WILMINGTON, MA — This is the tenth in a series of profiles celebrating the former Wilmington Little League’s seniors playing on the Wilmington High School baseball team. Little League’s motto is courage, character, and loyalty. Through playing with and against each other, these student athletes the embodiment of the motto.
Every team needs their own Greg Maddox type player. Ben Maynard is that kind of player. A cerebral player, who is a student of the game. A player who sees and understands both the big and small picture. Intense and focused, he was on the small side but made up for it with his baseball intellect and the ability to always be in the right place at the right time.
Ben began his WLL career in Rookie ball playing for the Tornados, coached by Greg Frasier. His first year on the small diamond everyone know he had a future as a ball player. Not one to be playing with earthworms or dirt bombs, when he was on the diamond he was focused on baseball. He remembers pulling off an unassisted triple play while playing for the Yellow Jackets in Rookie ball. One other memory that sticks out the best offensive day of his life with two home runs, a triple and a double.
Drafted into the Majors by the Twins as a 10 year old, Ben spent three years playing for coach Tom Sheehan. During those three years he was selected twice to the All Star team. In his first year, Ben had fun playing with the 12 year old’s on the team. Being able to pitch effectively against older and bigger competition is one of his fondest memories of playing in the WLL Majors. He learned the strike zone and kept his pitch counts low. By incorporating all that and using a variety of pitches, one hour complete games, throwing six innings in under 85 pitches, were regular occurrences for Ben. Not the hardest thrower in the Majors, Ben learned how to consistently throw strikes with all his pitches and rarely walked anyone.
For Ben’s parents one memory sticks out. In Ben’s first year in the Majors Coach Sheehan called on Ben to make his first pitching appearance in the Majors. With the team already down 2-0, with a couple base runners inherited, Ben got out of the inning with no additional runs and proceeded to go the distance in a 2-1 loss. That game was against the A’s went on to win the regular season championship,. He capped his WLL career as a valuable member of the 2016 Northeast team which was the first Wilmington team to win a Northeast League Division championship.
This will be Ben’s second year playing Varsity Baseball for the Wildcats. He was a member of the 2017 Middlesex Freedom division championship team last year as well. He played his first two high school years on the Freshman and JV teams. Ben also played WHS Varsity Golf as a Junior & Senior, and spent three years playing WHS Basketball on the Freshman & JV teams.
One accomplishment that Ben is most proud of is his participation in the Pan Mass Challenge, to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. He began riding in the Kids Pan Mass Challenge in 1st grade and continued to ride in that event with his sister until 6th grade, He moved up to the adult ride which he did with his Mom and Grandfather and over the years has helped raise more the $50,00 for cancer research.
Ben is grateful for his parents Maria and Greg Maynard and his sister Sophia, who are always attending games and cheering on Ben and his teammates. If you around a game Ben is playing in, you will almost always see his Dad, Greg keeping score. Ben is planning on attending Boston College in the fall and will study Applied Mathematics.
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