Bergman, Giants player in early '80s, dies at 61

Utility man cherished playing in SF under Robinson; key to Tigers' 1984 championship

Bergman, Giants player in early '80s, dies at 61

SAN FRANCISCO -- Utility man Dave Bergman spent only three of his 17 Major League seasons with the Giants. But his 253-game San Francisco tenure, which spanned 1981-83, left an enduring impression on him.

Bergman died Monday at age 61 and cherished his experience with Frank Robinson, who managed the Giants during Bergman's stint with the club.

"In my opinion, I learned more about baseball from Frank Robinson than any other manager I played for," Bergman said in an interview last year. "I really felt that he helped my career tremendously because I felt that he truly understood the type of player that I was and how I would best help a ballclub."

Bergman hit .271 with the Giants, eclipsing his production with the other three teams he represented -- the Tigers, Astros and Yankees. One year after leaving the Giants, Bergman established career highs with seven home runs and 44 RBIs in 271 at-bats to help Detroit win a World Series title.

During his baseball career, Bergman obtained his securities, insurance and real estate licenses. He later ascended to the roles of partner and senior portfolio manager with Sigma Investment Counselors, which manages money for high net-worth individuals.

Bergman remained tied to baseball. He served as chairman of the board for the Joe Niekro Foundation, which is committed to furthering the research and treatment of brain aneurysms and other cerebral disorders. And he closely followed the Major Leagues, with managers Bruce Bochy of the Giants and Bob Melvin of the A's being ex-teammates of his.

"I still feel like I have that bond with baseball," Bergman said.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.