Former Tigers 1B Bergman dies

Detroit, MI ( - The Detroit Tigers announced Monday that former first baseman Dave Bergman died at the age of 61.

"It is with heavy hearts we extend our condolences to the family of Dave Bergman. Dave was as spirited a person as he was a player. He will forever hold a special place in Tigers history for the versatile roles he played, and his significant contributions as a member of the 1984 World Champion Tigers. We will miss seeing 'Bergie' at the ballpark and in the community," the club noted in a statement.

Bergman was already an eight-year pro by the time he was traded twice in one day, from San Francisco to Philadelphia and then to Detroit on March 24, 1984. The latter trade saw the Phillies ship Bergman along with future AL MVP and Cy Young winner Willie Hernandez to the Tigers for Glenn Wilson and John Wockenfuss.

In 1984, he hit .273 with seven homers and 44 RBI over 120 games, while also spending time in the outfield, but collected just one single in seven postseason at-bats as the Tigers beat the Royals in the ALCS and Padres in the Fall Classic. His most notable contribution to that 104-win team was a three- run, walk-off homer against the Blue Jays at Tiger Stadium on June 4, capping a 13-pitch plate appearance against Roy Lee Jackson.

"One of our best teammates. Bergman was a guy who knew his role. He was a competitor and just a good person too," said Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris of his former teammate.

Bergman remained with the Tigers until the end of his career following the 1992 season. In 1,349 career games for the Yankees, Astros, Giants and Tigers, he was a lifetime .258 hitter who collected 54 home runs, 100 doubles and drove in 289 runs.