Right now, I have a modded Sega Controller with a passthru connected to port 1 in the Colecovision. I do want to get a modded SNES keypad thingy for it. I'm a bit paranoid if I keep unplugging the controller port, I may somehow break that IC chip. So Sega modded controller with passthru with the ball-knob'd controller stay in that port.
Easy way to avoid wear and tear on the controller port.. Leave an extension cable plugged in at all times. You'll only be putting wear on the extension. A Sega Genesis extension cable (Sega or Super Cable brand are both heavy duty) and work perfect, just as long as it's 9 pins/wires, wired all the way through.