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Wally Berger
Wally Berger card.jpg
Born: (1905-10-10)October 10, 1905
Chicago, Illinois
Died: November 30, 1988(1988-11-30) (aged 83)
Redondo Beach, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 1930 for the Boston Braves
Last MLB appearance
July 2, 1940 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Batting average .300
Home runs 242
Runs batted in 898
Career highlights and awards

Walter Anton Berger (October 10, 1905 – November 30, 1988) was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for four National League teams, primarily the Boston Braves. One of the league's top sluggers of the early 1930s, in his initial 1930 season he hit 38 home runs, a record for rookies which stood until 1987. He still holds a share of the NL record. He also led the league in home runs and runs batted in in 1935, and went on to become the seventh NL player to hit 200 career home runs.

Early life[edit]

Born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in San Francisco, California, Berger played third base for Mission High School, sharing the infield with future Hall of Fame shortstop and American League president Joe Cronin, who manned second base.

Professional career[edit]

Berger's 38 home runs as a 1930 rookie established a major league record that would stand for 57 years until eclipsed by Mark McGwire's 49 in 1987; his NL record was tied by Frank Robinson in 1956, but has not been broken. Berger still shares the major league record for home runs by a first-year player (no prior major league games) and also still holds the record for the fastest player to hit 20 home runs, as he hit his 20th home run in his 51st game. Berger batted .310 that season, and his 119 runs batted in were also an NL rookie record, since topped by Albert Pujols in 2001.

Berger made the NL All-Star team in the first four years the game was held (1933–36), starting in the first two. In 1933 he finished third in the Most Valuable Player voting, behind Carl Hubbell and Chuck Klein, after hitting 27 home runs (half the Braves team total), second in the league behind Klein's 28. That same year, when Babe Ruth was asked once again to make his annual selection of the game's best, he named Berger as his center fielder. Of the eighteen players who started the 1934 All-Star Game, Berger is the only player not elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1935, he led NL outfielders in putouts with 458. Eddie Mathews broke his Braves franchise record of 38 home runs in 1953, the team's first year in Milwaukee, and surpassed his mark of 199 career home runs in 1957.

After a 1936 shoulder injury, Berger was traded to the New York Giants in June 1937; his first home run for the team was the 200th of his career. In the 1937 World Series, he made only three pinch-hitting appearances, going hitless. In June 1938 he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where he would remain until 1940; his 1939 World Series performance was even more dismal than in 1937, going 0 for 15. He ended his career in 1940 with the Philadelphia Phillies. In an 11-season career, Berger posted a .300 batting average with 242 home runs and 898 RBI in 1350 games played.

Post-playing career[edit]

Following his retirement as a player, he was a scout for the New York Yankees and managed their Manchester, N.H. minor league team in 1949.

Berger died of a stroke in Redondo Beach, California in 1988. He was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood California.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wally_Berger — Please support Wikipedia.
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35 news items

Foster's Daily Democrat
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:12:38 -0700

The other is Wally Berger, who did it in 1935 with the Boston Braves. He learned a few years ago that he has to work harder, and said he spends much more time weight lifting -- even when his body is tired. Is he impressed by his season? Nope, he ...


Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:59:42 -0700

... scored (Ortiz leads the majors with 93 RBIs, while the Sox are last in the AL in scoring; only Wally Berger of the Boston Braves, in 1935, accomplished that feat) — he can only take limited satisfaction in his performance given the Sox' last-place ...
ESPN (blog)
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:16:21 -0700

Wally Berger's 1935 Boston Braves. Big Papi had knocked in nearly 20 percent of the Red Sox's runs this season (92 of 480), but what Berger did in 1935 was even more incredible. He drove in 22.6 percent of the runs scored (130 of 575) by a team that ...
Comox Vallety Record
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:00:00 -0700

Hcp. 11-18: Low gross Wally Berger 79, Ross Dowe 82, Paul Schroeder 83. Low net Rob Egan 65, Glen Meeres 66, Norm Fellbaum 67. Snips: #10 John Holley, #13 Ferg Webster, #15 Norm Fellbaum, #16 Wally Berger, #18 John Trimmer. Hcp. 19+: Low ...
Press Herald
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 19:48:45 -0700

The other is Wally Berger, who did it in 1935 with the Boston Braves. Ortiz learned a few years ago that he has to work harder, and said he spends much more time weight lifting – even when his body is tired. Is he impressed by his season? Nope, he ...

Kitsap Sun

Kitsap Sun
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 05:56:15 -0700

Pujols drove in three runs to give him 120 RBIs, breaking the mark of 119 set by Wally Berger in 1930 for the Boston Braves. 2002 - Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro of Texas tied a major league record by homering in the same game for the 15th time ...

ESPN (blog)

ESPN (blog)
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:02:44 -0700

CHICAGO -- Michael Bourn and the Cleveland Indians are feeling pretty good heading into a big series with Kansas City. Bourn had two triples among his three hits, leading Carlos Carrasco and the Indians to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on ...


Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:26:15 -0700

Par contre, Abreu pourrait bien terminer au deuxième rang de tous les temps, devant Wally Berger (1930) et Frank Robinson (1956), qui ont chacun réussi 38 circuits comme recrue. Pour ajouter aux prouesses d'Abreu, il faut préciser que le Cubain a dû ...

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