bat in 1954 was against future Hall of Famer Early Wynn of the Indians and he reached on a fielder's choice, later breaking his hand in the game.
"I replaced short-stop Harvey Keunn in the game and I hit the ball hard and go on base," George said. "It was a big thrill to play. On the Indians that day in Cleveland was my hometown neighbor Jim Hegan, the great Indians catcher. I hurt my hand in the game and was shipped back to Boston for treatment and missed the chance at playing in more games that late September."
More injury led to Bullard's premature retirement three years later. Bullard is a sports hero in the city of Lynn and was inducted in the Classical Hall of Fame in 1988. He is ranked among the greatest short-stop, fielding-wise, in Eastern Mass. history. In the state title game for Classical, he had 4 hits.
He hit .343 one season in the minor leagues for Detroit. he signed with the Braves in 1959 but never did return to the Big Leagues.
He leaves a daughter Linda Gorynski. of Marblehead and two athletic grandsons Steve and Kevin Gorynski. At the funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Lynn, where he received his first holy communion, Bullard was remembered fondly with a poem by local sportswriter Bob Keaney.
Bullard is one of 21 Lynn residents who have made it to the Major Leagues. The most recent was Ken Hill, also a Classical graduate.
Bullard, fun, fiery, and popular, often played golf during his retirement years. He idolized Ted Williams who died last July 5 and Red Sox second baseman great Bobby Doerr.
Bullard was buried at Puritan Lawn Cemetery in Peabody.