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The First Berry Baseball Team

Instead of an overall Berry College baseball team, each dormitory had its own team which would compete against the other dorms. The idea of an intercollegiate varsity baseball team began in 1905, when the dormitories played a series of games to pick the most outstanding players to represent the school as a whole. After the players from the teams were selected, the Berry College baseball team played against other colleges in Georgia, such as Trion and Cave Spring. Although Berry's first baseball team was not as successful as they had hoped, they did manage to come out with some victories. During 1905, Berry College built its first baseball field and hired Professor W.M. Price Wright as the head coach.

Progress

While the baseball team competed against other colleges in their league, most of the games still took place between the dorms. Later, in 1949, Edward and Garland Dickey re-established intercollegiate baseball at Berry College and selected a team that consisted of nine players from Lemley and six from Thomas Berry. The team played against other colleges, which replaced the informal dormitory games. Although Berry College had established an intercollegiate team, the team still struggled against other opponents and had only a few victories. In 1956, however, the team had twelve considerable victories and only two losses. The 1956 team had the best record compared to previous Berry College baseball teams. To honor their service to the team, the top floor of the Cage Center features a room dedicated to Berry College sports history which is named for Edward and Garland Dickey, who were vital to the development of the baseball program.

2zl1yv47sbbx4cu0.jpgCurrent Team

Today, the Vikings baseball team plays against many competitive teams in their conference, the Southern Athletic Association. The Vikings changed to Division III in 2009. In the same year, the baseball team made an appearance in the NAIA World Series and finished the season with a record of 46 victories while suffering only 16 losses. After the 2009 season, the baseball team moved from NAIA to the NCAA Division III. In 2010, the Vikings' first year in NCAA Division III, they finished with a record of 23-17. The year 2013 will be the first year of fully operational Division III status, which means they can now compete for Division III National Championships.

Only adding to Berry's baseball fame, former Berry student Hurler Collin McHugh will make his Major League Debut this year. Collin pitched for Berry from 2006-2008 and has now been recruited into the New York Mets' parent club. He is the first Berry College player to advance to the Big Leagues and continues to make all students proud to be a Viking.

Works Cited

Bandy, Susan J. The Viking Tradition: 100 Years of Sport at Berry College. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College

Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.