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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jay Scott Smith: Is the Detroit Tigers Quintin Berry baseball’s next great black hope?

Not quite sure about that…but Impemballen have been touting him as ROY.

With Berry’s addition to the lineup, and Jackson’s return from injury, the Tigers are now the only MLB team to regularly start four African-American players (Jackson, Berry, Fielder, and Young). With the number of black players in MLB at an all-time low, Jackson, Berry, and Fielder have become the faces of aspiring black baseball players in the Metro Detroit area.

Berry’s emotion on the field — whether it’s his clapping after reaching base, fist-pumps after big plays, or his speed on the bases — has made him a fan favorite in Detroit. The Tigers started selling his No. 52 jersey and t-shirts in the team’s store last week and he’s already appearing in promos for the team on television.

“He’s done great,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s changed the look of our team. He’s given us a little excitement and changed the way that we play. He’s just done a terrific job and is a real pleasant surprise.”

...His newfound cult status has not changed his humble nature. He openly talks about how much he appreciates the fans and his chance to play after nearly seven years of struggling.

“I’ve said it from the beginning that these fans have been great,” Berry said, flashing a big smile as he was handed a No. 52 t-shirt. “They’ve been supportive of me and my family and every time I hear them giving me support, it means the world to me.

“I’m just glad that it’s working out this way because I put all my cards out on the table and they could fall any way they want to. Luckily for me, they’ve been falling in the right direction.”

Repoz Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:57 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4192239)
the number of black players in MLB at an all-time low


I don't think that's what "all-time" means.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4192246)
Is the percentage of white players also at an all-time low?
   3. Every Inge Counts Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4192276)
Really the young black outfielder for the Tigers you choose for that title is Berry?
   4. MM1f Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4192277)
Is the Detroit Tigers Quintin Berry baseball’s next great black hope?


I'm going to select choice B, "No." Final answer.

What do I win?
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4192299)
With Andrew McCutchen and Matt Kemp in the early years of their peaks, is baseball actively looking for a "next" great African-American ballplayer?
   6. madvillain Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4192307)

Really the young black outfielder for the Tigers you choose for that title is Berry?


No kidding. If anything, it's the criminally under-rated Austin Jackson that's the next AA face of Detroit baseball.
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4192310)
Good god. Why the #### does baseball need a Great Black Hope?
   8. dr. scott Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4192329)
why?

for some Id guess its the nostalgia of baseball once being a becon of progressive attitudes in america and the good feelings that came with that somehow fading as fewer AA play the game.... not necessarily rational, but most people are far from rational..

the main reason I'm guessing is viewership. More black players... more black viewers.

by the way, the answer to most questions is

a) some irrational thought process
b) money

   9. something like a train wreck Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4192342)
I'm embarrassed. I've probably seen 80% of his games and never knew he was black.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4192343)
TFA is just a nice article introducing Quintin Berry which should never have been attached to such a braindead headline.
   11. MM1f Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4192383)
With Andrew McCutchen and Matt Kemp in the early years of their peaks, is baseball actively looking for a "next" great African-American ballplayer?


Why have Andrew McCutchen when you can have a guy two years older than him who has spent most of the last three years hitting poorly in AA?

EDIT: Berry is the same age as Matt Kemp. Not trying to pile on the kid, I like his game, but it blows my mind that a rookie could be the same age as an established superstar MVP. Baseball is a funny sport.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4192396)
Does this mean Brennan Boesch is the only white guy* in the everyday lineup? Who will the young ballplayers of Grosse Pointe look up to?

* Avila was born in Florida but I'm assuming "Hispanic" -- don't think I've ever seen a picture nor his Census form so not sure if he's a "white Hispanic", "black Hispanic" or "other Hispanic". Regardless, I can find no Avilas in the Grosse Pointe white pages. :-)
   13. Srul Itza Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4192399)
I've probably seen 80% of his games and never knew he was black.


I am all in favor of a color-blind society, but how do you not notice this? Did the sun get in your eyes?
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4192403)
   15. The District Attorney Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4192406)
I am all in favor of a color-blind society, but how do you not notice this?
I don't see race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them, because I get pretty good service at Cracker Barrel.
   16. JJ1986 Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4192407)
Avila's grandfather was Cuban. I think he's "white hispanic" if you have to pick one of the three.
   17. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4192411)
Alex Avila


he looks like Chris pratt.
   18. Bug Selig Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:12 AM (#4192472)
Regardless, I can find no Avilas in the Grosse Pointe white pages. :-)


Ironically, if you're from the area, he did attend De La Salle for a year.
   19. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4192475)
Berry’s emotion on the field — whether it’s his clapping after reaching base, fist-pumps after big plays, or his speed on the bases


How long has speed been considered an emotion?
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4192478)
Now I picture him fist-pumping windmill-style as he runs to gain additional speed, smiling broadly as he does it.
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:07 AM (#4192486)
I don't see race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them, because I get pretty good service at Cracker Barrel.

I don't know, that good service may have been court-ordered so you may still actually be black.

for some Id guess its the nostalgia of baseball once being a becon of progressive attitudes in america and the good feelings that came with that somehow fading as fewer AA play the game.... not necessarily rational, but most people are far from rational..

This makes sense. Happily, we don't need baseball to help racial integration anymore as we have Justin Bieber.
   22. Hack Wilson Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4192490)
The last "Great Black Hope" was Khalil Greene.
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4192496)
The last "Great Black Hope" was Khalil Greene.

One of my favorite baseball anecdotes--and this may be apocryphal, but who cares--is Jet Magazine showing up at Padres camp wanting to do a profile on Greene.
   24. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4192498)

The last Tigers game I was at, Q got a bigger hand than Austin Jackson. I mean, he's a nice story and is probably a good extra outfielder, but this is a guy who's about to hit the bench so Andy Dirks can play, compared to a guy having what is a borderline MVP-calibre season....
   25. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4192506)
One of my favorite baseball anecdotes--and this may be apocryphal, but who cares--is Jet Magazine showing up at Padres camp wanting to do a profile on Greene.

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, David Cone gave a very nice interview to an Israeli sportswriter who'd been sent all the way to Shea Stadium to interview Mets ace David Cohen.
   26. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4192507)


Not quite sure about that…but Impemballen have been touting him as ROY.


I see you, Repoz.
   27. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4192549)
The Berry love in Detroit is out the roof. I'm sure it's a combination of him being fast, exciting and enthusiastic, plus he showed up right when the team stopped playing terribly, plus he's not RYAN RAYBURN.
   28. franoscar Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4192695)
I'm not sure about Grosse Pointe, but (as some of you know), Alex Avila's father is VP & Assistant GM of the Tigers, and his father's father was VP of the LA Dodgers. His middle name is Thomas, after his godfather Tommy Lasorda. He's a 2nd generation Cuban American so I guess he can check the Hispanic box if he wants to, but Grosse Pointe doesn't seem out of his league.
   29. something like a train wreck Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4193223)
#13 -- he is verrrrry light skinned. More Mediterranean than black. Is it obvious? http://i.ytimg.com/vi/ZcKVlme9hoU/0.jpg
   30. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4193268)
Being Not Ryan Raburn has also served Omar Infante quite well. I'm looking for work and am also Not Ryan Raburn - I think that's going on my resume.
   31. Ebessan Posted: July 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4193366)
I don't think that's what "all-time" means.

I mean, oh my Christ. Who let that one slip through?
   32. Good cripple hitter Posted: July 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4193374)
One of my favorite baseball anecdotes--and this may be apocryphal, but who cares--is Jet Magazine showing up at Padres camp wanting to do a profile on Greene.


That appears to have originated in a comedic ESPN Page 2 article.
   33. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: July 27, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4193464)
the Asian girls showing up on the right side of the screen make it more difficult for me to pretend I am doing work when people stop in here. Just mentioning this.
   34. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: July 27, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4193482)
Shop for a car online ... that'll take over your banners like that.
   35. Greg K Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4193487)
the Asian girls showing up on the right side of the screen make it more difficult for me to pretend I am doing work when people stop in here. Just mentioning this.

I've got "road trip through Quebec" ads on mine. Which is odd because my parents are leaving for a road trip through Quebec tomorrow, and my friend and his wife who are staying with us as part of their road trip honeymoon are heading to Quebec next as well. How does the internet know!
   36. aleskel Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4193497)
One of my favorite baseball anecdotes--and this may be apocryphal, but who cares--is Jet Magazine showing up at Padres camp wanting to do a profile on Greene.

Or Mike Mussina being invited to play for the Italian team during a WBC (the name's Austrian).
   37. The District Attorney Posted: July 27, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4194106)
Alex Avila's father is VP & Assistant GM of the Tigers, and his father's father was VP of the LA Dodgers. His middle name is Thomas, after his godfather Tommy Lasorda.
Hmmmm. How's his back look? Any pimples?

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