Ben Zobrist

Christina Perez
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 9 min read

Tourist played baseball starting when he was eight years old; he and his friends built their own waffle ball field behind his house. Tourist attended Eureka High School, graduating in 1999.

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(Source: fabwags.com)


Tourist planned to attend Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri, but his high school coach encouraged him to spend $50 to participate in an annual summer event that showcased seniors in Peoria, Illinois. He played in the showcase, and was given an offer to play college baseball at Oliver Nazarene University, which he accepted.

In his time at Oliver, he pitched and also played at shortstop and second base. In 2002, he was named to both the all-C CAC and all-Region VII First Teams, and received NASA Honorable Mention All-America status.

He was named the Chicago land Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, first team All-Region VII, and first team NASA All-America in 2003. He transferred to Dallas Baptist University for his senior year, where he played shortstop and batted .378 with a .590 slugging percentage.

Tourist made his MLB debut with Tampa Bay on August 1, 2006. He exclusively played shortstop in his first two seasons with Tampa Bay.

Tourist struggled through parts of the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Rays. One day, he met a “swing mechanic” (batting coach) looking for students.

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Upton (a former infielder himself) would be moved in from the outfield during the season. Tourist went to his first World Series as a player with the Rays in 2008.

His versatility was showcased during Game 3 of the 2008 World Series against the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies when he came in as part of a double switch to play right field. However, Tourist initially played unusually shallow, in essence becoming a fifth infielder.

2009 season Tourist led all hitters in the majors in 2009 for wins above replacement with 8.6, ahead of Albert Pupils 8.4 WAR. 2010 season On April 23, 2010, Tourist and the Rays agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2013 season, with a team option for 2014 and 2015, a deal potentially worth $30 million.

2011 season On April 28, 2011, Tourist collected a Tampa Bay Rays record eight RBI's in a 15–3 rout of the Minnesota Twins. Another game was held during the day to make up for a previously rained out game and Tourist drove in another two runs, making a total 10 RBI's for the day.

He played 47 games at shortstop, the most since his rookie season. Tourist finished the year with 20 home runs, accomplishing the feat for the second time in a row.

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(Source: www.chicagotribune.com)

2013 season On April 8, 2013, Tourist became the strikeout victim on the disputed call that led to Joe Nathan's 300th career save. Tourist was named an Star for the second time of his career.

He finished the 2013 season with a .275 batting average, his highest since 2009. 2014 season On January 10, 2015, Tourist was traded to the Oakland Athletics with teammate June Escobar in exchange for John Jason, Daniel Robertson, and Book Powell.

On opening day with the Athletics, Tourist hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat. On April 25, 2015, it was revealed that Tourist had a torn medial meniscus in his left knee, putting him on the 15-day disabled list.

The knee required surgery, keeping Tourist out of action for 4–6 weeks. On July 28, 2015, Tourist was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Sean Manama and Aaron Brooks.

He played 59 games in the regular season for Kansas City and finished with a batting average of .284, with 7 home runs, 37 runs scored, and 23 RBI's. The Royals won the AL Central Division and played the Houston Astros for the AIDS with Tourist starting in all five games.

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The Royals advanced to the World Series after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in six games to become the American League Champions. The Royals won the 2015 World Series after defeating the New York Mets in four of the five games played.

Tourist played second base and batted second in every game of the 2015 Royals postseason. On December 8, 2015, Tourist agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The signing reunited him with Joe Madden, his manager when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He was ejected for the first time in his career on August 14, 2018, by home plate umpire Phil Buzz.

In 2019, Tourist started the season playing in 26 games before being placed on the restricted list on May 6 to deal with a family matter. Following rumors throughout the next months, Tourist announced his return in late July 2019, and began rehab assignments with the South Bend Cubs and Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Tourist also had his first Major League pitching appearance in September 2019, striking out Year Molina. In February 2020, Jon Heyman reported that Tourist was not planning to play in the 2020 season.

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(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

Tourist confirmed his retirement on March 6, and said he was open to joining the Cubs in a non-player capacity “down the line”. Tourist was an above-average hitter with a career slash line of .264/.354/.429 and a WRC+ of 118.

He was also an above-average base runner, who had 102 stolen bases at a success rate of 74%. His nickname, “Gorilla,” was given to him by his manager Joe Madden while playing for the Rays in 2009.

Tourist chose “Gorilla” as his nickname for the Players Weekend during the 2017 season. He and his ex-wife, singer Julianna Tourist, have three children, one of whom was born five days after Zobrist's Royals won the 2015 World Series.

Julianna gave birth to Blaine Royal the day after the Royals World Series parade. In May 2019, BenZobrist filed for legal separation in Tennessee on the same day that Julianna Tourist filed for divorce in Illinois.

Tourist is a former counselor for Camp of Champions USA, a Christian summer day camp in central Illinois. He speaks at church events about his early life and success, which he credits all to God.

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(Source: www.timeout.com)

^ “Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Tourist has taken a surprising path to today's All-Star Game”. ^ Ben Tourist admits he was a Cardinals fan as a kid”.

“Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Tourist has taken a surprising path to today's All-Star Game ". Ben Tourist, Who Reversed The Chicago Cubs' Billy Goat Curse With 10th-Inning Hit to Win Game 7, Is a Dallas Baptist-Ex”.

“For Rays' Tourist, versatility meets opportunity”. ^ Ben Tourist named Rays MVP; Riemann the Rookie of the Year”.

^ Ben Tourist, June Escobar traded to Oakland Athletics from Tampa Bay Rays”. Tourist placed on 15-day DL with knee injury”.

^ “Major League Leaderboards 2016 Batters Advanced Statistics | Graphs Baseball”. ^ Chris Haft and Carrie Musket (October 11, 2016).

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(Source: www.tmz.com)

“Cubs deliver Giant stunner, advance to LCS”. “Why World Series MVP Ben Tourist had one of the biggest hits in baseball history”.

“Cubs' Ben Tourist burns umpire to earn first-ever ejection”. ^ Ben Tourist Strikes Out Year Molina in 1st-Ever Pitching Appearance”.

^ “MLB Players Weekend to showcase unique nicknames, colorful uniforms”. Zobrist's pregnant wife tells him to play ball”.

^ Ben and Julianna Tourist name new baby girl Blaine Royal”. “Chicago Cubs' Ben Tourist files for separation from wife, Julianna, in Williamson County”.

“Former AIR Player Makes it to the 'Big Leagues'”, Athletes in Action, Thursday, June 25, 2009”. ^ “Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Tourist has taken a surprising path to today's All-Star Game”.

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(Source: www.nytimes.com)

“Rays' Tourist shares his faith in Lakewood Ranch”. ^ “Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Tourist has taken a surprising path to today's All-Star Game”.

^ Weber, Thomas (April 9, 2013), Ring the Bell, retrieved November 3, 2016 Wikimedia Commons has media related to BenZobrist.

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