CHAD BENTZ JOINS MIDNIGHT SUNS BASEBALL
JUNEAU, Alaska (9/24/2014) – Midnight Suns Baseball is pleased to announce that former MLB pitcher and Juneau’s own Chad Bentz has joined their coaching staff for the 2014-15 season. Bentz started out his baseball career playing for Gastineau Channel Little League teams in the late 1980’s and into the 90’s. He attended Juneau Douglas High School where he was a star for the Crimson Bears baseball and football teams before graduating in 1999. He was Alaska’s Gatorade Player of the Year for baseball in 1999.
Bentz then attended college for 2 years where he pitched for national powerhouse Long Beach State. He also pitched for the Anchorage Pilots of the Alaska Baseball League for 2 summers (1999-2000). In 2001, he was drafted in the 7th round by the Montreal Expos and made history on April 7, 2004 by becoming only the second pitcher, after Jim Abbott, to play in the Major Leagues after being born without one of his hands.
Along with his pitching abilities, Bentz was also impressive as a hitter, with a .500 batting average for his MLB career. Bentz is one of only three players raised in Alaska to ever play in the “show”. He is also the only Alaskan to ever get a hit in the MLB. Not bad for a boy who overcame many obstacles he has faced in his life, both geographical and physical.
Bentz played professionally for the Montreal Expos (2004) and the Florida Marlins (2005). After his MLB career, Bentz went back to college at Castleton State College in Vermont where he earned his teaching degree in physical education. After living in Vermont for several years, Chad and his wife Christie and daughter Kyla have recently moved to Juneau.
“I’m very happy to return back to Juneau with my family. This is where my dream to one day be a professional baseball player started,” Bentz said. “I’m really excited about joining the Midnight Suns Baseball program and coaching kids from my hometown,” he said. “My philosophy is to teach young players how to play the right way, along with the proper mechanics. I want to help motivate players to reach their goals of playing at the next level, from high school to college to even playing in the major leagues like I did. I believe that with hard work and determination, these players can do anything they set their minds to. I’m a perfect example of this and I hope to be able to inspire some kids.”
Bentz and Midnight Suns Baseball begin practicing at the Dimond Park Field House on October 2nd.