Benito Rivera Santiago...Has four children, daughters Bennybeth (11/6/85) and Aliyah (1/30/01) and sons Benito, Jr. (6/22/89) and Benito Ivan (3/31/94)...Is a 1982 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico. ...Was named Outstanding Puerto Rican Athlete in United States in 1987 by Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration...Participated in the 2002 Caracen Health Fair in San Francisco's Mission District, which teaches 300-500 Latino youth and adults about health-related topics...Also lent his image to 2002 "Until There's A Cure" Day campaign...Played Little League baseball as a youth and tossed nine no-hitters during his career.
Was Kansas City's Opening Day catcher, appearing on an Opening Day roster for the 15th time in his career...The pitching staff went 21-27 with a 4.65 ERA (416.0ip/215er) with him behind the plate, the lowest ERA of any Kansas City catcher...Went 3-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBI in his debut with the Royals on 4/5 vs. Chicago (AL); the home run was Santiago's fourth career Opening Day homer...Also picked up 900th career RBI with a 9th-inning double on 4/5...Put together a season-high nine-game hitting streak from 4/14-28 (10-for-37, .270)...Swiped lone base on 6/4 vs. Boston - his first stolen base since September 25, 2002 vs. San Diego...Hit .348 (8-for-23) with three doubles and one home run during interleague play...Suffered a fractured left hand after being hit by a Geoff Geary pitch @Philadelphia on 6/18...Was placed on the 15-day disabled list on 6/19. ...Was transferred to the 60-day D.L. on 7/2 and missed remainder of the season.
In season in which he became 4th backstop in baseball history to catch at least 100 games at age 38 or older, delivered his highest full-season batting avg. (.280) since hitting .286 for Cincinnati in 1995...narrowly missed becoming 1st Giants catcher to make consecutive All-Star appearances since Tom Haller in 1966 and '67...was 1 of 5 candidates for 32nd spot on NL squad for Mid-Summer Classic, but lost out in 3-day fan internet balloting to MIL's Geoff Jenkins...produced majority of season's power numbers in 1st half, belting 10 HRs with 41 RBI...was slowed after Break by dislocated small finger on left hand, injury suffered July 4 in San Diego on headfirst slide...landed on Disabled List July 17-28 and struggled to regain stroke after activation...returned to form down stretch, hitting safely in 12 of his last 13 games while batting .304 (17-for-56)...over longer haul, hit at .292 clip (31-for-106) with 9 2Bs, 1 3B and 10 RBI over his last 30 contests...produced pair of 12-game hitting streaks, 1st of which came May 15-30...was torrid 21-for-52 (.404) with 4 2Bs, 4 HRs and 16 RBI over stretch...hammered pair of homers May 28 vs. Arizona (both off John Patterson)...multi-homer game was 11th of career, however 1st since July 26, 1997 vs. Kansas City (while with Toronto)...helped SF to 2nd place finish in NL ERA race by guiding club to 3.53 mark (354er, 902.2ip) while behind plate.
18-year Major League veteran and 5-time All-Star has been one of best stories in majors over last 3 years...after joining Giants as non-roster invitee in March 2001, was NL All-Star for 5th time during outstanding 2002 campaign that cumulated with MVP honors for NLCS...is 3-time Gold Glove winner (1988-90) and 4-time recepient of Silver Slugger award (1987-88 and 1990-91)...was named to National League All-Star team 4 consecutive years from 1989-92 and then again in 2002...with 10 years between Mid Summer Classics, he and Yankees' Robin Ventura became 9th and 10th players to have appeared on All-Star roster after absence of 10 years or more..is 1 of 9 unanimous winners of BBWAA's NL Rookie of Year Award, earning honor in 1987...joins Cincinnati's Frank Robinson (1956), San Francisco's Orlando Cepeda (1958) and Willie McCovey (1959), St. Louis' Vince Coleman (1985), Los Angeles' Mike Piazza (1993) and Raul Mondesi (1994), Philadelphia's Scott Rolen (1997) and St. Louis' Albert Pujols (2001)...also established Major League record for longest hitting streak by rookie after hitting safely in 34 straight contests Aug. 25-Oct. 2, 1987...has made 13 career Opening Day starts with San Diego (1987-92), Florida (1993-94), Cincinnati (1995), Philadelphia (1996), Toronto (1997), Chicago Cubs (1999) and Giants (2002)...caught 106 games in 2003 to become just 4th backstop in ML history to catch in at least 100 games at age of 38 or older, joining Al Todd (1940), Bob Boone (1986-89) and Carlton Fisk (1987, 1990-91)...ranks 7th on all-time list for games as catcher (1,862)...Fisk owns record with 2,226 contests behind dish.
A Giant in the Community:
Participated in 2002 Caracen Health Fair in San Francisco's Mission District, which teaches 300-500 Latino youth and adults about health-related topics...lent his image to 2002 Until There's A Cure Day campaign...taped PSA for Traffic Safety Day, encouraging fans to always buckle up and use caution when on road...during 2001 season, was instrumental in Giants' Summer Reading Program by holding children's book reading at Mission Learning Center.
Continued to play inspired baseball, as he earned spot on National League All-Star team...marked his 5th time as All-Star, however 1st since 1992...with 10 years between Mid Summer Classics, he and Yankees' Robin Ventura became 9th and 10th players to have appeared on All-Star roster after absence of 10 years or more...Bert Blyleven went 12 years between trips (1973-1985)...became 1st SF catcher to play in All Star Game since NL/AZ manager Bob Brenly in 1984 at Candlestick Park...was one of top offensive catchers in NL, enjoying best campaign with bat since 1996 season with Philadelphia...collected 74 RBI, 2nd-most among all NL catchers (NY's Mike Piazza had 88 RBI at position)...in fact, was most prolific SF backstop at driving in runs since Brenly had 80 RBI in 1984...belted 16 homers, his most since hitting 30 with Phillies in 1996....278 batting avg. was 17 points above lifetime mark entering season and 3rd-best full season avg. of his career...rapped out 133 hits, most since he collected 155 safeties with San Diego in 1991..behind plate, guided staff to 3.48 ERA (413er, 1066.2ip) as SF ranked 2nd in NL with 3.54 team mark...gunned down 22-of-80 attempted base thieves (27.5%)...made 1st Opening Day start for SF April 2 in LA, finishing 1-for-5 with RBI...caught fire in May to tune of .375 batting avg. (30-for-80) with 15 RBI...compiled 13-game hitting streak (matching Jeff Kent for Giants' long) May 10-28, going 22-for-54 (.407) with 8 2Bs, 2 3Bs, HR and 12 RBI...was longest hitting streak since rookie-record 34-game skein in 1987...was forced to miss 6 games July 24-30 with stye on left eyelid...drilled 8th career grand slam in 8-3 victory over Pittsburgh Aug. 20, connecting off Pirates' Mike Lincoln...missed 2 games Sept. 20 and 21 while serving suspension resulting from ejection Sept. 15...clubbed 200th career HR Sept. 22 at Milwaukee, 9th-inning solo shot off Luis Vizcaino...was catalyst for Giants' October success, providing bevy of clutch hits while catching all 149 post season innings...batted .254 overall during playoffs with 2 2Bs, 2 HRs and 16 RBI, tied with Barry Bonds for 2nd most on club (Rich Aurilia, 17)...had 3 RBI as SF staved off elimination in Game 4 of NLDS vs. Atlanta, drove in 4 runs in NLCS Game 1 victory at St. Louis, and collected 3 RBI in World Series Game 5 rout of Anaheim...garnered MVP honors in NLCS after hitting .300 (6-for-20) with 2 HRs and 6 RBI in SF's 5-game victory over St. Louis...finished 3-for-5 with 2-run HR (off Mike Crudale) and 4 RBI in Game 1 of series...connected for arguably most important HR in San Francisco history, clubbing game-winning clout in Game 4 vs. Cards at Pacific Bell Park...following 2-out intentional walk to Barry Bonds in 8th inning, drove 3-2 pitch from Rick White over left field wall to snap 2-2 tie in eventual 4-3 SF victory.
Wrestled starting catching job away from 2000's incumbents (Doug Mirabelli and Bobby Estalella), after not signing with Giants until midway through spring training...overall, appeared in 133 games, most since he played in 136 contests for Philadelphia in 1996...guided SF pitchers to 3.84 ERA (461er, 1081.0ip), 34 points lower than staff's overall 4.18 mark...made 119 starts (118 at C, 1 at 1B), including opening assignments in 65 of last 76 games and 100 of club's last 119 contests (99 at C, 1 at 1B)...hit safely in 78 of 119 starts (65.5%), going 121-for-462 (.262) with SF posting 69-50 mark...gunned down 32 of 98 would-be base-stealers (32.7%)...rapped out 25 2Bs, most since career-high 33 two-baggers during 1987 rookie campaign...went 52-for-205 (.254) with 15 2Bs, 3B, 2 HR and 17 RBI in his last 56 games; however, after season avg. stood at .323 on June 23, was just 65-for-289 (.225) over his last 80 contests...opened Giant career hitting safely in each of his 1st 9 starts (with SF posting 6-3 mark), while going 13-for-32 (.406) with 6 runs, 3 2Bs, 3B, HR, 2 walks and 5 RBI...hit .318 (14-for-44) in April and .319 (23-for-72) in May...hammered his 1st homer April 8 in LA, drilling 2-run shot (off Eric Gagne) in 4th inning to give SF 4-1 lead...delivered game-winning hit May 11 vs. Mets, pinch single (off Armando Benitez) with 2 outs in 10th inning to give SF 3-2 triumph...made just 15th career start at 1B May 27 vs. Colorado, 1st since 1996 with Philadelphia...went 0-for-3 in game with walk while making 7 putouts (no assists, no errors)...suffered through 13-for-84 (.155) stretch over 24 games June 24-July 23, dropping season average to .265...hit 3rd of back-to-back-to-back homers in 5th inning July 22 vs. Arizona, following solo clouts from Jeff Kent and Eric Davis...enjoyed solid August, hitting safely in 19 of 26 games (25-for-90, .278)...had season-high 4 hits (4-for-5) and matched season-best with 3 RBI in 10-5 triumph over San Diego Sept. 28...connected for pair of homers (5 and 6) in span of 11 at-bats (3 games) Sept. 30-Oct. 3 after not homering in previous 180 at-bats dating to July 22...slugged his 6th homer of campaign Oct. 3 at Houston (solo shot off Mike Jackson)...finished night 2-for-5 with 2B and 3 RBI, matching season-high.
Logged 2nd stint with Reds, hitting .262 with 8 HR and 45 RBI in 89 games, 66 starts behind plate...in his last 25 games, hit .333 (5 HR, 21 RBI), raising BA from .232 to season-ending .262...in his last 12 games, hit .368 with 3 HRs and 9 RBI...in 66 starts, Reds pitchers went 36-30 and posted 4.18 ERA while he caught...threw out 12 of 31 base runners attempting to steal (39%), best percentage among club's 3 catchers...hit 7th career grand slam Sept. 6 vs. New York, off Armando Benitez in bottom of 8th inning to erase 1-run deficit and give Reds 11-8 victory...was 1st grand slam since Aug. 11, 1997 vs Detroit's Mike Myers...suffered dislocated middle knuckle on left ring finger April 9 vs Cubs and missed 7 games...didn't play again until April 19 vs SF, and in 1st plate appearance homered off Shawn Estes.
Hit .249 with 7 HRs and 36 RBI in 109 games with Cubs...appeared in 107 games behind plate, including 95 starts...threw out 23 of 65 would-be base stealers (35%)...made 12th career Opening Day start April 6 at Houston...started 11 straight openers from 1987-97 with San Diego (1987-92), Florida (1993-94), Cincinnati (1995), Philadelphia (1996) and Toronto (1997)...hit his 1st home run as Cub April 11, 2-run shot off Pittsburghbs Chris Peters...was his 1st Major League homer since Sept. 19, 1997 (off Yankees' Dwight Gooden)...grounded into 5-4-3 triple play April 16 at Milwaukee (Jeff Cirillo to Fernando Vina to Sean Berry)...recorded10th career multi-homer game May 8 at Cincinnati, going 3-for-3 with 2 HRs and 4 RBI in Cubs' 7-4 win.
Was limited to only 15 games with Toronto after being involved in major automobile accident Jan. 4...suffered assorted injuries in accident, but was ultimately unable to play due to strained ligaments in right knee...did not see first game action until mid-August, when he was assigned to single-A Dunedin...played in 11 games for Dunedin and 5 more at Triple-A Syracuse before being activated Sept. 3...batted .310 (9-for-29) with 5 doubles and 4 RBI in his 15 games with Jays...made 6 starts behind plate...appeared twice as defensive replacement before making his 1st start of season Sept. 6 vs. Boston...contributed run-scoring double in 8-7 win.
In his 1st season away from National League, batted .243 with 13 HRs and 42 RBI in 97 games with Toronto...made 11th consecutive Opening Day start...stuggled prior to All-Star Break, batting only .197...hit .297 with 10 HR after break...was on Disabled List from April 14-29 after fouling ball off left foot...recorded pair of two-homer games, May 10 at Minnesota and July 26 vs. Kansas City...belted 6th career grand slam Aug. 11 vs. Detroit (off Mike Myers)...had .997 fielding percentage behind plate, committing only 2 errors in 663 total chances...tied Buck Martinez' Blue Jay record for fewest errors by catcher...threw out 26 of 76 would-be base stealers (35%)...caught 11 of A.L. Cy Young Award-winner Roger Clemensb starts...Clemens was 9-1 with a 1.42 ERA in those games, including his 200th career victory May 21 at Yankee Stadium.
Had one of his finest offensive campaigns, batting .264 with 30 HRs and 85 RBI in 136 games with Philadelphia...team-leading 30 homers were career high, shattering his previous high of 18 during his rookie season in 1987...became 1st Phillies catcher to reach 30-homer mark since Stan Lopata (32) in 1956...also led Phillies in RBI, runs scored (71) and total bases (242)...tied Major League record by homering in four straight at-bats Sept. 14 (final AB) and Sept. 15 (first three AB)...all 4 home runs were hit at Wrigley Field...along with his 3 HRs Sept. 15, established career high with 6 RBI...as part of stretch, reached base in 10 straight plate appearances from Sept. 14-17 (4 HR, single, 5 BB)...belted grand slams May 3 off Atlanta's Greg Maddux and July 21 off Florida's Jay Powell...hit 1st pinch-hit home run of career May 5 off Atlanta's John Smoltz...made 14 appearances at 1st base, including 12 starts.
In his 1st stint with Reds, hit .286 with 11 HRs and 44 RBI in 81 games...led National League catchers with .996 fielding percentage, committing only 2 errors in 496 total chances...missed most of 1st half of season with injured right elbow...was on Disabled List May 8-July 4, undergoing arthroscopic surgery on May 25 to have loose bodies removed from elbow...surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews...recorded 1,000th hit of his career, doubling off Atlanta's Rod Nichols Aug. 9...played 8 games at first base, including one start (July 25 at San Diego)...homered off Dodgers' Ramon Martinez in his 1st career post-season at-bat, helping Reds to 3-game sweep in NLDS...went 6-for-22 (.273) during post-season, going 3-for-9 in NLDS vs. Los Angeles and 3-for-13 in NLCS vs. Atlanta.
In 2nd season with Florida, hit .273 with 11 HRs and 41 RBI in 101 games...threw out 34 of 79 would-be base stealers (43%)...was placed on National League's suspended list May 5-9 for his involvement in bench-clearing brawl with San Francisco April 17.
Was one of 1st free-agent signings of expansion Florida Marlins...appeared in 139 games, batting .230 with 13 HRs and 50 RBI...belted 1st home run in Marlins' history April 12 at San Francisco off Trevor Wilson...recorded 2 hits in 1 inning twice; April 17 at Houston (7th inning) and April 25 at Colorado (4th inning)...saw action in left field in 15-inning contest Aug. 25 at Houston...was his 2nd big-league outfield appearance.
In his last season with San Diego, batted .251 with 10 HRs and 42 RBI in 106 games...was on Disabled List until July 11 after fracturing right 5th finger diving into 2nd base May 30 at St. Louis...returned to action in time to start 3rd straight All-Star Game...did not commit passed ball all season.
Enjoyed one of his finest seasons, batting .267 with 17 HRs and career-high 87 RBI...played in 152 games, also career high...was voted to start behind plate for National League All-Star Team for 3rd straight year...threw out 43 of 123 would-be base stealers (35%), including 25 of 59 from his knees (42%)...tied Padre record with 3 doubles July 11 at New York and 5 hits Sept. 13 at San Francisco.
Despite missing nearly 2 months, earned his 3rd Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards...hit .270 with 11 HRs and 53 RBI...was limited to only 100 games after suffering cracked ulna bone in his left arm on pitch thrown by San Francisco's Jeff Brantley June 14...was on Disabled List through Aug. 10...was selected as National League's starting catcher for All-Star Game, but was unable to play due to injury...recorded his 500th career hit Sept. 19, grand slam off Dodgers' Darren Holmes.
Hit .236 with 16 HRs and 62 RBI in 129 games...was voted National League's starting catcher for All-Star Game for 1st time...earned 2nd Gold Glove Award after throwing out 20 of 51 would-be base stealers (39%)...tossed out 8 of 15 runners from his knees (53%)...also picked 16 runners off base...belted grand slam Sept. 3 off Philadelphia's Jeff Parrett...was selected to The Sporting News
' post-season National League All-Star Team for 2nd time.
Hit .248 with 10 HRs and 46 RBI in 139 games...earned 1st Gold Glove Award and 2nd Silver Slugger Award...led all Major League catchers with 75 assists...threw out 35 of 77 would-be base stealers (45%), including 11 of 17 from his knees (65%)...also picked off 9 runners...hit 1st career grand slam Sept. 21 off Dodgers' Ricky Horton.
Produced his best all-around season in majors, batting .300 with 18 HRs and 79 RBI in 146 games...won the National League's Rookie of the Year Award unanimously...hit safely in 34 consecutive games from Aug. 25-Oct. 2, batting .346 during streak...the 34-game hitting streak was longest ever by rookie, catcher and Padre...was named The Sporting News
' National League Rookie of the Year...was also selected to publication's N.L. All-Star Team...won 1st Silver Slugger Award.
Spent majority of season at triple-A Las Vegas, batting .286 with 17 HRs and 71 RBI in 117 games...was called up to majors in September and batted .290 (18-for-62) with 3 HRs and 6 RBI in 17 games for San Diego...made Major League debut Sept. 14 and doubled in 1st at-bat off Houston's Mike Scott...hit 1st Major League home run Sept. 17, 10th-inning, game-winning shot off San Francisco's Mark Davis.
Spent 1st season above class-A, batting .298 with 5 HRs and 52 RBI in 101 games at double-A Beaumont.
Was named California League All-Star at single-A Reno...batted .279 while ranking 4th in league with 16 HRs and 5th with 83 RBI.
Spent 1st professional season at single-A Miami, batting .247 with 5 HRs and 56 RBI in 122 games.