Todd Benzinger (49) -Product of New Richmond H.S. who's best remembered for recording the final out of the 1990 World Series. After his playing days he coached basketball and managed the Dayton Dragons for a couple of years.
Sammy Ellis (71) -For the first third of his career it looked like he was going to be something special, but it never quite happened for him. In 1965 he won 22 games while leading the league in earned runs allowed- an odd combination.
Willie Smith -Came up as a pitcher but was switched to the outfield at the major league level. Remembered fondly by Cubs fans for his game-winning walk-off homer on opening day of 1969.
Ben Oglivie (63) -I didn't know until this year that I'd always spelled his name wrong; I could have sworn it was "Ogilvie". Anyway, Ben was a unique character. Bill Lee writes about how because he was from Latin America (Panama), players and coaches would talk to him in pidgin English, loudly and with hand gestures, when in point of fact he was a highly intellegent guy who studied Zen Buddhism and could do the New York Times crossword puzzle in about five minutes.
Ollie Brown (68) -Just an OK player, but he had two things going for him: his ultrahip nickname of "Downtown Ollie Brown", and his magnificent throwing arm. He used to entertain the crowds during pregame warmups by throwing on the fly from the right field corner to third base.
Jimmy Ryan -Star of the 1800s, mostly in Chicago; an outfielder who occasionally took the mound. In 1888 he became the only player to hit for the cycle in a game in which he also pitched. I expect that record to stand for a while. Also displayed a disturbing tendency to punch civilians who got crossways with him; at least two reporters and a train conductor.
Re: Birthdays: 2/11
The first time I ever heard the term 4A player, it was in a description of Willie Smith. To this day, whenever that term is used on here or elsewhere, Willie Smith is the name that comes to mind.
Re: Birthdays: 2/11
After retiring, Ellis was a pitching coach for 12 seasons in the major leagues for 6 different teams. They were: Yankees 1982-84, 1986; White Sox 1989-91; Cubs 1992; Mariners 1993-94; Red Sox 1996; Orioles 2000.
Originally Posted by chicoruiz