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Routine Moments in Baseball History: July 21, 1983

Bruce Benedict doesn't get a hit.
Photo via Flickr user Curtis Cronn

Welcome to Routine Moments in Baseball History, a running weekday feature that will take a look back at plays that have been ignored by the history books because history books only talk about things that are important or interesting. Today's installment is "Bruce Benedict Grounds Out to Short." 

On July 21, 1983, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Braves in Atlanta, 10-6, in the sweltering Southern heat before 29,000-odd fans who got to see an exciting, back-and-forth contest. The home team scored twice in the opening frame and the visitors went down in order before Bruce Benedict came up to bat to lead off the bottom of the second.

Benedict was pretty good that year—he'd wind up batting .298 with a .385 on-base percentage, and though he didn't have much power (he hit only two home runs all season), he was one of the best fielding catchers in the National League and got to take a trip to the All-Star Game. In photos from that era he looks like a catcher, somehow: square head, wide face, expression locked perpetually in the slight grimace of a man who's spent a good portion of his life squatting over home plate. Besides the All-Star Game appearance (the second and last of his career), he was known for being one of the players who got given a punny nickname by Chris Berman, who dubbed him "Bruce Eggs Benedict," a monicker that seems pointlessly and childishly mean in the way of schoolyard insults. Ha ha eat any eggs today, Benedict? (A couple years later ESPN, probably concerned about the dignity of its baseball broadcasts or whatever, would tell the excitable announcer to stop it with the nicknames.)

Anyway, Benedict wouldn't do much in that at-bat. He chopped the ball to the Phillies' shortstop, Ivan de Jesus, who promptly tossed the ball to Pete Rose at first and got him out.

This has been Routine Moments in Baseball History. Follow Harry Cheadle on Twitter.