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.


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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