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This past week we took an impromptu road trip to Kodak, Tennessee, when we realized that Ryan Minor (class of 2002) and Al Benjamin (class of 2003) would be playing each other on opposing teams there!  Ryan is pitching for the Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers AA) and Al is playing outfield for the Tennessee Smokies (Cardinals AA).  We took in the night game on June 18 (when Ryan pitched in relief) and the day game on June 19 (when Al pinch hit).



Ryan was on the 2002 Championship Newark Bears team, and played third base.  This season, after hooking up with the Los Angeles Dodgers system, they asked him to convert to pitcher(!).  He quickly ascended from the Vero Beach Dodgers (A) to the Jacksonville Suns (AA), and has been steadily accumulating innings pitched, with an ERA currently (June 21) just over 2.0.  Ryan is wearing number 54 for the Suns.



Ryan Minor's career MLB statistics

Ryan's 2003 statistics

Al was with the Bears earlier this season as an outfielder.  In early June he was traded to the Camden Riversharks, where he played just 5 games over a 4-day period before being picked up by the Smokies.  Still wearing number 25, he was playing in his first home games as a Smoky when we saw him.  He saw our Bears caps from across the field and shot over to us with a big smile (like the one in the photo at right) on his face! 


Al's 2003 statistics

Jacksonville Suns at Tennessee Smokies

June 18, 2003



Box score

Box score proof



Jacksonville Suns at Tennessee Smokies

June 19, 2003



Box score

Box score proof






2003 Season

2004 Season 2005 Season



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