For Quintin Berry, life in Major League Baseball was good, and winning was easy. While some players go an entire career without playing in a World Series, Berry was very different. The speedy outfielder played in the Fall Classic in both of his first two seasons in the big leagues, losing in 2012 with the Tigers and winning in 2013 with the Red Sox.
“You’re a rock star when you’re in the World Series,” said Berry, 32. “Everybody’s involved. Everybody’s pushing for you. The city is behind you 100 percent. Even when you go to dinner, everyone understands what’s going on and what’s on the line. There is never a dull moment. You just get to enjoy it. There’s no other game like a World Series game.”
Berry played in all four games of the 2012 World Series with the Tigers, a tidy sweep by the Giants with only the final game decided by one run. He went 0-for-8, walked once and struck out twice.
He pinch ran for David Ortiz and stole second base in the top of the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 2013 World Series, a 4-2 Red Sox win that evened their series with the Cardinals at 2-2. Boston won in six games.
“There’s a lot of history at Fenway and a lot of greats have played there before,” Berry said. “To be part of that history is always amazing. It’s something no one can ever take away.”
Those were the highlight moments for Berry, who played in only 18 major-league games after the World Series run with the Red Sox — 10 with Baltimore in 2014 and eight with the Cubs in 2015.
Last Sunday, Berry became yet another former major-leaguer to sign with the Ducks, a team that has had Eric Gagne, Nolan Reimold and Nate Freiman come and go this season. Berry is one of nine on the Ducks’ roster with major-league experience.
“He brings veteran leadership,” manager Kevin Baez said. “He’s a proven ballplayer . . . He’s a great guy. He’s going to come in here and give us some added experience and some speed at the top of the lineup.”
Berry, released by the Twins’ organization in early May, was 5-for-18 (.278) with a run, a double and two stolen bases through Friday in his first four games with the Ducks.
Berry’s big-league numbers weren’t tremendously noteworthy. He hit .265 with three home runs, 33 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 125 games over four seasons with four different teams. But he’s still got something that many would trade their more notable numbers for — a world championship ring. “I keep it locked up in a very special place,” Berry said. “I’ve worn it a few times. It’s not the most convenient thing to wear. It’s pretty big and bulky, so it can kind of get in the way a little bit.”
Berry’s most significant season in the majors came in 2012, when he hit .258 with two homers, 29 RBIs and 21 steals in 94 games with the Tigers.
“[I remember] how much fun we had and how amazing that ballclub was,” Berry said. “Between [Miguel Cabrera], Prince [Fielder], Delmon Young, [Justin] Verlander, [Max] Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, there were so many great pieces to that puzzle. It was just a good clubhouse. It was a lot of fun to experience the big leagues for the first time in that environment and go to the World Series.”
Five Ducks were named to the Liberty Division All-Star team, which will face the Freedom Division in the Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey, home of the Somerset Patriots. Pitchers John Brownell and Amalio Diaz, outfielder Angelo Songco, infielder Elmer Reyes and catcher Alex Burg were recognized in voting by league officials, coaching staffs, media and fans. Said Burg, “I’m really excited to go, hang out with some of these guys that you play with all season and see what kind of personalities other teams have.”