Benny
Torres’ baseball fate was sealed when he was 4-years old. On a spring day in
1999 at Pro Player Stadium (in Miami), the lad got his picture taken with New
York Mets manager Bobby Valentine (Ben’s pops went to the same high school as
Valentine). It seems the kid has been on the baseball diamond ever since.

Ben
is twenty-one years old. He was born and raised in our neck of the woods and
baseball has always been his life’s ambition.

“I’ve
been playing ball for as long as I can remember,” Ben says with pride. I started
playing T-Ball with the Dania Thunder when I was six-years old. From then on it
was baseball, baseball, baseball. Well, except for one lapse when I was in the 5th
or 6th Grade. I hit a growth spurt and my height lent itself nicely
to basketball. But I soon tired of the sport and found myself back playing
America’s Pastime.

“From
that point on it was nonstop. In 7th Grade I played with the Broward
Eagles Travel Team.”

(writers note: “Travel Baseball is considered by its
design as a higher level of competition, compared to what your traditional,
recreational leagues provide…”–
clarkstownstars.com).

“I
played for the Davie Broncos—I was a late addition, the team was already
selected but they found a spot for me. I guess you might say I was now rounding
second…”

Ben
attended Nova High School. As fate would have it the baseball coach remembered
him from youth leagues. Remembered that big arm and steady bat. The lad took
over right field in his Field of Dreams quest…

Baseball
became a year-round affair for Beltin’ Ben Torres. Travel teams became his
extended family, facing the best prospects in the country.

At
16 he was playing for the Broward Breakers—facing seriously competitive
pitching—his team finished 3rd out of 54 teams that season.

Suddenly
colleges were taking note of the big lefty.

“I
was playing in a tournament in Fort Meyers with the Breakers when I received a
call from the University of South Carolina. They offered me a partial
scholarship. My dad and I decided against it—seeking a more advantageous deal.

“And
that happened.  I was actually at a
Chinese restaurant with a buddy when Coach Parrows of the University of
Bridgeport (Connecticut) called.”

(Ah,
how the fortune cookie crumbles!)

“My
dad and I were invited to “audition” I killed it. I was offered a full ride. I
was a Purple Knight!”

And
then fate raised its leg higher than Juan Marichal ever did. You see Ben’s
first Fall-Ball game was against Yale in their storied Yale Field Stadium—Ruth and
Gerhig took swings at this park!

In
any event the lad stepped up to the plate big time, garnering two hits; a
stolen base and he even pitched the final inning for the win!

In
September of 2016 the full-circle of the cosmic realm was completed at Harbor
Yards in Bridgeport. On that fine baseball day, one Bobby Valentine was in
attendance. Ben, carrying that photo from his youth, approached the legendary
coach/player—a blank gaze quickly turned into a massive smile of recognition
(the photo below fairly well says it all).

If
you’re a baseball fan you know the refrain, “Root, root, root for the home team…”
Well in this case, let us heartily sing, “Root, root, root for the home town
kid!” Benny Torres is swinging for the fences and making Hollywood proud!

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