Greenfield’s Peter Bergeron set to join WMass Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday

  • Greenfield’s Peter Bergeron, shown here speaking at the Greenfield Public Library in 2017, will be inducted into the Western Mass. Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday night at the Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley. Staff FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 2/3/2020 8:22:55 PM

For the second time in its seven-year history, the Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame will induct a Greenfield product on Friday night.

Former Greenfield High School standout Peter Bergeron is a member of the Class of 2020, and he’ll officially be inducted at the ceremony set to be held at the Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the program set to begin at 6:30. The Valley Blue Sox will host the seventh annual banquet, as the Hall of Fame has been in existence since inducting its inaugural class in 2014.

“To be recognized locally is great,” began Bergeron of the Hall of Fame selection. “I like the area, came back to raise my family here. It’s a special place so it’s really great to have my career recognize where it all began.

“Any time I came back around when I was playing, hopefully it helped promote the game of baseball in Western Mass.,” he continued. “And hopefully I had a little hand in that during my time… get people thinking about the sport and involved in it.”

Bergeron, who graduated from Greenfield High School in 1996, played parts of five MLB seasons for the Montreal Expos from 1999-2004. He finished his career with eight home runs and 56 RBIs, patrolling the outfield for the Expos. His best season came in 2000, when he hit .245 as the starting center fielder and smacked five home runs to go with 31 RBIs as the team’s leadoff hitter. Bergeron led the National League in outfield assists that year (16) and was seventh in the league in triples with seven.

Bergeron has been a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2014, the organization that originally drafted him in the fourth round of the 1996 MLB Draft out of high school. He was traded to the Expos at the deadline in 1998.

Now living back in Greenfield, Bergeron has been an active member of the sporting community with children Amber, Tayler and Connor all busy participants throughout Franklin County.

“Having kids in the community now, whether in sports or wherever else, it certainly puts me back out there,” he said. “Selfishly I tend to stick to their activities but hopefully everyone around here knows I’m approachable and want to help kids around here whenever I can.”

Bergeron joins long-time Greenfield High School baseball coach Tom Suchanek as Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame members. Suchanek was inducted in 2017.

“No question about it, Peter has a great baseball resumé,” began Suchanek, who said he will be in attendance on Friday night. “It’s just as enjoyable to me when you have somebody that played for you get inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“He has left his legacy here in Greenfield,” he continued. “He was always a very hard worker, very dedicated player… and he could outright run. But no matter what notoriety that Peter received throughout his career, he was always a very humble, unassuming guy. He never flaunted anything, never wanted anyone to put him on a pedestal.”

Bergeron said he’s proud to be mentioned in the same company as his former Greenfield skipper.

“What he’s meant to baseball in this area is remarkable,” said Bergeron of Suchanek. “The amount of time he’s put in the Greenfield program… it’s something I’ll never live up to. I was part of the tradition at Greenfield that he certainly stands for and established, so to be in the same anything as him is a great honor.”

In addition to Bergeron, the Class of 2020 features Harry Dalton (general manager of the Orioles, Angles, Brewers), Dan Genovese (Founder of the Westfield Wheelmen Vintage Base Ball team), Kevin McGurk (umpire, Tri-County baseball), Steven “Turk” Wendell (MLB player for the Braves, Cubs and Mets from 1993-2004), and the 1979 Chicopee Comprehensive High School baseball team.

“Going way back, there are a lot of guys that have played professional baseball from Western Mass.,” Suchanek said. “I don’t think a lot of people understand the baseball history we have here. It’s a lot better than you think, especially for a place that’s not exactly a warm climate.”

The Ryan Doyle Courage Award will be presented to the Doyle family as a remembrance of Ryan Doyle, a courageous and gifted Minnechaug Regional High School student-athlete.

WWLP-22News anchor Rich Tettemer will serve as master of ceremonies for the night’s event. Individual tickets are $50/person or a table of 10 can be purchased for $450. Dinner, coffee and dessert will be served at the banquet. There will also be a cash bar and a silent auction. Tickets to this year’s event can be purchased through online at valley-blue-sox.ticketleap.com/2020-western-mass-baseball-hall-of-fame-induction-ceremony.

“I’m sure there’ll be some familiar faces there,” Bergeron said of Friday’s induction. “My daughter has a basketball game, another daughter is in a play. It’s no big deal to them. I’m just dad. I didn’t want them to miss their stuff but it certainly sounds like there’ll be some people I know there.”


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