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The Great Debate – 1975 Reds vs. 1984 Tigers – First Base

Prior to the 1984 season, the Tigers made what, at the time, was the biggest free agent pickup in the history of the team. Signing Darrell Evans was a big deal, similar to the Tiger’s signing Pudge in 2004 was a big deal. And in 1984, Darrell Evans was a big bust. I won’t go into too much detail on him because he mostly played DH, but his contribution was minimal. Of course in 1985 he’d hit 40 homeruns, but his 28 extra base hits in 1984 left Tiger’s fans wondering if, at 37, he was over the hill.

The other deal the Tigers made was a trade with the Phillies. The Tigers sent John Wockenfuss and Glenn Wilson to the Phillies for Willie Hernandez and first basemen Dave Bergman. Bergman got the bulk of the starts at first base in 1984, and was platooned there for the rest of the 1980s.

He only played in 131 games during the season, and here’s what his numbers looked like in 1984:

Runs 42
Homeruns 7
RBIs 44
Average .273
OBP .351
SLG% .417
Runs Created 39
OPS+ 113

Batting Runs Above Replacement 15
Fielding Runs Above Replacement 15
Equalized Average .276
Wins Above Replacement Player 3.3

The 113 OPS+ isn’t anything to complain about, but the rest of his numbers just weren’t there. This one was pretty much a clean sweep, as Tony Perez and the Reds win another one.

Score – 1975 Reds 2, 1984 Tigers 0

You can read Blade’s analysis of Tony Perez at Reds Cutting Edge.

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