When outfielder and pinch running specialist Quintin Berry refused to be outrighted to Triple A by the Boston Red Sox yesterday, he became a free agent. No doubt he will find a new job in the majors. If nothing else, he has tremendous speed and could be a valuable weapon off of the bench for a contending team.
And if he joins the right contending team, he could do something that has never happened in baseball history.
Berry has played for several different organizations over his professional career. He was drafted by the Phillies in 2006 and bounced around between the Mets, Padres, Reds and Royals minor league systems.
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But in 2012 he made his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers. He started for much of the second half of the season and was in the starting lineup for the World Series. (Manager Jim Leyland actually batted him second in the lineup. Not 100% sure I would have done that.) San Francisco wound up beating Berry and the Tigers in the 2012 World Series.
In 2013 he found himself back in the minor leagues but resurfaced in the majors after a trade sent him to Boston. He was used in the proverbial “Dave Roberts role”, the man whose job it was to steal a key base.
He made three pinch running appearances in the post season and stole a base each time, including one in the World Series. Of course the Red Sox would win the 2013 World Series, earning Berry a ring.
Take a look at Berry’s Baseball Reference page. He has played in the Major Leagues for two seasons for two different teams and both teams went to the World Series.
There have been two players who have played in three straight World Series with three different franchises: Don Baylor did it with the 1986 Red Sox, 1987 Twins and 1988 A’s.
Later Eric Hinske pulled the AL East pennant trifecta, playing in the 2007 World Series for the Red Sox, in 2008 with the Rays and 2009 with the Yankees. Actually Hinske played for the 2010 Braves who made the post season but failed to make it out of the Division Series. When he launched a homer in Game 3 against the Giants to give Atlanta the lead briefly, I am sure he had images of four in four years dancing in his head.
As I mentioned in my podcast on December 30th, 2012, Ryan Theriot was on back to back World Series winners for different franchises and had a chance to join Baylor and Hinske as three team in three year World Series participants. But he never caught on with a team and is retired.
Baylor and Hinske were veterans when they made their World Series debuts.
Quintin Berry could be the first player in the history of the major leagues to play in the World Series each of his first three seasons with three different franchises.
He is a free agent. He requires no draft compensation. Please please PLEASE have a contender sign him. You can do worse than have a speedster come off the bench to swipe a key bag in October.
And if they make it all the way to the World Series, then Quintin Berry would indeed have the coolest start to a career ever.