Some good background on Mr. Bergesch from Dennis Jansen... A good man and RIP.
I remember Bergesch as the guy who wouldn't trade the mid-80's Reds' "crown jewels". Muuray Cook came in and pulled the trigger which gave us the 1990 WS.
Pay attention to the open sky
I remember him as stabilizing the Reds after going through the Dick Wagner era. He brought in some good players to go with the younger ones starting to come up through the system. R.I.P Mr. Bergesch. A very good man, indeed.
Reds Fan Since 1971
Bill Bergesch – Hired October 1984
Former Title – Director of Baseball Operations – New York Yankees.
First Move – Keefe Cato to San Diego for Darren Burroghs. Bergesch made only 2 trades in his first 8 months on the job.
Most Famous Player Traded First – Cesar Cedeno was traded to the Cardinals in August for Mark Jackson. Cesar was out of the game the next year but strung together 76 magical at bats for the NL pennant winners.
Most Famous Trade Pickup – Buddy Bell, 10 months in to the job Bergesch made his first significant trade, trading Duane Walker and Jeff Russell in mid July of 1985.
Best Young Player Pickup – Slow on the draw was Bergesch’s main problem it took him 15 months to pick up a future impact Red, once again though it was steal, with the Reds relinquishing Wayne Krenchicki and ending up with Norm Charlton.
See Ya – Who’d he cut? – Every GM usually comes aboard with a plan and often that doesn’t include the former regimes players. So the axe often swings freely, in Bergesch’s tenure the axe took down longtime Reds Frank Pastore.
Biggest Mistake – Being slow with the trade trigger was Bill’s biggest headache and it would eventually cost him his job as he held on to both the Reds shortstop prospects and the quickly multiplying outfield prospects.
First Draft – Bergesch endeared himself to Reds fans forever by being the GM who chose Barry Larkin with the 4th pick in the 1985 draft.
He really wasn't slow to trade the "crown jewels.". At the 1987 trade deadline he offered Kal Daniels, Kurt Stillwell and Tracy Jones to the Pirates for Rick Reuschel. But Sid Thrift demanded Larkin instead of Stillwell and Bergesch refused. He also was rumored to have offered Larkin and Daniels to the Mets for Strawberry the same year.
He also has to deal with Marge. He had traded Ted Power to the Yankees for Dennis Rassmussen, but Marge liked Ted personally and made him switch it to Bill Gullickson, a much better and more valuable pitcher.
"Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.
In the end he did darn well considering he was there when the Marge era started, that must have been edge case.
I recall Pete not wanting to sign Rick BEFORE he signed with Pittsburgh and began his rebirth as a pitcher. Pete was just not interested.
Trading Kal and Tracey, who now in hindsight would have been fine...but at that time both of them were .300+ hitters, with speed and OBP skills.
One night in the late 1980s, my wife and I were driving our way out of the parking garage under Riverfront Stadium after a game.
I stopped abruptly, nearly getting rear-ended, when I saw Marge Schott emerge from an elevator into the parking area, apparently outraged over something, followed by a concerned looking man who I quickly realized was the now-late Bill Bergesch.
Due largely to the horn-honking that resulted from my abrupt stop, I couldn't hear what she was saying, but Mrs. Schott turned around and appeared to be screaming at her frightened-looking general manager.
Was he responsible for signing Dave Parker before the '84 season? If he was, it was the best free agent signing the Reds ever made -- the Cobra should have been the '85 MVP and he was then shipped to Oakland for a guy named Rijo.
Win the Division