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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Butch Benton
Bentonmets.jpg
Catcher
Born: (1957-08-24) August 24, 1957 (age 62)
Tampa, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1978, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
June 15, 1985, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Batting average.162
Home runs0
Runs batted in10
Teams

Alfred Lee "Butch" Benton (born August 24, 1957 in Tampa, Florida) was a Major League Baseball right-handed catcher. He was selected sixth overall in the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets.

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Contents

Early years

Benton played both football & baseball at Godby High School in Tallahassee, Florida. He declined a football scholarship to the University of Florida when the Mets drafted Benton in the first round of the 1975 amateur draft. After four seasons in their farm system, in which he batted .275 with 22 home runs & 189 runs batted in, he made the jump from double A to the major leagues at age 21 in 1978 when he joined the Mets as a September call-up.

New York Mets

He made his major league debut on September 14, pinch-hitting for Roy Lee Jackson. Facing the Montreal Expos' Dan Schatzeder, Benton flew out to center field.[1] He wouldn't break the lineup again until September 29 at Wrigley Field, when he was hit by a Mike Krukow pitch as a pinch hitter.[2] Benton scored his only run as a Met pinch running for Ed Kranepool the next day.[3]

On October 1, the last day of the season, Benton saw his first opportunity to play in the field. Again facing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley, Benton's first major league hit was an RBI single off Lynn McGlothen. He also singled off Dave Geisel in the ninth, driving in the fifth run of the Mets' 5-3 victory.[4] Benton was the sixth-youngest player to appear in the National League in 1978.

Benton spent the entirety of the 1979 season with the Mets' triple A affiliate in Tidewater and fared poorly, hitting only .198 with three home runs & 25 RBIs. As the fourth catcher in the Mets' depth chart, he was called up midway through the 1980 season when both John Stearns & Ron Hodges were sidelined with injuries. Batting .263 at the time of his promotion, Benton managed just one hit in 21 at bats as Alex Trevino's back up over the remainder of the season in the major leagues.

Chicago Cubs

Before the 1981 season, the Mets traded him to the Cubs for future considerations.[5] He again spent the balance of the season in the minors, hitting just .202 for the triple A Iowa Cubs. The best season of Benton's minor league career came in 1982, when he batted .330 with eleven home runs & 57 RBIs for Iowa. He was called up to the majors that September, and managed one hit in seven at bats over four games; the one hit coming against the Mets.[6]

Cleveland Indians

Screenshot bentonb.png

Benton spent the next few seasons as a minor league journeyman. Before the 1983 season, the Cubs traded him to the Montreal Expos for infielder Jerry Manuel. Neither player saw any major league experience with his next franchise. Benton's .298 batting average & nine home runs for Montreal's triple A affiliate, the Wichita Aeros, earned him a minor league deal & invite to Spring training from the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he failed to make the club, and was released. Shortly afterwards, he signed with the Detroit Tigers, and spent the 1984 season catching for their triple A team in Evansville.

He then signed with the Cleveland Indians organization, who decided to go into the 1985 season with three catchers (Benton, Jerry Willard & Chris Bando). On April 27, about six and a half years after his major league debut, Benton garnered his first extra-base hit, an RBI double off Scott McGregor. Later in the same inning, Benton got a single & second RBI off Tippy Martinez.[7] For the month, Benton batted .250 with three RBIs. Meanwhile, Willard & Bando combined to go 5-for-50 with two RBIs in April. With Willard out for the entire month of May with an injury, Benton saw his first real opportunity to earn a starting job. However, after going 2-for-3 with an RBI against the Texas Rangers on May 4,[8] Benton went 5-for-40 over the rest of the month. Shortly after Willard returned, Benton was demoted to triple A, where he remained for the duration of the season. The Indians released him in February 1986.

Career statistics

Games PA AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO HBP Avg. Slg. Fld% CS%
51 109 99 6 16 4 0 0 10 5 14 2 .162 .202 .959 28%

Benton played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1990. His team won the championship in the league's only full year of existence,[9] which may have prompted Benton's attempted comeback in 1991 at age 33 with the Toledo Mud Hens. He batted just .133 in nine games with the Tigers affiliate, and was subsequently released, and retired from baseball.

Personal life

Benton's wife is the former Linn Abshier. They married in 1996, and reside in Ocala, Florida. They have nine children and many grandchildren. Benton has been a PGA golfer since 2007, and is the General Manager at Red Tail Golf Club in Central Florida. He is a member of the MLBPAA and attends charity events along with other retired MLB players.[10]

References

  1. ^ "New York Mets 7, Montreal Expos 6". Baseball-Reference.com. September 14, 1978.
  2. ^ "Chicago Cubs 5, New York Mets 4". Baseball-Reference.com. September 29, 1978.
  3. ^ "Chicago Cubs 7, New York Mets 5". Baseball-Reference.com. September 30, 1978.
  4. ^ "New York Mets 5, Chicago Cubs 3". Baseball-Reference.com. October 1, 1978.
  5. ^ Durso, Joseph (April 7, 1981). "Mets Deal Bomback, Glynn & Benton". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "New York Mets 5, Chicago Cubs 2". Baseball-Reference.com. September 22, 1982.
  7. ^ "Cleveland Indians 10, Baltimore Orioles 4". Baseball-Reference.com. April 27, 1985.
  8. ^ "Cleveland Indians 3, Texas Rangers 1". Baseball-Reference.com. May 4, 1985.
  9. ^ "Rays celebrate 'Turn Back the Clock' and honor the 1990 Senior League (SPBA) champions, St. Petersburg Pelicans". MLB.com. June 19, 2008.
  10. ^ Henry, Jim (June 8, 2016). "Godby's Butch Benton set history in 1975". Tallahassee Democrat.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 October 2019, at 13:42
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