A three-sport athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, J. Howard Berry was skilled enough to play baseball and football on the professional level and earn his stripes as a colonel in the United States Marine Corps as well.
Berry played for Penn’s baseball squad for three seasons,. Captaining the 1916 and 1917 Quakers. In the 1920s, he played first base under John McGraw for the world champion New York Giants, and he later became a scout for the organization.
For the Quakers’ gridders, Berry was a remarkable halfback, punter and field goal kicker. He racked up several long touchdown runs, averaged 51 yards per putn, and scored nine of Penn’s 10 points, when the Red and Blue defeated Michigan, 10-7, in 1916. Following graduation, Berry played professionally for the Pottsville (Pa.) Maroons.
On the track, Berry was most noted for his successes in the penthalon. Berry captained the track team in 1917, his third season on the team, and won the penthathlon three consecutive years at the Penn Relays. In 1916, he became the first person in the world to win all five events of the penthlon. In addition, Berry ran the mile and other middle distances.