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Johnny Berardino

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John Berardino
(Bernie)

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[edit] Biographical Information

1941 (W753) Rookie

Despite playing in the majors for more than a decade, middle infielder Johnny Berardino is best remembered by many as a soap opera actor.

He played college ball at USC, which later became a dominant college baseball program, and came up with the St. Louis Browns in 1939. The next season, 1940, he hit 16 home runs, and his 85 RBI were second on the team. In 1941, his 89 RBI were also second on the club.

He served the next several years in the military in World War II and missed the Browns' 1944 trip to the World Series. Berardino entered the Air Force in January 1942 and was discharged in June 1942. He then enlisted in the Navy in September 1942 and was discharged in October 1945.

He returned to the Browns in 1946, and that year, his 29 doubles led the team and his 68 RBI were second on the team. He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates and was in the majors through 1952. During his career, Berardino played 453 games at second base, 266 games at shortstop, and 91 games at third base and was noted as having good range at second base.

Berardino turned to acting once his baseball career ended. He played the role of "Dr. Steve Hardy" on the daytime soap opera "General Hospital" from its debut in 1963 until his death in 1996. Teammate Al Zarilla recalled that Berardino used to amuse the Browns players with skits and soliloquies many years before he became an actor. He did not play against another ballplayer-actor, Chuck Connors, since they were in different leagues during the two years when Connors was in the majors.

He made his first Baseball Card appearance in the now scarce 1941 W753 St. Louis Browns Team Issue.

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