Glenn's Berger staying positive in the face of injury

Glenn's Robbie Berger was a member of this year's North squad in the IHSBCA All Star series
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

Glenn High School pitcher Robbie Berger has literally riden the emotional roller coaster for the last week.
Honored as one of the top high school pitchers in the northern half of the state by his naming to the North Squad for the annual North-South All Star series Berger was at the high. Just days before the game, the coaster went back down as he got the news every pitcher dreads. He would have to undergo Tommy John surgery and as a result, wouldn't be able to pitch in the three game series at Four Winds Field.
Even at that Berger has found the silver lining in that particular cloud.
"Talking to more and more baseball people I'm becoming more and more confident," he said. "There's a possibility that I'll come back stronger. It's a good move because I don't have to feel pain anymore and I'm hoping to come back stronger."
It also means a year off the mound as he regains his form but Robbie will still be attending Lincoln Trail Community College, a premier baseball school in the midwest in south central Illinois.
"I've already talked to my coach. I'm going to rehab down there and my second year I'm on. It's going to be tough," said Berger. "I'd like to play division one baseball when I'm done at Lincoln Trail. I won't be able to pitch this year but I'm going to have a year to learn. The whole adjustment to being more independent is a big thing."
As far as his All Star experience, the North squad welcomed Berger with open arms and he did get a chance to pinch run in the game and scored a run in one of Sunday's games.
"I made some pretty good friends over the weekend," he said. "It was quite the experience to be with the 50 best baseball players in the state of Indiana. I'll never forget that."
Berger's career in baseball started young.
"I was probably six at the t ball park but I played wiffle ball with my dad growing up just playing in the back yard hitting the ball over the fence that was the best."
Was he a star even back then?
"Of course I can tell you I was a star but I'm not sure I really stood out then," he said with a laugh.
Berger had a little bit of salesmanship to do for his pursuit of baseball through his high school years. Robbie's Dad, Robb Berger has nearly 300 wins as a high school basketball coach, and Grandfather Bob was a legendary basketball coach at South Bend Riley High School
"I never really played football and I was never really any good at basketball," said Berger. "My dad and my grandpa are lengendary basketball coaches in this area and I tried playing basketball but it really wasn't my thing. Baseball was my thing, I just kept at it and got better at it and it's something that I want to keep doing."
"It was a tough sell," said Robbie with a laugh at the day he decided to tell Dad, maybe baseball was sport for him. "I played (basketball) all the way through seventh grade I was too short, too slow and couldn't jump so I just had to break it to my dad I didn't want to play anymore. He was okay with it."
It wasn't long before Berger gravitated to the mound, where he's had a lot of success over the last four years.
"At first I didn't really want to pitch," he said. "I was kind of shy. When they asked guys 'who wants to pitch?' I never held up my hand, but my dad from the stands said 'you want to pitch' so I started and I was just able to throw a lot of strikes."
"Being on the pitchers mound nothing behind me ever matters," he said. "I know that I'm in control of the game. It's the great thing about baseball. You always have a chance. I always kind of liked being the person with the ball in my hand with the game on the line. Coach Nadolny always seemed to trust me in that spot and I really hope I did my best to earn that trust."
"I can't think of anybody who earned the success he's had more than Robbie", said Nadolny of his ace for the past four years. "I've been blessed to have a lot of really great pitchers in my time here at Glenn but I can't think of one that had a better command of the strike zone than Robbie. He had the ball for every big game we've played in his four years here and he deserved it."
"I hate walking people," said Berger. "It's really hard for a team, especially in high school to string together three or four hits to score a run. If you eliminate the walks it makes the games so much easier."
Berger will see where baseball leads him for now, but in the future he's got his eyes on stability.
"I want to study accounting," he said. "I want a nice solid paying job in the future."

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