Over time, left-handed pitchers have acquired the stereotype of being an eccentric bunch. From quirky exploits on the field to adventures off the field, southpaws are a breed unto themselves. One of the best was Dennis Bennett, who sadly passed away last year.
Bennett signed with the Philadelphia Phillies out of Shasta Junior College (California) in 1958. He pitched well in the minors, but saw his 1961 season cut short because of an ill-conceived somersault race. Fortunately, he was able to recover and made his MLB debut with the Phillies the following year, winning nine games for the seventh place team.
A tragic car accident in the winter of 1963 in Puerto Rico nearly ended Bennett’s career and his life. Remarkably, he recovered in time to assume his place in the Phillies’ rotation by late June of that year, and finished 9-5 with a 2.64 ERA. (more…)