Burkhart led the NL in winning percentage with a 19-8 (.704) mark as a Cardinals rookie in 1945. When the veteran players returned from WWII, he faded. Following an arm injury, he had to use an unusual shot-put delivery.
An excellent umpire, he umpired in back-to-back no-hitters in September 1968, Gaylord Perry on the 17th and Ray Washburn the next day. Burkhart was involved in a controversial play in the opening game of the 1970 WS when he became entangled with Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks in a play at the plate. Burkhart called the Reds Bernie Carbo out although replays showed Hendricks had tagged Carbo with his mitt while holding the ball in his other hand.