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His early childhood years were spent in a small, lake-shore city in Wisconsin, a peaceful place that reminds Kris Benson of a landscape painting. He then moved on to the Deep South, where a diverse environment shaped the youngster's easygoing demeanor.

Benson's professional life took him to blue-collar Pittsburgh, the bright lights of New York and now Baltimore, where his new digs offer him a great view of the Inner Harbor and a short drive to Camden Yards.


Tonight, 7:05 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 1090 AM Starters: Phillies' Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.41 ERA) vs. Orioles' Erik Bedard (7-6, 5.09)

The Kris Benson file

Age: 31

Birthplace: Duluth, Minn.

Full-time residence: Atlanta

Personal: Kris and wife, Anna Benson (above), have three kids, Alyssa, 13 (Anna's daughter from first marriage); P.J, 9; and Haylee, 5. Family also has seven dogs.

College: Clemson University

Career highlights/honors:

Was No. 1 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1996 draft.

Ranks third all time at Clemson with 330 regular-season strikeouts.

Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball's College Player of the Year in 1996.

Member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team.

Named the Sports Humanitarian of the Year in 2006 by the New Jersey Sports Writers Association.

Won Thurman Munson Award in 2006, in recognition of his athletic and community achievements.

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