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Dale Berra

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1984 Donruss #430 Dale Berra

Dale Anthony Berra

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[edit] Biographical Information

Dale Berra, who came from a talented athletic family, had an eleven-year career in the major leagues as a shortstop and third baseman.

Born in New Jersey, he went to Montclair High School in New Jersey and was drafted in the first round of the 1975 amateur draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom he was to spend the bulk of his minor and major league career.

He appeared in 67 games for Niagara of the New York-Penn League in 1975, hitting .257 with 4 triples. In 1976, he moved up to Charleston (SC) of the Western Carolinas League where he hit .298 with 16 home runs. The following year, 1977, he hit .290 with 18 home runs for Columbus in Triple A. In 1977, he came up for 17 games with the Pirates, hitting .175. He was 20 years old at the time. The Pirates of 1977 were a strong team, winning 96 games. Frank Taveras was the shortstop, and stars included Willie Stargell. Dave Parker, and Al Oliver.

1978 found him back in the minors, appearing in 99 games. He hit .280 with 18 home runs. In 1978, he came up for 56 games with the Pirates, and while he hit 6 home runs, he batted only .206. The next year, 1979, was more of the same. He did well in the minors at Portland in the Pacific Coast League, hitting .324 in 56 games, but up in the majors in 44 games he hit only .211. 1979 was the "We Are Family" year for the Pirates, who won the World Series. Tim Foli was the regular shortstop. Berra did not appear in the World Series.

Berra was done with the minors, though. He was to play in the big leagues from 1980-1985, before dipping back into the minors towards the end of his career.

From 1980 to 1984 he played with the Pirates. 1980 and 1981 were nothing great, although in 1981 he stole 11 bases in 12 attempts. But 1982 and 1983 were better. In 1982 he became an everyday player, appearing in 156 games, and hitting .263 with 10 home runs. The next season, he appeared in 161 games, hitting .251 with 10 home runs.

He fell off to .222 with 9 home runs in 1984, and after the season was over he was traded to the New York Yankees. The trade included Steve Kemp as well as Tim Foli, who was returning to the Pirates.

Dale's dad Yogi Berra managed the Yankees at the very start of the 1985 season, before Billy Martin took over. Dale didn't have a great season either, hitting only .229. The following year he hit .231 in 42 games and then was released. He finished his career with the Houston Astros, hitting .178 in 19 games. Yogi was a coach with the Astros at the time.

In addition to his famous father, Dale had two brothers in pro sports - Tim was a wide receiver for the 1974 Baltimore Colts and Larry played two years in the minors.

"Our similarities are different." - Dale Berra, comparing himself to his father

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