West De Pere graduate, Berken, helps dedicate field
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Jason Berken, a West De Pere High School graduate and former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher for four years with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs, was on hand Sept. 8 at the Nagel Unit-West Side Clubhouse to help dedicate a renovation project for the field with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Earlier this summer, Scotts and MLB announced the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay won this year’s Scotts Field Refurbishment Program Grant.
The Club received up to $50,000 for a complete renovation of the field.
Over the years, Scotts has donated almost $2 million and renovated more than 25 fields across 15 different states.
“I’d like to thank Scotts and MLB for letting me be a part of this celebration,” Berken said. “Having grown up in the Green Bay area and knowing what this area has done for me – not only as a player but more importantly, as a person – I want to make an impact among the youth in this area.”
After graduating from West De Pere in 2002, Berken played college baseball at Clemson.
He was drafted by Baltimore in the sixth round (175th overall) of the 2006 MLB draft.
On May 26, 2009, Berken earned his first major league win, the same day he was called up to the Majors.
He gave up two runs in five innings in a 7–2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
He finished the year with a 6–12 record, along with a 6.54 earned run average (ERA) in 119 2/3 innings pitched.
He finished his MLB career with a 10-20 record and a 5.36 ERA with 163 strikeouts.
Berken is now the owner of Impact Sports Academy (ISA) training facility at 2350 Lawrence Parkway in De Pere.
ISA is an indoor baseball and softball training facility that offers elite-level instruction and travel team programs to the Green Bay area.