Benny Zientara

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Benedict Joseph Zientara

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Biographical Information[edit]

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Infielder Benny Zientara was signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent in the 1937 season and spent a short first year with the Dothan Browns of the class D Alabama-Florida League appearing in 15 games and hitting .288. Benny played 17 seasons in professional baseball from 1937 to 1957 with time out for four years (1942-1945) of Military Service with the United States Army during World War II.

He spent five of his first years (1937-1941) in the minors before making his major league debut with the Reds on September 11, 1941 and appeared in nine games, hitting at a .286 clip the remainder of this season. Benny would be back with the Cincinnati Reds club for parts of three years (1946-1948) after returning from his military duties. His four years of time in the big leagues seen him finish up with a .254 batting average while appearing in 278 games. Benny fielded his infield positions at a .976 percentage.

Of Zientara's 14 seasons in the minors he spent seven of them (1949-1955) with the Syracuse Chiefs of the AAA International League. Overall, in his 14 year run in the minors, Benny hit at a .267 average in 1,176 games.

Zientara managed the 1956 Mattoon Phillies, the 1957 Moultrie Phillies / Brunswick Phillies, and the 1958 Olean Oilers. Zientara coached the Buffalo Bisons in 1959 [1].

Zientara scouted for the Cleveland Indians (1961-1970) and Chicago Cubs (1971-1974). He then went to work for the Major League Scouting Bureau when it was formed in 1974.

After serving as a Staff Sergeant in the European Theater of Operations for the U S Army during World War II, Benny spent his entire life in baseball as a player, coach, scout and minor league manager, retiring to Lake Elsinore, CA in 1982. He died from a heart attack on April 16, 1985.

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