-Excerpt from The Jason Berken Diary
Baltimore fans may have Matt Wieters on the brain, but in Wisconsin – De Pere, to be specific – it’s all about native son Jason Berken.
From the Green Bay Press-Gazette: “This is a fairy tale that still seems surreal to him, as well as for some fans in this area that gathered at restaurants and bars to watch him pitch on Tuesday.”
His meeting with Tim Tebow: “He is an unbelievable guy and all the stories you hear about him are totally true.”
And his wife’s crush on A-Rod: “Emily’s infatuation has gone from A-Rod to some hard throwing, good looking stud, who now plays with the Orioles. The name has not yet been cited…I will let you know when I find out.”
Berken was the Gatorade State Player of the Year in Wisconsin following his senior year pitching for the West De Pere Phantoms, who struggled on the diamond despite Berken’s efforts, which included 147 strikeouts and a 1.16 ERA in 78.2 innings pitched as a senior, and 102 strikeouts, a 0.77 ERA in 72.2 innings pitched, and back-to-back no-hitters in his first two starts as a junior.
A multi-sport athlete at West De Pere, Berken’s name fills the school’s football record book with marks for passing yards in a season, passing yards per game, passes completed, and longest punt return, among others.
Berken is the second West De Pere High grad to play in the majors after Paul Wilmet. He holds an annual baseball camp in the high school’s field house. In 2009, the event included O’s minor leaguer Brandon Snyder and former Birds farmhand Zach Dillon. Among the prizes camp participants had a chance to win was a baseball signed by Matt Wieters.