Johnny Bench is considered one of the greatest catchers in Major League Baseball history, playing all seventeen seasons with the Cincinnati Reds between 1967 and 1983. In his first full season in the Major Leagues in 1968, Bench won the National League Rookie of the year award, a preview of the impressive career he had just started. He went on to be elected to fourteen All-Star games, collected two National League MVP awards, and was known as the best defensive catcher in the game collecting ten Gold Glove Awards. Bench was an integral part of the ‘Big Red Machine’, the feared Cincinnati Reds team throughout the 1970s, and helped them win six division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series titles and was honored as the Most Valuable Player of the 1976 World Series. Bench led the league in RBIs three times and home runs twice, finishing his career with a .267 lifetime batting average, 389 home runs, and 1,376 RBIs.
–Michael Rinehart, Jr.
July 26, 2014