Monday, March 2, 2015

#384 Mike Benjamin

About the Front: Mike Benjamin's mirrored shades give us a nifty fish-eye view of the home team's ballpark.

About the Back: In later years, the Benjamins would add son Michael to their family. The elder Mike coached his son's Little League team to the World Series in Williamsport, PA in 2003, and went on to coach him at Arizona State University as well.

Triple Play:

1. Mike must have seen the ball well against Jaime Navarro. In 22 career meetings, he collected ten hits, including three of his 24 career homers, for a .455 average and .864 slugging mark.

2. In a 13-inning win over the Cubs on June 14, 1995, he went 6-for-7 with a double and a pair of RBI. It was part of a torrid three-game streak that saw the normally weak-hitting infielder set a record for the most hits in three straight games, spanning from June 11-14. His totals: 14-for-18 with a hit-by-pitch, five runs scored, a double, a homer, and four RBI (.778/.769/1.000).

3. Benjamin pitched a scoreless inning for Boston on June 21, 1997, needing only nine pitches to retire three Detroit batters in order.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I used to pronounce his last name as "been jammin' " to amuse myself. It never did take much.

Bill James Said: "Excellent defensive shortstop, gets most of his playing time spelling Robbie Thompson, but isn't in line to get the second base job if Thompson is unable to continue."

On This Date in 1993: March 2. The Expos sign corner infielder Jose Fernandez, an 18-year-old amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic. He will go on to hit 374 home runs in a 20-year career in pro baseball that includes stops in Mexico, Korea, and Japan, but none of those homers will be hit at the big-league level. He bats only 52 times in brief stints in Montreal (1999) and Anaheim (2001).

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