When Does The University Of Oklahoma Play Football Today Johnny Bench – Baseball Hall of Famer

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Johnny Bench – Baseball Hall of Famer

John Lee Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 7, 1947 to Ted and Kathy Bench. Johnny Bench was a typical high school student who played both baseball and basketball at Binger High School in Binger Oklahoma. He was All-State in both baseball and basketball. Bench not only excelled in sports in high school, but also did well in his classes and graduated as Valedictorian. Johnny Bench always wanted to be a professional baseball player and it was his father who suggested that he play catcher. His father felt that this would be the fastest way for his son to achieve his dream of becoming a professional player. Johnny Bench followed his father’s advice and in 1965, at the age of 18, he was called up to the minor leagues by the Cincinnati Reds. He was brought up from the minors for the 1968 season to play in the majors beginning a successful career that lasted until his last game in September 1983.

During Johnny Bench’s baseball career, he received many awards and accolades starting with the Rookie of the Year award in 1968. This outstanding athlete also played in 14 All-Star games, a 2-time World Series champion, a 10-time Gold Glove winner, a 2-time National League MVP , 1-time World Series MVP and won the Babe Ruth Memorial, Lou Gehrig and Hatch Awards. During his 17 years of professional baseball, Johnny had 2048 at bats for a 267 batting average. He hit 689 home runs with 1376 RBI. At the time of his retirement he was the leader of the home ranch for catchers. Johnny Bench was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1989.

John Lee Bench continues to excel in his endeavors even after his baseball career ended in 1983. After retirement, he co-authored 2 books, an autobiography called Catch You Later and Catch Every Ball: How to Cope with Life’s Chances. He also broadcast baseball games on radio and television. In 2004, Bench had hip replacement surgery due to years of catching baseballs. The hip replacement was a Striker ceramic hip and he later became a spokesperson for the Striker Co. He still participates in competitive sports and has played golf in several championship tournaments.

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