Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bill Bergesch dies at 89

Press release from the Yankees:



The New York Yankees mourn the passing of Bill Bergesch, who died on Tuesday at a retirement home in Stamford, Conn., at age 89.

Bergesch first joined the Yankees organization as the club’s traveling secretary and stadium manager from 1964 through 1967 before returning to the Yankees in 1978 as director of scouting. In 1980, he was named vice president of baseball operations and remained in the post until resigning in October 1984. From 1991-92, he was Yankees assistant general manager under Gene Michael before becoming a senior advisor in the Yankees baseball operations department from 1993-94. Since that time, Bergesch was a regular fixture at Yankees spring training and an advisor to the organization.

Bergesch was born on June 17, 1921, in St. Louis Mo., and graduated from Washington University in 1946 after serving three years in the U.S. Army from 1942-44 and receiving a Purple Heart. He began his baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 1947, serving as general manager for farm teams in Albany, Ga.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Columbus, Ga.; and Omaha, Neb. In 1959 and ‘60, he served as the Cardinals’ scouting coordinator based in St. Louis.

During the 1961 season, Bergesch served as the assistant general manager of the Kansas City Athletics, working for owner Charles O. Finley. In November of that year, Bergesch joined the Mets organization and was named farm director by then-Mets general manager George Weiss. In that capacity, Bergesch was responsible for setting up the farm system and hiring scouts prior to the Mets’ inaugural 1962 season. After spending approximately two years with the Mets and working for the Yankees from 1964 through February 1967, Bergesch began a two-year stretch as general manager of the New York Generals franchise in the National Professional Soccer League from 1967-68.

From 1969 through 1977, Bergesch was in the venture capital business. After returning to the Yankees from 1978 through the 1984 regular season, Bergesch was the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds from November 1984 until October 1987.

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