Glancing Back, and Remembering Bennie Daniels
In the early years of the “new” Washington Senators franchise, there were few rewards for pitching well. One of the hurlers who pitched consistently well, with so little to show for it, was a right-hander named Bennie Daniels.
Daniels was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1951. He advanced steadily through the Pirates’ farm system (with a two-year military service detour), winning 17 games with Hollywood in the Pacific Coast League in 1957 and 14 games with Columbus (International League) in 1958, while making brief appearance with the Pirates both seasons. He made the Pirates’ roster for a full season in 1959, going 7-9 with a 5.45 ERA. He split the 1960 season between Pittsburgh and Columbus, and in the off-season was dealt to the Washington Senators for pitcher Bobby Shantz.
In Washington, Daniels moved right into the starting rotation, going 12-11 with a 3.44 ERA for a team that finished its inaugural run in ninth place with a 61-100 record. His record slipped to 7-16 in 1962 with a 4.85 ERA, and in 1963 he posted a 5-10 record with a 4.38 ERA. The 1964 season was something of a “comeback” for Daniels, as he went 8-10 with a much-improved 3.70 ERA. But Daniels was now 32 years old, and some of the zip had faded from his fastball. He went 5-13 for the Senators in 1965, and retired at the end of that season.
Daniels’ nine-season big league career produced a 45-76 won-lost record with a 4.44 career earned run average.