Dave Bergman came to Detroit in 1984 to help the Tigers win the World Series, and the former first baseman has been helping his community every day since.
A resident of the Grosse Pointes since 1985, Bergman is all about the causes that are near and dear to his heart, donating his time and his talents to both his community and MLB family. Specifically, he is the co-founder of the Grosse Pointe Redbirds Baseball Organization, he's an active member on the Board of Trustees for CATCH and currently serves as treasurer for the Joe Niekro Foundation.
Three to four times a week, Bergman can be found on the high school ballfields at and with his Redbirds teams. He is busy mentoring, managing and encouraging four teams of players who are aspiring to be great ballplayers and even better young men. The organization stresses academic excellence, high moral standards, discipline, respect, concern for others and a winning attitude.
CATCH is a children's charity that was founded in 1987 by then Detroit Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson. Bergman is a vice chair on the Board of Trustees and serves on the organization's Finance Board. CATCH raises funds to help improve the quality of life for sick, injured and needy pediatric patients who receive care from Children's Hospital of Michigan and Henry Ford Hospital.
An onging project nearest to Bergman's heart is one that began in 2006, after the passing of his dear friend and big league pitcher, Joe Niekro. Niekro was the younger brother of pitcher Phil Niekro and enjoyed 22 years of playing in the MLB; most notably known for his knuckleball and as a Houston Astro.
Joe Niekro was also Bergman's fishing partner for 30 years.
Encouraged by his baseball friends over a breakfast in Cooperstown, NY, four years ago, Bergman created a series of guided fishing trips to the Everglades as a fundraiser for the Joe Niekro Foundation.
The Joe Niekro Foundation was established in 2007 in honor of Joe who lost his life from a sudden cerebral brain aneurysm. The nonprofit foundation is committed to aiding in the research and treatment of aneurysm patients and families.
Four all-inclusive, four-night and three-day guided fishing expeditions dubbed The Niekro Tradition of Snook Fishing in the Everglades are available; two in the fall and two in the spring. Bergman himself will be at the helm and accomodations are provided at the Niekro family's fishing condo in Chokoloskee, FL. Detailed information about the fantasy fishing trips can be viewed on the flyer attached herewith.
"It's truly a win-win situation for everyone," said Bergman. "The donation is tax deductible, less the fair market value of the trip. We always have a great time and the snook fishing is outstanding. In the past we've had husband and wife teams come down, close buddies, brothers. Joe and I were always on the water by 5:40am and we would stay out all day. But we fish now according to our clients."
When not helping out on and off the field, Bergman is a partner and senior portfolio manager for Sigma Investment Counselors in Southfield.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Bergman will be a guest Sunday when the Detroit Tigers retire Sparky Anderson's number during a pregame ceremony.