Al Benton (March 18, 1911 - April 14, 1968) was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who played with the Philadelphia Athletics (1934-35), Detroit Tigers (1938-42, 1945-48), Cleveland Indians (1949-50) and Boston Red Sox (1952).
A native of Noble, Oklahoma, Benton was a classic example of every manager's dream: be the long man one day, volunteer to make an emergency start the next, and close a game out the day after that.
The problem was that Benton was so versatile that he hadn't had an opportunity to find one role in his career. In 1940 he compiled a 6-10 record with 17 saves, and in 1941 he went 15-6 with a 2.97 ERA in 38 games. He completed seven of 14 starts and got seven saves. Despite his 7-13 mark a year later, his ERA was 2.90 with career-highs in starts (30) and innings pitched (226.2). Then, he compiled a good season in 1945 with 13-8, a career-low 2.02 ERA, five shutouts, and 12 complete games in 191.2 innings. The rest of his career he worked basically as a setup man or as an emergency starter.
A two-time All-Star (1941-42), Benton compiled a career 98-88 record with 697 strikeouts and a 3.36 ERA in 1688.1 innings. He died in Lynwood, California, at the age of 57.