Former Detroit Tiger and Kalamazoo life-long resident Neil Berry dies
KALAMAZOO, MI -- Neil Berry, a Kalamazoo athletic standout in the 1930s who later played for the Detroit Tigers and other MLB teams, has died.
Berry was a life-long resident of Kalamazoo. He was 94.
Berry was a utility player with the Tigers for five years, starting in 1948. He played second base, shortstop and third base.
Later, he played for the Chicago White Sox, the St. Louis Browns and Baltimore Orioles in 1953 and 1954.
Berry was a top high school athlete in the Kalamazoo area in the late 1930s and attended Kalamazoo Central High School. He was on Central's football team that won the state championship in 1938.
He also excelled in basketball and was on Central's state championship team in 1937.
Berry later attended Western State Teacher's College, which became Western Michigan University, and played on the freshman football and baseball teams.
His sports career was interrupted when he served in the United States Army from 1943-1945 during World War II.
After baseball, he was in the sporting goods business, then worked to install gymnasium floors and finally as a Kalamazoo County government employee.