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'A 'Berry' Special Celebration' at Mayville

MAYVILLE -- In his basement office, located in Mayville State's Old Main, Scott Berry pointed out the features on the baseball cap his team wore last season for his wife.

Mayville State baseball coach Scott Berry
Photo by Carrie Snyder/The Forum/Forum Communications Co. Mayville State baseball coach Scott Berry will be honored this weekend when the university officially names its baseball field after him.

MAYVILLE -- In his basement office, located in Mayville State's Old Main, Scott Berry pointed out the features on the baseball cap his team wore last season for his wife.

The eyelets, top button and under bill are all pink, serving as accents to the royal blue cap with white lettering. Embroidered on the back are a small pink ribbon and the initials, "LB," which were for his wife, Laurie Berry.

"I'll wear it forever," Scott Berry said.

Laurie died in July after a long battle with cancer, a couple weeks before the couple's 30th wedding anniversary.

Mayville State will honor both this weekend at the school's homecoming that is being called "A 'Berry' Special Celebration."

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"They have been deeply embedded in the college and helped create what Mayville State is all about," said Mayville State athletic director Mike Moore.

A Saturday night event in Portland will feature a tribute to Laurie Berry, who was a Mayville State graduate and longtime education professor at the school.

"She touched a lot of lives." Scott said.

Earlier that day, the school will formally name the diamond at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Scott Berry Field. Berry will start his 30th season as Comets head baseball coach in the spring. He has a 799-465 career record at Mayville State.

"It holds more significance because of my wife," Scott said, fighting back the tears. "It's emotional. ... There isn't anything that I received that shouldn't have her name behind it."

Berry was told in June that the school planned to name the field after him.

"It was nice to know that my wife knew about it before she passed away," he said. "It was something that she wanted."

The field holds numerous memories for Scott, who spent countless hours getting the field ready for practices and games.

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"The field he has literally taken care of it by himself for many years," Moore said. "It's a place that he's probably spent the better part of his career."

In 2003, Scott recalled watching a large section of retaining wall -- down the third base line -- collapse while digging was being down to put in the new dugouts. The idea was to keep the retaining wall intact until the dugouts were completed.

"We hadn't intended to take the wall out at this time," Scott said with a laugh. "If you could have seen the look on that guys face, it was priceless. I laughed hysterically."

Scott calls a taller section of the fence in right-center the 'Blue Monster."

"One of the unique things, we've got that short porch in right field," said Scott, who is a New York Yankees fan. "We call the fence the 'Blue Monster,' kind of like, I hate to say it, Fenway (Park)."

The biggest payoff through the years for Scott is when he hears comments on the quality of the field. Since 2003, there has been a steady stream of upgrades from the dugouts to the stands to the press box and concessions.

Come Saturday, the "Scott Berry" name will be another new addition.

"I haven't had many fields named after me so you really don't know how you're feeling," Scott joked with a laugh. "It's just such an honor.

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"To me it's emotionally too much to comprehend. It's very awe inspiring. I don't look at myself as being that. I'm just a normal guy who had a labor of love and loved the community and the college and the ball program."

Peterson is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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