By Dave Dyer
---- — Apparently, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.
There’s a perfect example right here in North Andover with rising softball standout Colby Bere. She just happens to be the daughter of former major league pitcher Jason Bere, who had an excellent career with five teams, enjoying the most success with the Chicago White Sox.
Colby is not a pitcher, although she does pitch for the Pike School in the spring, but she does exhibit a lot of the qualities that sent her father on a steady path from Wilmington High School to the majors.
As the starting second baseman for the 14-and-under Bay State Brats, which entered a tournament over the weekend with three tourney titles and a 25-2-1 record to their credit, Colby was leading the team in hitting at .482 and has also shown power with a home run, two triples and 10 doubles.
“I have her as my No. 2 hitter (in the order) because she makes good contact but she can also bunt and she has good power,” said Brats head coach Bo Durso. “She’s just a really good hitter.”
Of course, Colby’s father wasn’t known for his hitting, but she has other qualities that are fitting for the offspring of a major leaguer.
“She has good instincts and she’s smarter than a lot of kids her age,” said Durso. “She understands the game.”
Jason has tried hard not to be overly involved with her daughter’s softball career, but he has worked with her on hitting, and a bit on pitching, and he’s not adverse to giving general advice.
“To be really good, you have to really want it and I tell her that it’s not by accident that you become great,” said Jason, who is a special assistant to the general manager for the Cleveland Indians.
“She has the intangibles, she has the athleticism and she has a chance to be really good. She can be as good as she wants to be. ... she has to dare to be great and work at it.
“Still, she’s young and she has other interests so I try not to push her too much.”
Nevertheless, Colby welcomes whatever instruction or advice her father is willing to give her.
“I feel like he has a lot of experience so he can teach me things that I need to know,” said Colby, who is also a fine basketball player. “I like it when he helps me.”
One thing that Jason would surely say is that, no matter how successful, there is always something to work on, and Colby knows she has limitations that need strengthening.
“Bo always tells me to stay down when I field grounders so I’m working on that,” she said. “And I have to work on my throws.”
At this point, Colby is willing and eager to put in the time to refine her skills, which is something her father welcomes. But — and he certainly learned this — she also wants to keep softball in perspective.
“She has good balance with her academics and other interests,’ he said. “I slacked off a little in high school, but we stress academics and she’s done a good job. “