Q&A with Jabe Bergeron

Jabe Bergeron is an undrafted free agent first baseman out of Division 3 Williams College. Jabe, after beginning the season with Kingsport, was recently promoted to the Capital City Bombers of the South Atlantic League. He met the team in Lakewood, NJ where Andy Braunstein and I were in attendance to scout the Bombers. Jabe was gracious enough to grant me an interview at Capital City (Columbia, South Carolina) later that week.

NYF: What is your full name?

Bergeron: Edward John Bergeron III. My nickname is Jabe.

NYF: How did the name Jabe come about?

Bergeron: My grandfather started to call me JB, short for John Bergeron, because there were three of us. It is a little easier than calling out Edward (with three people of the same name around). The JB became Jabe.

NYF: Why did you choose to attend Williams College?

Bergeron: I played four years of high school hockey. And I figured with the academics, hockey, and baseball I would have a nice blend of everything. It was a good fit. It was close to home so my parents could watch my sister and I play for Williams.

NYF: Is your sister your only sibling?

Bergeron: Yes, she is younger. She is twenty-one.

NYF: What is your sister's name and what sports does she play?

Bergeron: (Her name is) Lucia. She plays field hockey and track and field.

NYF: Were there other players from your school who signed a pro contract?

Bergeron: About five years ago Keith Circone, a fourth round pitcher for the A's.

NYF: Do you feel that playing a summer in the Cape Cod League helped prepare you for a pro career?

Bergeron: My Cape season was pretty forgettable. I had a great time. I batted .165 in limited time. I feel it prepared me well for the potential down times. It helped me out a lot.

NYF: Didn't you also play for another summer collegiate league?

Bergeron: I played in the NECBL (New England Collegiate League) for two years. The Cape was sandwiched between the two seasons. I played for my hometown team and won the title. Playing in front of the hometown crowd was great.

NYF: Do you miss playing hockey?

Bergeron: Not a whole lot. Toward the end I wanted to focus on baseball full time. My first couple of years I enjoyed it. It was one reason why I chose Williams.

NYF: How disappointed were you when the draft day came and your name was not called?

Bergeron: I was a little upset. The Mets told me I had a pretty good shot of going in the second day and I figured someone would give me a shot as a late round selection because of my past numbers. But I figured I'd sign as a free agent in the next week and a half (after the draft). Note: the Mets signed Bergeron based on his being scouted three times during his college season and an invitation to a try out held at Shea Stadium a week before the draft

NYF: How excited were you when the Mets offered you a contract?

Bergeron: Very pleased.

NYF: How does it feel to get your first promotion?

Bergeron: It feels great. Especially moving out of Kingsport in Rookie ball. I knew I needed to go down there to work on some things and I was hoping I would be back in Brooklyn, but I never expected to be in the Sally League. This is obviously great. I was really shocked to be coming to Capital City. Note: Jabe was initially assigned to Brooklyn before being assigned to Kingsport. He only had three at bats with Brooklyn.

NYF: What were you doing when you got news of your promotion?

Bergeron: I was eating dinner with my family at a local Appleby's. Note: Jabe's family was visiting him in Kingsport at the time.

NYF: Who broke the news to you?

Bergeron: My roommate.

NYF: Some players who have been called up to another level often say when they got the news that the first thought was that someone was playing a joke. Was that what you thought?

Bergeron: No, my roommate is not a jokester.

NYF: As you said earlier, your family was visiting you at the time you found out that you would be joining the Bombers. What was your parents' reaction?

Bergeron: They were ecstatic. They had to cut their trip short, but they did not care.

NYF: What was your itinerary when you left Kingsport for Lakewood, NJ to join the Bombers?

Bergeron: I packed up my stuff at the clubhouse around 1 am. I had a flight at 7 am the next morning. I went back to my parents' hotel and stayed there for the night. My Dad and I woke up at 5 am, had a quick breakfast and went to the airport around 6 o'clock. I flew out to Atlanta and then flew to Newark. And then I had to take a taxi from Newark to Lakewood. It was $97 plus tolls and tip.

NYF: Who paid for that?

Bergeron: Actually, I lost the receipt. They're working on it right now. It was such a long day. I think I gave the receipt back to the taxi driver. I shook my head as he was driving away.

NYF: Did you sleep at all after you got the news?

Bergeron: I didn't really sleep all that much. I slept maybe a couple of hours that night

NYF: Did you finally crash once the game was over in Lakewood?

Bergeron: Oh yeah. And I got a lot of food because I hadn't eaten all day since the morning, the 6 o'clock breakfast. I think I went to bed about 10, 10:30 that night.

NYF: We talked before about your family. Please tell the readers what your father did for you when he heard of your promotion?

Bergeron: My father drove my car initially down to Kingsport around early July. He flew out and left the car with me. When I found out about the promotion my mom and sister took a plane out about 1 pm on (that) Sunday. Dad drove the car to Columbia. It is about four hours from Kingsport. He left the car in long term parking at the airport and flew out of Columbia. Someone had to shuttle me out there when I got back from New Jersey.

NYF: What differences have you noticed between the Appalachian League and the South Atlantic League?

Bergeron: The biggest difference is the polish of the players. You can tell they have been in pro ball a little longer, a couple of years longer. They understand a little more. And especially the pitching. The off speed stuff is a lot better and the control. I'd say the overall polish. You can tell they have been playing two plus years.

NYF: What are you working on?

Bergeron: Right now it is still tough. I'm working on my swing trying to keep that consistent. In the field I just want to get in as many games as possible at first (base). It is tough to work on these things in the middle of the year because there is not much you can do to change especially with these guys. These guys have been here, what? For five months? They aren't working on too much. They are pretty much settled into what they are going to do. For me I am just trying to get a hit a night and play as solid a defense as possible.

NYF: Are you excited to be going to the playoffs?

Bergeron: Oh, yeah! It's great. It's going to be a great situation. Hopefully we will get some more fan support.

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