Benny the Hero kept up his hot hitting last night, going 3-for-4 with an RBI for an insane .529 average (18-for-34) in 10 games since his recall from Triple-A Norfolk. "Can anybody be hotter?" said Mets manager Bobby Valentine, the de facto leader of the Agbayani Fan Club. According to New Jersey Star Ledger.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman wrote…...This had been the dream week of Benny Agbayani’s baseball life. No, better. He dared not even dream this sweet, with the ball darting off his bat and a major-league crowd chanting his first name in appreciation. The loudest ovation the pre-game introduction yesterday did not belong to Mike Piazza, the highly paid super star also on hot hitting streak. The honor went to Agbayani, a Bull Durham-ish character who in a week had morphed into a hybrid of Walter Mitty, Rocky and Shane Spencer. Benny earning his baseball minimum $200,000 a year against Mike Piazza $91 million seven year contract was last week’s baseball highlights.
"This has been an unbelievable week," Agbayani said before the game. When he was still dreaming. In the third inning, he chased a Mike Leiberthal foul pop down the right field line with the passion since being 30th-round draft choice in 1993. Full speed ahead. He sensed the stands approaching and went into a slide, missing the ball, but not the iron wall. His right spike ripped into the padding and held fast, his right knee slammed up against his round torso, momentarily making him a human accordion.
The x-ray revealed a bruised left patella, which means it was not as serious as it appeared. Still Agbayani clearly woke up from the dream.
Funny thing about sports, you never get hurt when you are not playing well. Just few days ago, he hit the first major league home run by a Filipino and followed it with two more.. The 6 foot, 200 lbs slugger from Pacific University and St Louis High School from Hawaii has two triples and two steals, combining power and speed that Oregon offered him scholarship to play wide receiver. Agbayani become a folk hero in Norfolk while playing for the Mets’ Triple-A. Last year when the team hosted the All-star game, Agbayani and his bride Niela, in matching Hawaian shirts, were married at home plate in a pre-game ceremony.
The Shea Stadium crowd chanted "Benny, Benny," when he delivered 3 hits the night before he ran into the wall. His last name, well even the newscaster and announcer have just started to pronounce his name right.
Agbayani, the hero. He is not the first Filipino to play in the Major League. Balcena did it long time ago and hopefully more would follow.
Nestor Palugod Enriquez .
You will see my middle name because it identifies my heritage every time.