Diamond in the rough
When Dusty Baker tours the minor league camp, he doesn’t just look at the players he’s heard about.
“They’re the ones who were high picks and got a lot of money.”
He looks for diamonds in the rough. He found one in Marvin Benard when Baker was managing in San Francisco.
“I couldn’t even see him in the cage. I just heard the sound of the bat,” Baker said. “I said, ‘Who’s that kid?’ They said he’s a 50th-round draft choice. He’s a filler. I don’t go for that. I said, ‘What’s your name, son?’ “Marvin L. Benard, sir. You know what initials are? MLB. I was meant to play baseball.’ From that day on, he was MLB.”
Benard went on to play nine seasons in the big leagues and hit .271.