Friday, October 30, 2015

Peter Bergeron Autograph Card

Peter Bergeron played for the Montréal Expos in five of their final six seasons of existence (he spent the summer of 2003 playing exclusively in the minors, in AAA ball with the Edmonton Trappers, but was in the Expos' system from 1999 until relocation in 2004), and like the rest of the team, was an inexpensive can-do-the-job, middle-of-the-pack lead-off hitter with decent speed but a batting average below .250.

He also didn't get that many walks, but at a quarter million per year, he was basically all the team could afford, as the fans had stopped coming after all the fire sales and the certainty of the team skipping town when owner Satan Jeffrey Loria bought out all the minority stakeholders.

He never played another MLB game after his stint with the Expos, despite siging free agent contrats with the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. In his final season in 2007, he played in AA (for the Altoona Curve) as well as the independent Atlantic League's York Revolution.

Upon calling it quits, he ran and was an instructor at former teammate Michael Barrett's baseball school, Barrett Baseball; he also started scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

Honestly, those last few years of the Expos are a blur. It was painful seeing them get reduced to a low-level team whose good players would be given away even before they were due to get paid, and the owner didn't care about putting a decent product on the field, or selling decent products at the stadium, let alone stop it from falling apart. I still wish him the best... of what torture has to offer.

Not so for Bergeron, though, who signed this card for me in thin blue sharpie at some point:
It's card #WW6 (of 15) of the Who To Watch subset of Fleer/Skybox's 2000 Fleer Tradition set, and shows him in the team's beautiful grey/final (away) uniform. Ironically, he's seen wearing #33 (which he wore from 1999 until 2001, but finished wearing #11), the number previously worn by Carlos Perez, whom he had been traded for.

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