John M. Benzinger

Induction Class of 2017

A 1982 graduate of Bristol Central, he played football and baseball for the school, winning (New Haven Register)  all-state honors in football  and all Colonial conference in baseball in his senior year. He went on to play football at UMass where he earned recognition as an honorable mention All-American and was 1st team All Yankee Conference in his senior year. He was an offensive guard on the roster of the New England Patriots during the 1987 strike season. He played for two national champion AFA Marlboro Shamrocks semi-pro teams and was All-EFL seven times.

His Bristol affiliations started with McCabe-Waters Little League, where he had 23 career homers, a .500-plus batting average, and multiple no-hitters as a pitcher. He hit a home run over center field at Muzzy Field as a  Pony League player and received Most Dedicated Player honors while playing for the Bristol American Legion team. His adult life outside of Bristol saw him coach, manage, and serve as a Youth League president and AAU team founder.