South Jersey Baseball:
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
By Chuck Betson
Atlantic City Surf centerfielder Marvin Benard became the first 2004 Surf player and Atlantic Leaguer to be signed by a major-league organization, the club announced today.
Benard’s Atlantic League contract was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays and he will report to the Blue Jays triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Skychiefs, immediately. Benard, who played for the San Francisco Giants for six seasons from 1997-2003, hit .361 with six RBI in nine games for the Surf. Benard also was solid defensively for Atlantic City and carried himself well in the clubhouse.
“We’re happy for Marvin and we’re not surprised at all,’’ Surf general manager Mario Perrucci said. “He was a true professional both on and off the field. This is what our league is all about. I’m happy for the fans who came out to see him this season because it won’t be long before he is with the big club in the majors. He just has a big-league feel about him.’’
“I really liked it in Atlantic City,’’ Benard said. “It was the first time I got to play on the East Coast in a while and it was enjoyable.’’
“He was a total class act,’’ Surf manager Jeff Ball said. “Hopefully our players can learn something from the way Marvin carried himself. He is truly professional.’’
The Surf also announced that pitcher Alan Newman has been released. The club has signed veteran pitcher Carlos Reyes. Reyes pitched for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2004 and has a career major league ERA of 4.66.
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