Couple did revealing interview in '01
His wife, Anna, appeared there earlier this year when, according to her Internet site, she performed an original monologue as an invited guest at an off-Broadway play with an off-color name.
Anna Benson, a model and actress, also posed scantily clad in a recent issue of Player magazine, is due to appear in an upcoming photo spread in Femme Fatales magazine and will have her own 2005 calendar. She and her husband also posed topless for a 2001 story in Penthouse magazine in which the couple discussed intimate details about their sex life.
The interview was a major embarrassment to the Pirates, but has not prevented Anna Benson from further discussing the couple's off-field activities. She told several interviewers this year that the couple had sex both inside and outside Three Rivers Stadium, the team's former ballpark, and once did so while fans waited outside the couple's van for autographs.
Kris Benson doesn't think the Penthouse article or his wife's openness to discuss their relationship has caused any harm to the team or his family. The couple has three children.
"I thought it would be something new, instead of just talking about my curveball or something like that. I didn't have any reservations talking to Penthouse," Benson said at spring training in 2001. "It was a very professionally done interview and we had a lot of laughs, too.
"I didn't hurt anyone or say anything bad about anyone. I didn't say anything bad about the Pirates' organization or my teammates. I didn't say I went out and chased prostitutes or did drugs," said Benson, who, like his wife, grew up in the Atlanta area.
The Pirates have never said if they disciplined Benson for posing for the magazine -- something few sports teams that appeal to a family clientele would want their players doing -- but it is believed they did not.
Still, Benson's arrival in New York and his wife's willingness to openly discuss their marriage is likely to cause a stir in the city's tabloid newspapers. In Pittsburgh, there was little written about the Bensons' activities, though it often was a topic of conversation on sports talk radio.
Earlier this week, Benson seemed eager for a trade, mostly because it might allow him to play for a winning team for the first time in his career.
"It definitely would be something new for me," he said.
Both Bensons have their own Web sites. Anna Benson's site includes several photo galleries and lists of her favorite foods (sushi, soy, candy), cosmetics (Bobby Brown, Chanel), cable channels (CNN, Oxygen), magazines (Shape, People, Maxim, FHM), musicians (Outkast, Ashanti, Justin Timberlake) and movies (A Clockwork Orange, Scarface).
The couple also has a charity, Benson's Battalion, that funds equipment and supplies for Pennsylvania fire companies and police forces to help fight terrorism.
Benson, eligible for free agency after this season, and minor league infielder Jeff Keppinger went to the Mets for infielder Ty Wigginton, highly touted minor league pitcher Matt Peterson and infielder Jose Bautista.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press