|Catcher / Outfielder|
April 7, 1977 |
|September 1, 1999, for the Colorado Rockies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2003, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||94|
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 has been a consultant for the Hillsboro Hops, a minor-league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, helping the team's young players acclimatize to life as a professional baseball player.
Petrick, who was born in Salem, Oregon, was a highly accomplished athlete while attending Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, Oregon. He played football, basketball and baseball. He was recruited to play college football as a safety. He ultimately signed a letter of intent to play college baseball for Arizona State. Petrick opted to enter the Colorado Rockies' farm system when they drafted him in the second round (38th overall) of the 1995 amateur draft.
His first season in the minors was for the single-A Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League in 1996. 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. 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.
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. In 2000, he hit .322 in 52 games for the major league club. 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. 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.
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. 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. At one point he stated that his symptoms were due to Lyme disease, but he has since returned to discussing Parkinson's as their cause.
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.
- "When life gets shaken up" Archived March 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. by Jason Vondersmith, from The Portland Tribune
- Petrick, Ben; Brown, Scott (2012). Forty Thousand to One. BookBaby. ISBN 9781620955512. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
- "Ben Petrick". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Ben Petrick Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- Saunders, Patrick (August 19, 2012). "Former Rockies' catcher Ben Petrick refuses to let Parkinson's disease defeat him". The Denver Post.
- "Hillsboro Hops Announce 2013 Coaching Staff". Minor League Baseball. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Faith In The Game at Tumblr
- "Petrick's battles are off the field now" by Norm Maves Jr., from The Oregonian
- "Under Our Skin" a film from Andy Wilson and Open Eye Pictures
- Strength From Weakness - ESPN E:60