Thursday, June 11, 2015

'Ron Bergman Quintessential Reporter to cover Colorful Oakland A’s dynasty of the 1970s.

1973 A's honored Bergman's 'Mustache Gang' 1973 Oakland A's honored in recent reunion at the Oakland Coliseum.

'Writing with great verve and a keen wit, Ron 

Bergman was the quintessential reporter to

 cover the colorful Oakland A’s dynasty of the 

1970s.'  ...Susan Slusser, SFGate

   The thing that stood out for me, reading all the tributes to former Oakland A's beat writer Ron Bergman, who passed last week, was his honesty. And, isn't that what newspaper reporting is supposed to be about?  Unlike in this politically correct world of today - especially in San Francisco - Bergman wasn't afraid to 'ruffle feathers' or elephant snouts, as it were. Yet, Bergman remained a beloved figure in the A's clubhouse and was even close friends with some of the players; he was a championship bridge partner to A's pitcher Ken Holtzman. 

 An example of that brutal honesty, was Bergman's 2005 comment about steroids and the Hall of Fame. He is one of few local sportswriters to go against the party line, when discussing Barry Bonds possible induction into the Baseball Hall . Unlike most, who say Bonds should get in because he was All Star caliber 'before steroids' (as if they knew exactly when that was ), Bergman, even then, commented,

"I will not vote for McGwire or Bonds in the first year of their eligibility in order to make a statement of sorts. After that, it depends on what becomes of the allegations against them."

  “Bergy told it like it was,” A’s Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers said. “He was always fair, he did a great job — and if we ever needed a fourth for bridge, he was there. He always had great copy, because there was plenty to write about with those teams.”   Too bad we don't have more Bergmans today instead of the new breed of sportwriter - and even the old breed that cops to the times, getting sucked into the steroid era despite knowing baseball today is not the same as it was - as even fans see now as  shown by dwindling TV ratings and attendance (outside of San Francisco).   For more on Ron Bergman, see Susan Slusser's SFGate  story