Marty Bergen

From BR Bullpen

Marty Bergen.jpg

Martin Bergen

  • Bats Unknown, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

"Martin Bergen is a kingpin of catchers." - a sportswriter in 1898

"As a catcher, Martin Bergen was the best the world ever produced. No man acted with more natural grace as a ballplayer. There was finish in every move he made. His eye was always true, and his movements so quick and accurate in throwing that the speediest base runners... never took chances when Bergen was behind the bat." - Jesse Burkett, 1900

Catcher Marty Bergen played four seasons in the major leagues for the Boston Beaneaters. The Beaneaters during that time were always over .500 and won the pennant in both 1897 and 1898. Marty was the starting catcher all four years, known for his top defense.

Marty was playing in the minors by 1892. He was from North Brookfield, MA, and played on an amateur team with Connie Mack, also a resident there. Mack later tried to draft him when he was manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1894 but the contract was voided when the Pirates tried to farm him out to a minor league team, a practice which was not allowed at the time. He had hip problems during his career and underwent an operation in January 1899.

He died in 1900 after slitting his throat with a razor. Before his suicide, he murdered his wife and two children with an ax. His problems with mental health were evident years before, as he accused and fought with his teammates, who hoped he would not return to the team after 1899. He had grown paranoid that assassins were trying to kill him and would disappear for days at a time. In a game on October 9th, Bergen had to be pulled when he began dodging his pitcher's pitches because he was avoiding knife thrusts from an invisible assailant trying to attack him. He was prescribed medication to help his condition, but refused to take them, believing them to be poison.

He was the brother of Bill Bergen.

Records Held[edit]

  • Passed balls, catcher, season (since 1893), 38, 1898

Related Sites[edit]