Monday, February 24, 2014

Player Profile: Juan Berenguer

I have 55 cards of Juan Berenguer. This one is from 1985 Fleer.

Playing career: Juan Berenguer pitched fifteen years in the major leagues. His career started out roughly. From 1978 to 1980 he appeared in sixteen games with the Mets and put up a 4.75 ERA. In 1981 he split the strike-shortened season between Kansas City and Toronto, leading the American League in losses, going 2-13. However, he found success in Detroit, where he was the fourth starter on the 1984 World Champion team. He struggled in 1985, however, and was traded to the Giants, who put him in the bullpen, where he found greater success. He was a key bullpen piece for the World Champion 1987 Twins and saved 17 games in 1991 for the Braves, helping lead them in their surprise move from last place to first. He was known as “Senor Smoke” for his blazing fastball, and his lack of other pitches helps explain why he was a more effective reliever than starter.

Interesting facts: In the mid-1980s every sports champion had to release a music video. After the Twins won the 1987 World Series, the “Berenguer Boogie” was filmed and released.

His son Chris Berenguer played pro hockey in the Flyers and Devils organizations. His nephew Uri Berenguer-Ramos is a play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox.

My memories: I don’t remember the “Berenguer Boogie” but I do remember him being a solid middle reliever for many years.

Where he is now: Sales Consultant at Freeway Ford in Bloomington, MN.

Google Autocomplete results: He is eighth when you type Juan Be, between Juan Bernat, a Spanish soccer player, and Juan Beltre, a graphic designer. Another prominent Juan Berenguer is an insurance agent in Miami.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bruce Berenyi.

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