Tuesday, June 22, 2010

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Bill Bergen

Brooklyn Superbas catcher Bill Bergen was one of the best defensive backstops to ever play the game. He
"ranks with the best receivers in modern baseball. He is an intelligent student of the points of a batsman, a true and fast thrower and is without a peer in judging and capturing foul flies."
Billy ranks 8th all-time in catching base-runners and 9th all-time is assist by a catcher. Bergen also was 1st in fielding percentage for a catcher in 1908 and 1911. Unfortunately, as a hitter he is arguably the worst batsman to ever play the game.

In a 11 year Major League career, including 8 years with Brooklyn, he batted a career .170 in 3228 at-bats. That is the lowest batting average for any player with over 2,500 chances at the plate. In fact, the next lowest batting average is .211- recorded by Davey Force who played in the 19th Century. His lifetime on-base percentage was an inept .194 and his slugging percentage was .201. In 1909 he set the longest hitless streak at 46 at-bats. (This record stands today if you don't include pitchers) No doubt, Bergen was the last person you wanted at the plate during a clutch situation.

He's Out

What a great action photo. Here Dee Moore of the Brooklyn Dodgers is tagged out by NY Giant Mickey Witek, circa June 15, 1943.
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