Known as a power hitter in his native Puerto Rico Benny Ayala was signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets on January 28, 1971. After three seasons in the minors where he showed promise as a power hitter with 45 home runs Ayala was called up to the show in 1974. On August 27, 1974 he made his Major League debut and hit a home run in his first at bat off of Tom Griffin of the Houston Astros. He became the first player in Mets history to hit a homer in their first Major League at bat. Unfortunately that would be the highlight of his career in Flushing.
Ayala would finish out the 74 season with the Mets playing in 23 games and hitting .235 with two homers and eight RBI’s. After failing to make the team out of Spring Training in 1975, Ayala would play the entire 75 season with the Tidewater Tides, the Mets AAA affiliate. He returned to the big club in 1976 but would last only 22 games hitting just .115 with a homer and two RBI’s. and was sent back down to the minors where he finished out the season. Ayala did not return to the Mets and was traded to the St Louis Cardinals prior to the 1977 season in exchange for Doug Clarey
In 45 games for the Mets Ayala hit .202 with three homers and ten RBI‘s.
While with the Mets Ayala wore number 18.
Benny Ayala also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1977
Baltimore Orioles – 1979-1984
Cleveland Indians – 1985