Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al Benton
John Alton Benton (March 18, 1911 - April 14, 1968) was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who played with the Philadelphia Athletics (1934-35), Detroit Tigers (1938-42, 1945-48), Cleveland Indians (1949-50) and Boston Red Sox (1952).
In 1940 he compiled a 6-10 record with 17 saves, and in 1941 he went 15-6 with a 2.97 ERA in 38 games. He completed seven of 14 starts and got seven saves. Despite his 7-13 mark a year later, his ERA was 2.90 with career-highs in starts (30) and innings pitched (226.2). Then, he compiled a good season in 1945 with 13-8, a career-low 2.02 ERA, five shutouts, and 12 complete games in 191.2 innings. The rest of his career he worked basically as a setup man or as an emergency starter.
A two-time All-Star (1941-42), Benton compiled a career 98-88 record with 697 strikeouts and a 3.36 ERA in 1688.1 innings. He died in a motel explosion in Lynwood, California, at the age of 57.

Facts

Benton is the only pitcher to face both Babe Ruth (in 1934) and Mickey Mantle (in 1952) (Bobo Newsom active - but never actually faced Mantle)
He is the only player ever to have two sacrifice bunts in the same inning (against the Indians, August 6, 1941)

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