August 18, 1955 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|August 18, 1978 for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 11, 1989 for the Atlanta Braves|
|Career highlights and awards|
Bruce Edwin Benedict (born August 18, 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama) is an American former professional baseball player, coach and scout. He played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Atlanta Braves from 1978 to 1989.
Major League career
Benedict attended college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 5th round of the 1976 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his major league debut on August 18, 1978, his 23rd birthday.
In 1982, Benedict led National League catchers with a .993 fielding percentage, as the Braves won the National League Western Division title. The highlight of Benedict's season came in a regular season game when he set an MLB record by throwing out 3 baserunners in one inning. In his only post-season appearance, the Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1982 National League Championship Series.
In 1983, Benedict had a batting average well over .300 in the middle of June, to earn a place as a reserve player for the National League in the 1983 All-Star Game. He ended the season with a career-high batting average of .298 with two home runs, 43 runs batted in and a .992 fielding percentage, second only to Gary Carter among National League catchers.
Benedict's batting average fell to .223 with only 25 RBIs in 1984 and, he was replaced by Rick Cerone in 1985, as the Braves sought more offense from the catcher's position. He continued to work as a back up catcher to Ozzie Virgil from 1986 to 1988 and then to Jody Davis in 1989. He retired after the 1989 season having spent his entire career with the Braves.
In 1986 the Braves hosted a "Bruce Eggs Benedict" Night in which patrons could purchase eggs benedict at the concession stand on a commemorative Bruce Benedict plastic plate. First baseman Bob Horner consumed a dozen servings in the locker room after the game. Despite the popularity, the one-time stunt was never held again.
In a 12 year career, Benedict played in 982 games, accumulating 696 hits in 2878 at bats for a .242 career batting average along with 18 home runs and 260 runs batted in. While he was a light-hitting player, he had good defensive abilities, ending his career with a .990 fielding percentage. A two-time All-Star, Benedict's value to the Braves was as a defensive catcher; his development enabled the Braves to find another position for Dale Murphy, who would have his greatest seasons as an outfielder and, subsequently, the Braves became National League contenders. He never played a position other than catcher during his entire major league career. The Fulton County Stadium crowd would commonly chant "BRUUUCE" whenever Benedict came up to bat at home, perhaps giving the impression that he was being booed. Benedict's nickname is "Eggs", as in Eggs Benedict.
Coaching and scouting career
Since retiring as a player, Benedict has served several positions in the New York Mets organization. He managed in the Mets minor-league system, then became an advance scout for the major-league team. He resigned his position in 2006. He then scouted for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Benedict also serves as a college basketball official in the NCAA's Division I. He is currently an Atlanta-based scout for the Chicago White Sox and operates the Bruce Benedict Baseball Academy.
- "Bruce Benedict". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1976 Major League Baseball Draft". thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1981 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1981 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1982 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1982 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1982 National League Championship Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1983 Bruce Benedict Batting Log". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- "1983 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "1983 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "Bruce Benedict Minor league manager record". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Noble, Marty (2006-04-16). "Mets Notes". mlb.com. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- Diamos, Jason (1999-02-07). "Mets Coach Moonlights By Changing His Stripes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "The Bruce Benedict Baseball Academy". Mainebytes.net. Retrieved 18 October 2010.