Jack Bentley

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John Needles Bentley

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jack Bentley was a two-way player who appeared in 138 major league games as a pitcher and 287 total. Oddly enough, his ERA+ is 91 and his Adjusted OPS is also 91.

In 1923, for the New York Giants, he hit .427 (in 89 at-bats). In 1924, for the same team, he went 16-5. He appeared in both the 1923 World Series and the 1924 World Series, winning Game 5 of the 1924 Series in a matchup against Walter Johnson. Bentley was, possibly, the only pitcher ever to make the final out of a World Series (as a batter). It came in 1923 when he pinch-hit for Rosy Ryan.

In 1926 he was the regular first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and pitched 7 games for them. Lifetime in the majors, he had a won-loss record of 46-33 and a batting average of .291.

From William Curran's "Big Sticks" (p. 171):

"Baltimore's Jack Bentley typifies the minor-league superstar, ruthlessly penalized because he was a local draw. The versatile Bentley was often called the Babe Ruth of the International League. In 1920, playing in 145 games, 22 of them as a pitcher, Bentley batted .371 on 231 hits, 71 of them for extra bases. He led the league in RBIs with an extraordinary 161. When he was not pulverizing baseballs, Bentley was mystifying batters, as he went 16 and 3 for a winning percentage of .842. He also led the league in earned-run average with 2.11. Bentley batted .365 over five seasons before he persuaded Jack Dunn to sell him to the New York Giants - as a pitcher. He was already twenty-eight years old."

According to the Baltimore American newspaper on April 3, 1921, during a Baltimore Orioles spring training trip to Richmond, VA, Bentley met up with "war pal" Capt. Pete Dumford. The article, "Captain Bentley Meets Pal of War in Richmond," goes on to explain that both Bentley and Dumford were Captains in Baltimore's 313th Infantry. Dunford was assigned to Company A, while Bentley was assigned to Headquarters Company. Dumford goes on to mention that the last time he had seen Bentley, "[he] was chasing two Germans in a trench." Bentley, the article notes, was serving an assignment to cover the German-occupied areas.

In 1958 he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL Saves Leader (1914)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1924)

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1929 York White Roses New York-Penn League 71-66 4th
1930 York White Roses New York-Penn League 66-73 6th
1931 York White Roses New York-Penn League 56-51 -- -- Replaced by Frank Uzmann (17-16) on August 16
1932 Elmira Red Wings New York-Penn League 32-38 -- -- Replaced by Clay Hopper (30-39) on July 11

Related Sites[edit]