Benny Agbayani

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Benny Agbayani
Benny Agbayani.jpg
Outfielder
Born: (1971-12-28) December 28, 1971 (age 42)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 17, 1998 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 2002 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average .274
Home runs 39
Runs batted in 156
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Benny Peter Agbayani, Jr. (/æɡbˈɑːni/; born December 28, 1971 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a retired professional baseball player. Born in Hawaii to Filipino and Samoan parents,[1] he attended Saint Louis School and Hawaii Pacific University. He also attended the Oregon Institute of Technology. He formerly played with the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox.

Minor leagues[edit]

He was originally drafted by the California Angels but did not sign. Agbayani was later drafted in the 30th round by the New York Mets on June 3, 1993. He became a local star at the Triple-A minor league team, the Norfolk Tides. He has since been part of the Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, and Kansas City Royals organizations. He last played for the Chiba Lotte Marines in the Japanese Pacific League.

New York Mets[edit]

Agbayani made his major league debut with the New York Mets on June 17, 1998, as part of an 8th-inning double-switch in which he defensively replaced center fielder Butch Huskey during a 5-4 loss to the Montreal Expos. He made his first start and picked up his first big league hit on June 19. Agbayani led off the bottom of the first inning by singling to second base off Florida Marlins pitcher Brian Meadows.

His 11 home runs prior to the All Star break in 1999 tie him with Ike Davis (2010) for the second-most by a Mets rookie, behind Ron Swoboda (15, in 1965).[2]

On August 12, 2000 while a member of the Mets, Agbayani was involved in a particularly memorable play. In the fourth inning, with the Mets leading 1-0, the Giants loaded the bases after a double, an error, and a hit batsman. With one out, Giants catcher Bobby Estalella hit a fly pop to Agbayani in left field. Agbayani, thinking that the catch made three outs, gave the ball to a child in the stands and began to trot toward the dugout. It took him a moment to realize his mistake, but once he did, he sprinted back to the stands, pulled the ball from the hands of the young fan he had given it to, and fired a throw toward home plate. Unfortunately for Agbayani, once the ball left the field, the play was dead, and all three runners were awarded two bases—causing Jeff Kent and Ellis Burks to score, and the Giants to take the lead, 2-1. The Mets went on to win the game, 3-2, and Agbayani gave another ball to the fan who had given the previous one back.[3]

Agbayani is also fondly remembered by Mets fans for two clutch home runs hit during the 2000 season, earning him the nickname "Hawaiian Punch" (after the popular fruit drink). On March 30, his 11th inning grand slam against the Chicago Cubs gave the Mets their first win of the season, and a split in the two-game series the Mets and Cubs played in Tokyo, Japan. (It remains the only regular-season MLB grand slam ever hit in Japan.) Later that year, on October 7, he hit a game-winning home run in the 13th inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series against Aaron Fultz of the Giants. Agbayani also drove in the winning run in the only game the Mets won in the 2000 World Series.

Colorado Rockies[edit]

On January 21, 2002, Agbayani was part of a 10-player, three-team trade between the Mets, Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers, that sent him from New York to Colorado. He struggled in 48 games with the Rockies, hitting .205 with four home runs and 19 RBI before he was placed on waivers in late August.

Boston Red Sox[edit]

The Boston Red Sox selected Agbayani off waivers from the Rockies on August 26, 2002, as the club made a drive for the playoffs. He played relatively well down the stretch, hitting .297 and driving in eight runs in 37 at-bats over 13 games with Boston. In his final MLB game, September 29, Agbayani went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout as the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park.

Nippon Professional Baseball[edit]

On October 26, 2005, Agbayani and the Chiba Lotte Marines swept the Hanshin Tigers in 4 games during the Japan Series. This was the Marines' first title in 31 years. On November 13, 2005, they won the inaugural Asia Series after defeating the champions of South Korea, China, and Taiwan. They defeated the Samsung Lions in the championship and Agbayani was named MVP of the series. Agbayani's manager with Chiba Lotte was his manager with the Mets, Bobby Valentine.

Career and achievements[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Benny Agbayani - Biography". Imdb.com. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ Doug Miller. "Surging Niese squares off with Zito". MLB.com. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Retrosheet Boxscore: New York Mets 3, San Francisco Giants 2". Retrosheet.org. August 12, 2000. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 

External links[edit]