I saw a news blurb today that Marvin Benard has signed a minor league deal with the Chisox. I was surprised to see that Marvin is 34 years old already. He came up with the Giants in 1995, a 5'9" 50th round draft pick, born in Nicaragua with the middle name Larry. Gotta love it. Well, how quickly time flies.

When he was at his peak in '98-'99, filling in for Stan "The Monobrow Man" Javier, winning the starting job, hitting .300 with good pop and stealing bases (his 1999 numbers: 16 HRs, 55 BBs, 27 Sbs, .359 OBP, .457 SLG in 560 ABs), he was for a time my favorite Giant. He was a Fightin' Hydrant. I wanted a BENARD 7 jersey but couldn't find one. I was also at the game in July 2000 (I think it was) when he hit a home run in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Dodgers on a Sunday night, one of the most exciting games I've ever seen. (I was also at the extra-inning game in Apr. 2003 against the 'giz when he threw out Todd Hundley at 3rd base in the top of the 12th then doubled in the winning run in the bottom...I always seem to be there for Marvin.)

I hope he catches on with the White Sox, has a few more heroic moments and remains one of Nicaragua's greatest sports heroes. (El Vice-Presidente, perhaps?). Sure, I booed him when his defense sucked and when he swung and missed at eye-high fastballs, but I want him to know I appreciate the good times. I hope you do, too.


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