Burns, who broke in with the Chicago Herald in 1914, joined the Chicago Tribune in 1925 and was also a longtime correspondent for The Sporting News. A large, round man, Burns wrote with an acerbic wit and could wield a sharp needle. More often, he was whimsical, as when he blamed the Cubs ‘ loss of the 1930 pennant on a pair of peacocks manager Rogers Hornsby had purchased from owner William Wrigley. Peacocks were bad luck, he said. “Back in Indiana, we tolerated ’em only on millinery. And then only on certain folks.” He was president of the BBWAA in 1947.