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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Benintendi’s performance that of an All Star

by Wally Hall | July 14, 2022 at 2:16 a.m.

It was no surprise Andrew Benintendi said he was bringing his family to Dodger Stadium for Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game.

He's always been family-oriented.

Selected as the Kansas City Royals' lone representative, the former Arkansas Razorback is having a great season.

Noted as an outstanding defensive outfielder, he starts in left field. The lefty is also the leading hitter of the Royals, hitting .314 and this week was moved from hitting second in the lineup to third.

The 28-year-old is in his seventh season in the bigs, including 2020, when the season was limited to 60 games because of covid-19.

He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall pick in 2015. By 2016, just 421 days after being drafted was called up from Class AA ball, he became the Sox's starting left fielder.

It appears the Red Sox gave up on the popular Benintendi in 2019 when they moved him from left field to right field, and in 2020 they traded him as part of a three-team deal to the Royals.

Benintendi, who was the national player of the year in his last season with the Razorbacks and winner of the Golden Spikes Award, is on a one-year contract with Kansas City.

He's having such a good season, trade rumors have begun with both the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners apparently interested.

Currently, he is in his second streak of 19 games with at least one hit.

He won't start Tuesday night, but he will play and his family will be there to see it.

. . .

Ron Huery will be one of seven former Arkansas Razorbacks inducted into the UA Sports Hall of Honor.

All of the honorees are very deserving, but Huery is almost a historical figure in the Razorback world of basketball.

He was Nolan Richardson's first big-name signee and he was a glimpse into the future of Hawgball.

It is hard to believe, but the 6-6 forward will turn 55 on Sunday.

His life has had its ups and downs, but on Sept. 16 he and six others will be remembered for what they did for the Hogs.

. . .

The Big 12 Media Days began Wednesday in Arlington, Texas, and new commissioner Brett Yorkman said he was going to rebrand the entire league.

He said the Big 12 is open for business and will leave no stone unturned to drive value for the conference.

It was just about a year ago that Texas and Oklahoma announced they would be leave the Big 12 and started sweeping changes in the college football landscape.

Yorkman has a history in pro sports and entertainment and was candid in his first appearance as Big 12 commissioner.

"One thing is crystal clear: There is no higher priority than to best position the Big 12 for its upcoming multimedia rights negotiations," Yormark said. "Everything we do must create momentum for these negotiations, as well as building the value of the Big 12 brand and business."

The media days end today with both the Longhorns and Sooners slated to be interviewed.

. . .

SEC Media Days kick off Monday and there is no chance of Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher sharing a chance encounter.

Alabama is first up Tuesday and Texas A&M goes third on Thursday.

Sam Pittman picked three top shelf players to accompany him to Atlanta. Quarterback KJ Jefferson, linebacker Bumper Pool and defensive back Jalen Catalon will be catching the dawn flight from Fayetteville and will start Wednesday's sessions.

The Razorbacks are the only team from the Western Division that day.

The SEC usually has more than 1,000 credentialed media for the four-day event, far more than any other conference's media days.

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