Bercovich Furniture was a successful family-run furniture and appliance store established in 1906 by Edward Bercovich. After his death in 1938, the store continued to be run by his sons, nephews, grandsons, etc. Several generations conducted business for decades, and were huge contributors to many local community projects, the largest of which was the financial support of youth sports teams.
The original 1906 store was 407 Alice St. In 1916 they moved to 531-33 - 8th St. After various other moves, a larger store was located at 1714 Franklin Street, in Downtown from 1947 until closure in the 1980s or 1990s.
E. Bercovich Furniture was started in 1906 by Edward Bercovich, brother of Abraham Bercovich. The original location was at 407 Alice St. In 1915, they moved to 713 Franklin St. 1 After a short stay there, they moved to 533 - 8th Street in 1916. 2
By 1922, the store was Edward Bercovich & Son on 8th Street at both 531 and 533; Albert Roland Berchovich was the "& Son". Harry Bert Bercovich (not his older cousin, Harry Bercovich) was listed in the 1924 directory as a salesman. Probably best known was Edward's younger son Sam Bercovich, who continued and expanded Edward's program of supporting youth sports programs.
In October 1928, they moved again, to 541 - 11th St. at the corner of Clay St. They outgrew those quarters, and buoyed by the completion of the Bay Bridge, in 1936 moved to larger quarters at 535 - 13th st. at the corner of Clay and 13th. 3
Sports Team Sponsors
Edward began sponsoring local youth and semi-pro sports teams in the 1930s. [ year? c.1933 ]. Over the years, this sponsorship grew, especially under Edward's son, Sam. While people more often remember the baseball teams, they sponsored other sports like soccer, too.
- Bercovich had hundreds of players go on to play college and professional sports.
- Former Bercovich players include Major League Baseball players such as Willie Stargell, Kevin Maas, Rickey Henderson, Vada Pinson, Curt Flood, Dave Stewart, Randy Johnson, Joe Morgan, Tommy Harper, Frank Robinson, Don Wakamatsu and more!
- Many players cite their time playing for Bercovich under legendary managers George Powles, Bill Cox and Ray Luce, as the highlight of their whole careers.
- Playing for Bercovich meant you were initiated into a fraternity-like team and you were spending a magical summer with other highly motivated and talented baseball players from all over the Bay Area.
Kept the A's on Radio
During the 1978 season there was uncertainty as to whether or not the Oakland A's would stay in Oakland or move to Denver, Colorado. Because of this, none of the major radio stations in the Bay Area wanted to bid on the radio rights for the season, so Charlie Finley sold the rights to the University of California student-run radio station. Only the first 16 games were covered in the deal, and the station didn't want to preempt their regularly scheduled programming. So Bercovich Furniture bought the broadcasting rights to the rest of the season, struck a deal with country music radio station KNEW to broadcast the games, and offered their old friend Curt Flood, whom they had sponsored as a youth, the color commentator job. Bud Foster was hired to lead the play-by-play, with Cliff Haynes as the second game announcer. Although the Oakland A's was the team most damaged by Flood's lawsuit, when Max Bercovich told Finley that he wanted Flood on the A's broadcast announcers team, there was no objection from Finley.
Links and References
- Flood Is Intelligent, Has Good Radio Voice Sarasota Herald-Tribune May 10, 1978
- E. Bercovich and Son on Good Old Sandlot Days (various historic photos and newspaper clippings, including Edward and Albert with one of the teams)
- Movers Win Slugfest Oakland Tribune July 4, 1933
- Fruitvale and Bercovich Win Oakland Tribune January 16, 1934
- Two Clubs To Be Eliminated in Series at Oak Ball Park Oakland Tribune October 5, 1941
- Reputation Made In Fine Stoves Oakland Tribune November 2, 1937
- Bercovich & Son Plan New Home Oakland Tribune December 20, 1946
- Kibby Spranger Is Clown Prince of Semi-Pro Baseball Oakland Tribune May 30, 1950