The early 1950s Pittsburgh Pirates were a ragtag bunch that came and went so fast that fans hardly had a chance to know them. As the Forbes Field program hawkers liked to say, “You can’t tell the players without a score card.”
Maybe anonymity was better for those underachieving Pirates. From 1950 through 1955, the Bucs finished eighth in an eight team league every year except 1951 when they barely squeaked into seventh place but still ended up 32 games behind the pennant winning New York Giants
Although it wasn’t on the diamond, one player from those lowly Pirates eventually went on to great things. John Berardino, a light hitting second baseman for parts of the 1950 and 1952 seasons, left Pittsburgh and returned to his native Los Angeles where in 1961 he originated the role of Dr. Steve Harvey, the chief of internal medicine on the long running General Hospital. Berardino portrayed Harvey until the actor’s death in 1996.
Dr. Harvey became one of daytime television’s most popular and well established characters. In his honor, Berardino’s name is embedded along a stretch of Hollywood and Vine known as the Walk of Stars, a permanent public monument to outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry.
Berardino is the only Pittsburgh Pirate to have received this Hollywood tribute. In his brief stint with the Pirates, Berardino may only have hit .187. But millions of General Hospital fans in Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania loved Berardino as Dr. Harvey for nearly 35 years after he hung up his cleats.