DECEMBER 7, 1947

JOHNNY BENCH BORN– BASEBALL HALL OF FAME CATCHER OF CHOCTAW DESCENT.

Born in Oklahoma City, OK, Bench played baseball & basketball and was high school valedictorian in Binger, OK.  After 2 years with the minor-league Buffalo Bisons, he joined the Cincinnati Reds in late 1967.  In his 16-year career, Bench was National League (NL) Rookie of the Year (1968), NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1970 and 1972, on the NL All-Star team 13 straight years, won 10 straight Gold Glove Awards, and 1976 World Series (WS) MVP.  Retiring in 1983, John entered Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Hall of Fame in 1989.  He initially did ads for Krylon paint & hosted TV’s The Baseball Bunch (1982-85) before moving to broadcasting in 1986.  John did Sunday ABC baseball telecasts before moving to CBS Radio and doing WS coverage (1989–93).  Bench was #16 of The Sporting News 100 Greatest Baseball Players (1999) and on MLB’s All-Century Team.  He co-wrote Catch Every Ball: How to Handle Life’s Pitches (2008) & Catch You Later (1979).  His statue is outside the Reds’ HOF.

Sources:  “Johnny Bench,” Baseball Library.com.  Retrieved 9/7/2020, https://web.archive.org/web/20150923192241/http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Johnny_Bench_1947
 Wikipedia
Trading Card Photo:  Unknown, 1977.  Public Domain.

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