Michael Sonny Bendetto
- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 12, 2024
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The Intercity Softball League was created in the late 50’s as a way for former great high school and college athletes to participate in sports. The formation of the League did that and much, much more. It became a super competitive showcase for some of the area’s best. The League was dominated by pitching with the likes of Al Bridy, Stabley Poremba, Thomas Hodrick, and Frank Keating. With the mound only 46 feet from the plate, hitting a softball was compared to hitting a 100 mile per hour fastball. With four outfielders in the field in the early days of the league, hits and runs came at a premium. Sonny Benedetto would come along to change all that.
Sonny began his career playing in the Mount Carmel Intercity League with the Cigar Company, Cherneskie’s, Centralia AC and spent some time in the North Branch Hard ball League. His softball days were interrupted with a stint in the Army with the 112th Mechanized Infantry in Munich, Germany in 1962-62. Upon his return, he returned to the diamond with Shuda’s Cafe, which was then a part of the Shamokin Intercity Softball League. Over the next ten years, Sonny would be one of the most dominant hitters the league had ever seen. He was chosen the MVP in 1967, 1971, 1973, and 1974. He won the League Home Run title with 12 homers in 1973, clinching the title with 5 home runs in a twi-night doubleheader against Marina Cafe. He also registered 11 RBI’s and scored 6 runs in that series. Playing for Shuda’s that season, Benedetto collected 23 hits and knocked in 28 runs, leading the Cafemen to an undefeated 34-0 record.
In 1975, Sonny was playing for B & E Body and was named the MVP of the Northumberland County Softball Tournament. That team went on to qualify for the State Championship Tourney in Lancaster, finishing 5th in the state.
Sonny is a 1957 graduate of Kulpmont High School where he played football and basketball for Coach Ed Stavenski. They did not have a baseball program at the time. He worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as a bridge inspector and retied after 30 years. He and his wife, Phyllis, make their home in Kulpmont and are the proud parents of three children, Michael, Vicky, and Karen.