Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1976 Topps #496 - Juan Beniquez

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  • Juan Beniquez was an outfielder for eight teams from 1971-1988. Beniquez was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1968. Juan played in the minors for all or part of each season from 1968-1973. He was brought up to the Red Sox for short stints in 1971 (.298 in 57 at bats) and in 1972 (.242 in 99 at bats). Juan was a shortstop when he first came up but he struggled in the field. Beniquez set a record by committing six errors in two games in 1971. 
  • Beniquez came to the majors to stay in 1974. He spent most of his time in centerfield and batted .267 with 19 stolen bases in 106 games. The Red Sox outfield situation became quite crowded when Fred Lynn and Jim Rice came up in 1975. Juan batted .291 in 78 games during the regular season and batted .250 in the ALCS and .125 in the World Series. After the 1975 season Beniquez was traded with Steve Barr and Craig Skok to the Texas Rangers for Fergie Jenkins.
  • Beniquez was the starting center fielder for the Rangers from 1976 to 1978. He batted .255 in 145 games in 1976 and .269 in 123 games in 1977. Juan also won a Gold Glove in 1977. Beniquez batted .260 with a career-high 11 home runs in 1978. After the 1978 season Juan was traded (with Dave Righetti among others) to the New York Yankees as part of a package that sent Sparky Lyle to the Rangers.
  • Juan was an extra outfielder for the Yankees in 1979 and batted .254 in 142 at bats. After the 1979 season Beniquez was shipped to the Seattle Mariners in a large multi-player trade that got the Yankees Ruppert Jones.
  • Beniquez spent the 1980 season with the Mariners. He hurt his shoulder in spring training and never got untracked, batting .228 in 70 games. Juan was suspended for five games in early September by manager Maury Wills for ignoring a request to pinch hit and a lot of the players agreed with the suspension. After the 1980 season Juan became a free agent and signed with the California Angels.
  • Beniquez didn't do a whole lot in 1981, batting .181 in 58 games. He started to improve in 1982 when he batted .265 in 112 games. Juan appeared in two games of the ALCS as a defensive replacement.
  • Juan entered the most productive part of his career in 1983, batting .305 in 92 games. He did even better in 1984 when he batted .336 in 110 games. Juan's last season in California was in 1985 and he batted .304 in 132 games. After the 1985 season Beniquez became a free agent and signed with the Baltimore Orioles. There were problems in the negotiations between the Angels and Juan and he ended up signing with the Orioles for less  money than the Angels offered.
  • Beniquez spent one season (1986) in Baltimore and batted .300 in 113 games. After the 1986 season Juan was traded to the Kansas City Royals for two  minor leaguers.
  • Juan was with Kansas City for the first part of the 1987 season (.236 in 57 games). On July 14 he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Luis Aquino. Juan batted .284 in 39 games for the Blue Jays to finish the 1987 season. In 1988 Beniquez batted .293 in 27 games. He was released by the Blue Jays on May 31.
  • Juan played in the Senior League in 1989. He played in the winter league in Puerto Rico in four decades (60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s).
  • Liked to face: Jamie Easterly (.636 in 11 AB); Grant Jackson (.583 in 12 AB); Mike Mason (.563 in 16 AB)
  • Hated to face: Bart Johnson/Clyde Wright (.067 in 15 AB); Charlie Hough (.071 in 14 AB); Ed Figueroa (.105 in 19 AB)

1 comment:

  1. One of the great airbrushed cards of the '76 set. It looks like he's wearing a uniform made up of one of those cut-out doll patterns.

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