To succeed, just keep showing up, Berry tells Chamber
Jeff Berry, co-head of CAA Sports’ baseball division, came home to Owensboro on Thursday to speak to the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Rooster Booster Breakfast.
Since its creation in 2006, CAA Baseball has negotiated more than $3 billion in multi-year player contracts and advised 56 first-round picks.
In 2021, CAA Baseball represented 10 MLB All-Stars and, over the last 16 years, its client list has included four MVPs, five Cy Young winners and seven Rookies of the Year.
The most important thing, Berry said, for athletes — and everyone else — is to “just show up every day to do everything you can.”
Mark Buehrle, his first client, he said, didn’t make his high school baseball team his freshman year.
He didn’t make it his sophomore year and was ready to give up on baseball.
But Berry said Buehrle’s father convinced him to try one more time.
He made the team his junior year.
And Buehrle, who was drafted in the 38th round in 1998, went on to earn more than $150 million in baseball and is a “borderline Hall of Famer,” Berry said.
“it’s not always about results,” he said. “It’s about effort.”
Berry started playing baseball at Owensboro’s Eastern Little League.
He eventually played one season in the Boston Red Sox minor league system before going to law school and then becoming an agent.
Berry said he rarely calls a client who has had a great game because everybody else is calling.
But he said he always calls when a client has had a bad game because then they’re all alone.
“People run away from bad times,” Berry said. “But you should run toward them.”
That, he said, is when people need you the most.
Berry said the most important thing for an agent — or anyone else — is to always answer your phone.
To chase a dream, he said, “just keep showing up.”
Berry said now that his children are playing sports, he has found that being a sports parent is a hard job.
“I have empathy for sports parents,” he said.
Mayor Tom Watson presented Berry with a commemorative baseball bat to mark the occasion.
By Keith Lawrence Messenger Inquirer