Sean Frederick Bergman
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 205 lb.
- School Southern Illinois University
- High School Joliet Catholic Academy
- Debut July 7, 1993
- Final Game June 17, 2000
- Born April 11, 1970 in Joliet, IL USA
Sean Bergman went to Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet, Illinois, before attending Southern Illinois University. Standing at 6'4", 205 pounds (one source puts him at 225 pounds), Bergman was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 4th round of the 1991 amateur draft.
Bergman spent his first professional season, 1991, with the Niagara Falls Rapids of the New York-Penn League. In 15 games with them, he went 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA. A starter, he struck out 77 batters in just over 84 innings of work. He started the 1992 season with the Lakeland Tigers, going 5-2 with them, with a 2.49 ERA. He finished his second professional season with a 9-9 record, posting a 3.41 ERA. After his promotion to the Double A London Tigers, he went only 4-7 with a 4.28 ERA.
Although his 1993 minor league season was statistically lackluster (8-9 with a 4.38 ERA), he impressed the big league Tigers enough to earn a promotion. He made his debut on July 7th against the Minnesota Twins. Oddly, the first team he faced in his career would end up being the last team he played for. Overall, he went 1-4 in 9 games with the Tigers. He walked 23 and struck out 19 in 39 2/3 innings. One notable achievement though is that he pitched a complete game in the first start of his career. He spent most of 1994 with the Toledo Mud Hens, posting an 11-8 record with them. He did start 3 games in the bigs, going 2-1 with an uninspiring 5.60 ERA. Although he pitched 1 game in the minors in 1995, he spent the majority of the season in the bigs. In 28 games started, he posted a 7-10 record with a 5.12 ERA. His 13 wild pitches were second in the American League, trailing only Al Leiter's 14. He did pitch one shutout, which put him ninth in the league.
Right before the 1996 season, he was traded with Cade Gaspar and Todd Steverson to the San Diego Padres for Raul Casanova, Richie Lewis and Melvin Nieves. He spent two seasons with the Padres, posting a combined record of 8-12 with an ERA of 5.17. After the 1997 season, he was traded to the Houston Astros for outfielder James Mouton. 1998 was perhaps his best season: he posted a record of 12-9 with a 3.72 ERA, permitting just 42 walks in 172 innings of work. He gave up home runs to both Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire as they both chased to break Roger Maris' home run record that summer. He started 1999 with the Astros, but after posting a 4-6 record with a 5.36 ERA (and a 9.95 ERA in a short stint in the minors) to start the season, he was released and signed with the Atlanta Braves. He appeared in relief in 6 games with them, posting a solid 2.84 ERA.
Selected off waivers by the Minnesota Twins before the 2000 season, he was brought in to aid a team that had a struggling starting rotation. He did not make it any better. He started 14 games for them, posted a 9.66 ERA, and by late June, was released. His big league career ended on June 17th, but his pro career did not. He bounced around the minors until 2004, even playing in Japan in 2002. He surrendered Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 3,000th base hit in 2000.
Overall, he went 39-47 with a 5.28 ERA in 196 games. He walked 272 batters and struck out 455 in 750 1/3 innings of work. Although he was a terrible hitter overall (.113 average in 133 at-bats, 59 strikeouts, zero walks), when he did make contact, he hit well. Seven of his fifteen career hits were for extra bases (four doubles and three home runs). He had a .951 fielding percentage. His career statistics compare most to those of Chris Haney. He spent six seasons as a teammate of Chris Gomez - longer than any other teammate. He threw a sinking fastball, a slider and a change-up.