HOUSTON – A longtime Astros employee was preparing for the start of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park on Thursday.
“I’m going to enjoy it, but I am not at all really that excited,” Willie Berry laughed.
Berry has been a groundskeeper for 50 years.
Willie is the only man to prepare the pitcher’s mound for the team and known as one of the best
“I’ve been doing the best I can. I’m pretty good, I haven’t had a whole lot of complaints, so I feel pretty good about what I’ve done,” said Berry.
At 73 years old, Berry considered retiring a few years ago.
“I thought about it, and I said, ‘What the heck?’ If I take off, I’ll be attending the games any way when they are home, so I might as well get paid,” said Berry.
Berry remains busy during baseball season, and sometimes works 15 hours on game days.
Now, he’ll be packing the mound for Thursday’s starting game of the ALDS the same way he has done countless times in the past.
“The game itself is just a plain ole’ game,” Berry said. “Just another game right, another day at the ballpark.”
Berry said he’s very thankful to the Astros for the opportunity to work with the organization for so long.
One of his favorite parts of the job is getting to see former players when they return to visit.