… the best catcher ever, Johnny Bench. It was a really good review of his career and life shown on the MLB network as MLB Network Presents. It will be on again several times.
Johnny Bench could do it all. Catch and handle pitchers, hit and hit for power and he could throw out base runners with the best of them. The days of the “Big Red Machine” are long gone now with free agency and the crazy money players make. I still think his teammate Pete Rose should be in the “Hall of Fame”.
I was a little leage player during the “Big Red Machine” time and really liked and idolized many of those players on that team during the 1970’s.
Fast forward to my adult life here in Northern Kentucky about 20 minutes from downtown Cincinnati and I have a much different opinion of Johnny Bench.
I work in the travel industry and have had the opportunity to cross paths with pretty much every single player from that team and most of those guys are down to earth men that are very approachable and will give most people the time of day.
However, Johnny Bench is the one guy from that group that is not a good dude and completely unapproachable. He will always be an icon for what he accomplished on the field of play, but from what I’ve seen of him in my 20 years of living here I wouldn’t waste my time on him. Quite simply, he comes off as a jerk to folks around here and disappointing.
Side note, as for great teams of the 1970’s the Oakland A’s were every bit as good as the Reds during the decade.
I agree on Pete Rose. I can still see the pic in my mind of Rose barreling over Fosse at the plate during the All Star game. Playing to win an all star game, imagine that. Or better yet, a hard slide to second to break up a double play or separating the ball from the catcher w a collision.
Now Pete is not the greatest citizen…but that is another issue
Have a friend who also knew bench from many years ago (but after his playing days), and your sentiments re. JB were his exactly. I never liked the guy, because he could always seem to hit Gibson!