Monday, January 27, 2014

Player Profile: Bruce Benedict

I have 34 cards of Bruce Benedict. This one is from 1985 Fleer.

Playing career: Catcher Bruce Benedict played in twelve seasons for the Braves. He was an excellent defensive catcher with a mediocre bat. He only hit over .260 in two of those seasons, but both years he was an All Star, an indication of how highly regarded a catcher he was. A fuller account of his career can be found at the 1986 Topps Blog.

Where he is now: He is a Cardinals scout and also operates the Bruce Benedict Baseball Academy in Dunwoody, GA. Since his playing days he has worked as a college basketball referee in the off-season, including Division I games for the past 25 years. He most recently did Vanderbilt’s 66-55 win at Texas A&M on Saturday.

My memories: I remember him as part of the lousy Braves teams that were always on TV in the late 80s. Other than the Yankees and Mets, the Braves were the only team regularly on TV (on TBS) at that time, except for a couple of years with WGBH (Red Sox) and WGN (Cubs/White Sox). Turns out he was actually pretty good, especially defensively.

Interesting facts: His son Griffin Benedict played two seasons in the major leagues and is now the Padres’ bullpen catcher.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Bruce Bene, ahead of Bruce Benenson, owner of Benenson Capital Partners. Another prominent Bruce Benedict is a photographer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Brian Benefield.

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