The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 12, 2011

Benson to headline festivities at PL All-Star game

Former MLB pitcher will impart wisdom

BECKLEY — Kris Benson doesn’t get to pay much attention to professional sports these days. He’s in the process of starting his own business, and has a 1-year-old son with which he is spending time.

But, he is aware of what is going on in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates, with whom Benson started a 10-year major league career in 1999, are one game out of first place in the National League Central and have their best record at the All-Star break in 19 years. One of the key members is second baseman Neil Walker, a Pittsburgh native who Benson got to know well during his days in the Steel City.

Benson can relate to the likes of Walker, a young player trying to establish himself in the big leagues. But he also knows what it’s like to be in the shoes of the 54 players who will be in Beckley Wednesday for the Prospect League All-Star game.

The right-hander will be the guest speaker at a noon banquet for players, coaches and team personnel. The all-stars are among the top college prospects in the nation, and advice is likely coming at them from every direction.

“I would tell them to take one or two things from what every person tells them,” Benson said in a recent phone interview. “There is a lot of bad information out there, unfortunately.”

Benson pitched 11 years in the big leagues for Pittsburgh, the New York Mets, Baltimore, Texas and Arizona. He finished with a career record of 70-75 and 4.42 earned run average, and had 806 strikeouts.

The Pirates made Benson the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 first-year players draft after a huge college career at Clemson University. He was college baseball’s player of the year that spring, one year after going 14-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 142 innings.

Benson was on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that won bronze in Atlanta, the city he now calls home.

West Virginia Miners pitching coach Jeff Wallace was a teammate of Benson in Pittsburgh. Benson will sign autographs during the home run derby that will start at 5:30 p.m., then throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the 7:05 p.m. game.

Gates will open for the home run derby at 5 p.m. Fans must have a game ticket to watch the derby.

Five players from each team will participate. There will be two rounds of 10 outs, from which two finalists will be pared. They will each get five pitches to determine a champion.

Miners shortstop Zach Tanner, who leads the league with seven homers, is the only confirmed participant.

Ticket prices are $10 for chairback seats and $7 for bleacher seats. They can be purchased by calling 304-252-7233 or online at www.wvminersbaseball.com, or by going to the stadium at 200 Stadium Drive, off Ragland Road.

— E-mail: gfauber@

register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • cato Word is out on Marshall's Cato

    Rakeem Cato is easily the face of Marshall football, carrying the Thundering Herd into a season heaped with expectations.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bush Bush making Saints look good

    For his first four seasons, Rafael Bush was simply looking to land on a roster — any roster.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice, not temps, heats up for Saints
    The temperatures may have only been in the low 70s Tuesday afternoon at the Saints new practice facility at The Greenbrier, but now a third of the way into the 15 practices, it’s clear that the heat has turned up with playing time and positions on the line.
     

    July 30, 2014

  • Bowles has a support system
    Corey Bowles knows a thing or two about being successful at sports.

    July 30, 2014

  • Terre Haute hands Miners 2-1 loss in 11 innings

    Ryan Sabo singled home Clayton Smithson in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Rex to the win and put the West Virginia Miners’ postseason hopes in serious jeopardy.

    July 30, 2014

  • WVU’s Smallwood waives preliminary hearing

    West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, arrested on a felony charge of witness intimidation in a first-degree murder case, waived his preliminary hearing Monday, his case now being moved to Superior Court, where more serious crimes are argued, according to The News Journal.

    July 29, 2014

  • Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 29, 2014

  • After years of drama, Redskins enjoy a calm camp

    The Washington Redskins are the team that gave us Michael Westbrook punching Stephen Davis, Dan Snyder landing his helicopter during practices, Albert Haynesworth turning the conditioning test into a sideshow and Mike Shanahan using the podium to remind everyone that he was Robert Griffin III's boss.

    July 29, 2014

  • ingram Run game a point of emphasis for Saints as camp continues

    The New Orleans Saints did a lot of things right in 2013.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • gibson Gibson gets a different perspective at Greenbrier

    Tony Gibson is no stranger to a football sideline.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp