Sunday, August 31, 2003

Injury can't keep Reds' Berry away

Bench coach battling a torn labrum

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mark Berry is coaching in pain.

Promoted from bullpen catcher to Reds bench coach July 28, Berry has known since December that he needed to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

You want loyalty and pride in an organization? Berry, now in his 20th year with the Reds either as a player, coach or manager, is a shining example.

"You (press on) because you don't want to miss any time," said Berry, who continues to throw batting practice despite the injury. "I signed a contract to come up here and do a job. I don't want to leave if I don't have to."

A shoulder injury essentially ended his playing career in 1990, but it led him into a successful coaching and managing career.

Berry says he has gutted it out this season, even when the pain was excruciating, because of the lessons he learned about professionalism as a member of the Reds organization.

"It's just a pride thing," Berry said. "That's what was instilled in us when we were playing.

"It's not always going to be rosy. There are gong to be times where you do what you've got to do to get through it."

So now, all that remains between Berry and his shoulder surgery is one month.

"Instead of going fishing or laying on the beach somewhere," he said, "I get to have surgery and be in rehab for three months just so I can be ready for spring training."

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