Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Worst Red Sox Team of All Time Pt. 4: Charlie Berry

Failure is often even more fascinating than success. I am definitely intrigued by the 1932 Boston Red Sox, the worst Red Sox team of all time. The team finished with a record of 43-111, for a winning percentage of .279 and very little went right.
Charlie Berry had been with the Red Sox for four full seasons coming into the 1932 season, but he would not play through the entire season with Boston.  In fact, Berry would only last ten games with the Red Sox in 1932.  He had been a solid and dependable catcher for the Red Sox, but was traded to the White Sox early on.  During his entire career, Berry only appeared behind the plate.

Berry made his Major League debut with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1925, but played in just ten games.  He was sent to the minor league Dallas Steers of the Texas League before being sold to the Boston Red Sox in September of 1927.  He made it back to the Major Leagues the next year where he would stay for the next several seasons.  

In 1928, Berry appeared in 80 games total, 63 of them as a catcher and the rest as a pinch hitter.  Berry was a decent hitter and hit .260/.342/.350 with one home run and 19 RBIs.  He followed that up with a .242/.302/.348 line in 1929.  He finished in the top five in caught-stealing percentage both seasons.  

The next season saw Berry turn into one of the better hitting catchers in the league as he contributed a .289/.331/.441 slash line with six home runs and 35 RBIs in 88 games.  He continued his strong showing in 1931 when he hit .283/.337/.389 with six home runs and 49 RBIs in 111 games, which is the most games he appeared in during his career.  Berry's strong defensive numbers continued as well as he still finished in the top five in most catching-specific defensive categories.  

In 1932, Berry appeared in just ten games with the Red Sox and managed just six hits in 35 plate appearances, three of which were doubles.  He drove in six runs and walked three times.  His slash line for those ten games was just .188/.257/.281.  Berry was traded, along with Jack Rothrock, to the White Sox for Smead Jolley, Bennie Tate, and Johnny Watwood in late April.  He had a strong season the rest of the way with the White Sox and later returned to the A's. 

Charlie Berry had a decent career, playing eleven seasons in the Majors and hit for a .267/.327/.384 line.  He played almost twice as many games with the Red Sox than his other teams.  Berry did not play much in 1932, but had been the primary catcher for four years prior to that season.

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