A big hat for Bergesen

After the long winter months of the offseason, the O's news is finally starting to heat up. From FanFest to single-game ticket sales, promos, and the return of Tejada, there's no shortage of Orioles buzz in the days leading up to spring training.

But before we get to all that this weekend, let's jump back to FanFest for a short story involving rookie pitcher Brad Bergesen.

Early on in the day, as Bergesen walked into an Orioles corporate sponsor VIP room, he took a seat next to new Oriole Mike Gonzalez.


The two talked a little as they waited for the autograph set-up to fall into place, and Gonzalez noticed Bergesen eyeing his player card photo with a wry smile.

Seemingly feeling Gonzalez's gaze, Bergesen told his new teammate how the picture made him laugh because the hat he was wearing in it had been way too big; but since it was his first big league spring training, he hadn't wanted to say anything.

He confessed that he'd been so happy to be there and didn't want to seem unappreciative by asking for a new hat, so the too-big ball cap had simply stayed. After all, he'd take a loose ball cap if it meant spring training with the big club.

Little did he realize he'd be signing autographs atop a photo of himself in that very hat. It certainly wasn't the end of the world, and in fact it was clear the image brought back a lot of memories for Bergesen.

As he gave the photo one last rueful smile, a fan, having heard the exchange, said Bergy shouldn't worry because before long he'd be able to ask for whatever he wanted. But you can believe the kind words about Bergesen: He only laughed and protested that he wasn't sure about that.

Not every player is going to be a star on the diamond and a good guy, but there are plenty who are...

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