Wednesday, July 26, 2006

July 26th, 1977

Joaquin Benoit Born

I know--and I don't say this to brag, merely as an observation--a lot about baseball. I spend way too much time, thinking about it, watching it, listening to it, reading about it and probably some other "verb-ing it" combinations I've forgotten. As much as I know, though, I'm always a little stunned (and perhaps disappointed) by how much I don't know. Obviously there are some not-so-good old time ballplayers of whom I have never heard--as an example, born today in 1894 was Larry Woodall who played every year of the 1920s for the Tigers, hit .268 and faded into obscurity--but even modern players tend to escape me.

Such is the case of Joaquin Benoit. He came into yesterday's Yankee game and while I knew the name, I couldn't really say anything about him. Was he a started converted to a reliever? A flamed out prospect? Had he been with Texas his whole career, or traded at some point? This wasn't exactly a difficult thing to discover, Benoit had indeed been with Texas his whole career, and he’s bounced back-and-forth between starting and relieving most of his career though he's pitched exclusively from the pen this year. Benoit was signed as an amateur free agent in 1996 when he was just eighteen and reached the Majors five years later, making his status as a hot-shot prospect unlikely.

The internet has made this sort of information incredibly easy to find, but every Joaquin Benoit (and Larry Woodall) reminds me that for all I know about baseball, there's ten times as much I don't know.

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