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1988 Fleer Superstar Specials – Card #630 – Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks, Todd Benzinger

1988 Fleer Superstar Specials – Card #630 – Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks, Todd Benzinger

“Changing The Guard In Boston”

While Boston Red Sox fans lamented the poor performance of their defending AL Champions, they were encouraged by the solid and spirited play of some of their new players.  In a year that produced a bumper crop of American League rookie sensations, the Red Sox were proud to call three of them their own.

Mike Greenwell played in 125 games, alternating between left field, right field, and designated hitter.  He batted an impressive .328.  Even more impressive were his production numbers.  He had 31 doubles, 19 home runs, and 89 RBI’s, eight of them being game-winners.

Ellis Burks played in 133 games and added spark both at the plate and in the field.  He provided an excellent balance of power and speed.  He smacked 20 home runs, ripped 30 doubles, scored 94 runs and stole 27 bases.  He appears to be the Red Sox’ center fielder of the future.

Todd Benzinger, a switch-hitter, appeared in 73 games and he added punch to the Boston lineup.  He had eight home runs, 43 RBI’s, and 11 doubles.

1991 Upper Deck Baseball – Pack Break #1

I bring you the first of six packs of 1991 Upper Deck baseball cards that I ripped through this morning…

Notable – Todd Hundley, Mark Lemke, Todd Benzinger, Gary Gaetti – Twins Checklist, Dennis Martinez.

Pick Of The Pack – This was a toss-up between Cecil Fielder and Tony Gwynn.  The vote has to go to Gwynn for his HOF resume, but ‘Big Daddy’ was awesome in the early 90’s!!


What Ever Happened To Todd Benzinger???

Like many rookies that the Boston Red Sox added to their roster in the late 80’s, Todd Benzinger had a large weight placed on his shoulders early in his career.  At the time, the Red Sox were stacked with offensive talent but were unable to reach successful results in the wins column.  Benzinger was brought in to take over at first base and once inserted into the starting line-up he was a mainstay for the remainder of his rookie year.  During that first season, Todd batted a respectable .278 while hitting 8 home runs and collecting 43 RBI.

Unfortunately because the Red Sox had not found the recipe for winning that they craved and Benzinger was traded after just 1 1/2 seasons with the team.  This turned out to be a nice change for Todd as he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds(a team he called his ‘home team’ as a child) and he became their full-time first baseman.  In 1990, Todd’s second year with the team, the Reds won the World Series in 4 games as they shocked the baseball world by defeating the powerful Oakland A’s.

Soon after, Benzinger became a player used as a tool to create equal trades due to his salary.  From Cincinnati he went to the Royals and then to the Dodgers and then he signed with the Giants and finally he signed with the Yankees.  In 3 short years, Benzinger played for 4 different teams and was unable to establish himself as an every day player.  Todd Benzinger retired from baseball in 1995 after being cut from the Yankees AAA minor league team.

Today, Todd Benzinger is the manager of the Dayton Dragons, an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.  He will make his managerial debut when the 2009 season kicks off.  Todd has been quoted as saying : “I’ve been a Reds fan all my life. I want to make sure all the (players) know this is a winning culture, a winning organization.”