The Burton Family

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The Burton Family
Baseball • Kennett Square

Baseball, a barber shop, and the Burton family are a big part of Kennett Square’s sports history. In 1892, Amos G. Burton and his brother Norwood open a barber shop on State Street in Kennett Square. Amos was a catcher with the old Kennett Mohicans and had the opportunity to work with the young Herb Pennock before he became a professional. Amos’s son, Joseph “Bat” Burton, was a catcher at Kennett High School. His nickname had nothing to do with baseball, but “Battling Bat” was from his fighting skills on the streets of Kennett Square. Bat joined his father at the barber shop in 1917. Bat was a collector of baseball and sports memorabilia.

With Bat in charge, the shop would also evolve into the Chester County Baseball Museum (unofficial of course). Bat’s son, Robert A. Burton, joined the business in 1955 and tool over the shop in 1962. Bob was also a catcher at Kennett High School and the museum tradition continued with his leadership. Between Bat’s and Bob’s tenures, father and son cut the hair of the likes of Mike Grady, Eddie Collins. Sr., “Chief” Bender, Herb Pennock, and Babe Ruth in the early part of the 20th century, to contemporaries such as Dallas Green, Curt Schilling and Dick Vermeil.

In 1974, Bob and minor league baseball player and professional umpire Howard Lynn, started the Kennett Old Timers Baseball Association. The annual banquet and induction ceremony into the Kennett Old Timers baseball Hall of Fame is held on the 3rd Saturday in January each year at the Red Clay Room of the Kennett Fire Company. The upcoming 2020 banquet will be the Association’s 39th. Bob always lines up a good speaker from the Phillies organization as part of the evening’s festivities.

A visit to the Burton’s Barber Shop today, next door to its original location, will amaze you with its baseball items going back to the Kennett Mohicans of the 1890’s as well as more modern baseball and sports collectibles including the champion Philadelphia Eagles. Be it haircuts, good conversation or a visit to this private museum, Burton’s Barber Shop is the place to come.

The sports tradition continued with Bob’s children. Daughter Janine was a catcher at Lafayette and son Michael was a catcher at Temple. Mike also caught with Trans-Materials of the West Chester Adult Baseball League. Bob’s grandson Zach is a freshman third baseman/catcher at Catholic University. From haircuts to baseball to community service, the Burton family has been an asset to the Kennett community for 127 years.

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