Dave Bergman, member of the 1984 Tigers, dies at age 61

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This is sad: Dave Bergman, a member of the 1984 Detroit Tigers team, has passed away at age 61. He had been suffering from cancer.

Bergman had a 17-year career. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the second round in 1974. He only had 24 plate appearances for New York before being sent to Houston in a multi-player trade following the 1977 season. He played parts of four seasons in Houston and then went to San Francisco along with Jeffrey Leonard in a 1981 trade. In March of 1984 he was part of a large trade that resulted in him — and, more famously, Willie Hernandez — arriving in Detroit from San Francisco and Philadelphia, respectively.

That was a key trade for the Tigers, and not just because they acquired the 1984 MVP Award winner in Hernandez. Bergman was a key part of the World Series champions, playing in 120 games — the second most he’d ever play in a season — and hitting .273/.351/.417 while handling the larger portion of the Tigers’ first base platoon (Darrell Evans played far more DH that year). Bergman would go on to play in the bigs through the 1992 season, all with Detroit. For his career he finished with a line of .258/.348/.367 in 3,114 plate appearances. And as the video embedded in this story in the Free Press shows, Bergman was also pretty adept at the hidden ball trick.

After he retired he remained in the Detroit area and was active in youth baseball.