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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mike Benjamin, Phoenix Firebirds - 549

Check out the revisited Mike Benjamin post: Realistic Record, 5/19/11

By the time Mike Benjamin hit the 1990 CMC set, he had already seen 14 major league games with the Giants. By the time his major league career was over, he would see a good 800 or so more. Mike Benjamin is our first bona fide major leaguer. He is also our first bona fide successful little league coach.

Benjamin was drafted out of Arizona State by the Giants in the third round of the 1987 draft. It took him less than a year to get to the Giants' AAA club in Phoenix and two years to get a taste of the big leagues.

Baseball-Reference's Bullpen describes Benjamin as a "prototypical good field, no-hit" player, meaning he had a good glove, but a bad bat. He mainly played shortstop and third base, but he was game for nearly any position. In 1997, with the Red Sox, he even pitched an inning, giving up no runs and no hits.

Benjamin played for the Giants, Phillies, Red Sox and Pirates over 13 major league seasons. He topped 100 games played three times, twice for the Pirates. He played in 817 major league games, getting more than 2,100 plate appearances, garnering a career batting average of .229.

The year after his final major league season, Benjamin turned coach, to his son. He coached his son's little league team all the way to the 2003 Little League World Series, losing in the quarterfinals.

These days, Benjamin is returning to Arizona State, this time as a coach. He was named in December to the 2010 Sun Devils' staff.

1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 18/880
Major Leaguers: 8
Never Made the Majors: 10
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 3
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 7

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