Troy Berry is a University of Findlay baseball legend, and his son Nick is following in his footsteps as a freshman on the Oilers squad. But off the diamond, Nick idolizes his dad for his courageous battle with multiple sclerosis.
“The person I admire and look up to the most is my father,” Nick wrote in an essay that won a $1,000 scholarship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the UF newsroom reported.
“Every day he amazes me and motivates me to be great. Even with MS holding him back, he is still there for us whenever he can be there,” Nick wrote.
“He amazes me every day with his will and positive attitude even when things aren’t going his way.”
A Lasting Legacy
Troy played outfield for the Oilers from 1989-92, ranking in the Top 10 in UF history in career hits, RBIs and runs. He served as an assistant baseball coach for 11 years, then became head coach in 2004.
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in July 2000. By the time he retired in 2013, he had racked up 211 wins – the most in UF history.
Troy now works as the athletic department’s director of tickets and concessions, and he uses a motorized wheelchair.
Passing the Torch
In April, true to form, Nick — a Findlay High two-time letterman — signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at UF. During his junior season, Nick led the Trojans in RBI, batted nearly .300, notched an on-base percentage near .500, and garnered a .927 fielding percentage at second base, earning honorable mention All-Three Rivers Athletic Conference honors.
“This year Nick will once again be a leader for the Trojans and will show his versatility playing multiple positions including the outfield where he has an opportunity to show off his incredible arm,” Findlay High athletic officials stated in a news release announcing his signing.
His National Multiple Sclerosis Society scholarship-winning essay evolved from a classroom assignment.
“He showed it to my wife to proofread it. And when she read it, she came to tears because of it,” Troy recalled.
“I try to live every day like my father, with no regrets and to the fullest,” Nick’s essay states. “When people ask me who I look up to or admire, I tell them my father. He has been a big influence on me with my future, as I would like to follow in his footsteps and attend the University of Findlay, and hopefully play baseball at Findlay like he did.
“My only wish is to be half the man my father is,” Nick wrote.
“It’s humbling. You want your kids to look up to you. You want them to admire you. Just the way it was written, bottom line is, it brought me to tears,” Troy said.