Ben Petrick

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Ben Petrick
Catcher / Outfielder
Born: (1977-04-07) April 7, 1977 (age 37)
Salem, Oregon
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 1, 1999 for the Colorado Rockies
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2003 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
Batting average .257
Home runs 27
Runs batted in 94
Teams

Benjamin Wayne Petrick (born April 7, 1977) is a former Major League Baseball player. A native of Oregon, he grew-up in Hillsboro, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. After reaching the Majors, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and retired in 2004 and returned to Hillsboro to coach at his old high school. As of 2013 he is a consultant for the Hillsboro Hops, helping the team's young players acclimatize to life as a professional baseball player.

Early life[edit]

Petrick, who was born in Salem, Oregon, was a highly accomplished athlete while attending Glencoe High School[1] in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was recruited heavily to play both football and baseball, and ended up going straight into the Colorado Rockies' farm system when they drafted him in the second round (38th overall) of the 1995 amateur entry draft.[2]

Minor leagues[edit]

His first season in the minors was for the single-A Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League in 1996.[3] The next season he spent with the high-A Salem Avalanche, and for the 1998 season he was promoted to the AA New Haven Ravens.[3] Petrick then played for the AA Carolina Mudcats to start the 1999 season before being promoted to the Rockies' AAA affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox after 20 games.[3]

Major Leagues[edit]

He was called up to the Colorado Rockies for the first time in 1999 and hit .323 with 4 home runs in only 62 at-bats.[2] In 2000, he hit .322 in 52 games for the major league club.[2] However, he soon experienced a dramatic drop off in production, hitting only .238 in 85 games in 2001. On July 13, 2003, Petrick was acquired by the Detroit Tigers from Colorado in exchange for pitcher Adam Bernero.[2] After an unsuccessful stint with the Tigers, Petrick was released. He attempted a brief comeback with the AAA Portland Beavers and the Toledo Mud Hens, and then retired.[3]

Later life[edit]

In May 2004, when Petrick announced his retirement from baseball, he disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after the 1999 season.[4] He revealed that as time went on, it had become clear that despite the medication and treatment he was receiving, the effects of Parkinson's would no longer allow him to play baseball at a high level. Even though he received the diagnosis, he later found out it was late stage chronic lyme disease.

Petrick did numerous interviews and spoke publicly about his story at various events and fundraisers in order to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease. His father Vern (former athletic director at Glencoe) also suffers from Parkinson's. Ben Petrick now coaches baseball and football at Glencoe.

Petrick is married to Kellie Starkey; they have two daughters.[5] Petrick's aunt is Connie Ballmer, wife of Microsoft CEO and billionaire Steve Ballmer.

Petrick and Scott Brown have written a book called 40,000 to One (ISBN 0615583458), a collection of short stories from his life; they also have a blog at tumblr called Faith In the Game.

In January 2013, the Hillsboro Hops announced that Petrick would join the Hops coaching staff as a consultant, assisting team "acclimating to life as a professional baseball player."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "When life gets shaken up" by Jason Vondersmith, from The Portland Tribune
  2. ^ a b c d "Ben Petrick". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Ben Petrick Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  4. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1806520
  5. ^ Saunders, Patrick (August 19, 2012). "Former Rockies' catcher Ben Petrick refuses to let Parkinson's disease defeat him". The Denver Post. 
  6. ^ "Hillsboro Hops Announce 2013 Coaching Staff". Minor League Baseball. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 

External links[edit]