Benjamin Thomas "Ben" Zobrist (born May 26, 1981) is an American baseball player currently with Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. A switch-hitter who throws right-handed, he has exhibited a versatility to play most positions with the exception of pitcher and catcher. He has been the Rays' starting second baseman since 2009. Besides Zo, Zobi Wan Kenobi, Zoby and Benny-Zo, he is also known by the nickname Zorilla, given to him by Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Zobrist grew up in Eureka, Illinois, raised by his parents Tom and Cindi. He loved playing baseball since he was eight, so much so that he and his friends built their own wiffle ball field behind his house. After no pro scouts or college recruiters looked at him when he graduated, he thought baseball was over for him. "Baseball was not even a thought in my mind," Zobrist said, "When I was done with my last high school game, I was driving around town just thinking I'm done with baseball the rest of my life." Despite this, Zobrist's high school coach encouraged him to go the annual event that showcased seniors in Peoria, Illinois each summer. He played in the showcase, and was given an offer by Olivet Nazarene University. In his time at Olivet, he pitched and also played at shortstop and second. He transferred to Dallas Baptist University for his senior year, where he played shortstop.
Zobrist played in Wausau, WI in the Summer Collegiate Northwoods League in 2003. He was voted team MVP & led his team to the League Championship.