Category Archives: Johnny Bench Collection

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps – 1972 mini

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps  - 1972 mini

WHAT AN IMAGE!!!

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Topps hit it out of the park on this one.  Not only is the image used on this card of Johnny Bench from the 1972 mini subset that was part of the 2013 Topps flagship brand a perfect blast back to Bench’s MVP days, but the way that it shows off his vintage catcher’s gear is outstanding.

Just look at what he is wearing – and compare it to today’s catching gear.

Between the chest protector, the mask, the helmet, and the glove, baseball equipment has come a very long way.  And while I will always choose old-school over modern, I am happy to see that our players today are better protected and cared for – very few of today’s catchers would wear what Bench was wearing in the early 1970′s.

1989 Headline: Johnny Bench & Carl Yastrzemski Voted Into National Baseball Hall Of Fame

1989 Headline: Johnny Bench & Carl Yastrzemski Voted Into National Baseball Hall Of Fame

On this day in 1989 both Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski were voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ironically, both players spend their entire big league careers playing for just one team.

Johnny Bench was a Rookie of the Year winner, multiple time All-Star, multiple time Gold Glove winner, 2-time MVP, and 2-time World Series Champion, Bench did it all during his remarkable 17-season major league career.

Carl Yastrzemski put up some unreal stats – The stats : 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI, 1,816 runs scored, 168 stolen bases, and a career batting average of .285.  In Yaz’s 23-year career, he finished in the Top 20 for the MVP award 12 times, while earning the award in 1967 with his .326/44/121 performance.

Congratulations Gentlemen!!!

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter – Base

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter – Base

What a nice card.

I like the different angle of the image that was used.

And I have to say that I could very easily see the bat swapped out with the golf club, which I believe is something that Mr. Bench would really, really enjoy.

GINTER BENCH

 

FORE!!!!

Johnny Bench’s Highly Collectible 1968 Topps Rookie Card

Johnny Bench’s Highly Collectible 1968 Topps Rookie Card

I don’t know a single collector that would turn down a chance to own a Johnny Bench rookie card.

I also don’t know a single collector that has one.

And now that I really think about it, I cannot say that I have ever seen one of these beauties from the 1968 set in person.

Lucky for me the internet offers us opportunities to sit back and drool over what we cannot have.

And this is one of those situations…

Nice, Very Nice!!!

Johnny Bench And The Hall Of Fame Class Of 1989

Johnny Bench And The Hall Of Fame Class Of 1989

One of the most obvious choices for first ballot entry into the Hall of Fame, Johnny Bench’s baseball resume looks like a blue-print for induction at Cooperstown.

A Rookie of the Year winner, multiple time All-Star, multiple time Gold Glove winner, 2-time MVP, and 2-time World Series Champion, Bench did it all during his remarkable 17-season major league career.

So, where does he rank in the voter’s eyes?

Good question, huh?  I’ll tell you where he ranks…  it’s right here!!!  Below is a chart that shows you the highest voting percentages for Hall of Fame induction in the history of the game…

Rank Player Year Ballots Votes % Position
1 Tom Seaver 1992 430 425 98.84% P
2 Nolan Ryan 1999 497 491 98.79% P
3 Cal Ripken, Jr. 2007 545 537 98.53% SS
4 Ty Cobb 1936 226 222 98.23% CF
5 George Brett 1999 497 488 98.19% 3B
6 Hank Aaron 1982 415 406 97.83% RF
7 Tony Gwynn 2007 545 532 97.61% RF
8 Mike Schmidt 1995 460 444 96.52% 3B
9 Johnny Bench 1989 447 431 96.42% C
10 Steve Carlton 1994 455 436 95.82% P
11 Babe Ruth 1936 226 215 95.13% RF
11 Honus Wagner 1936 226 215 95.13% SS
13 Willie Mays 1979 432 409 94.68% CF
14 Carl Yastrzemski 1989 447 423 94.63% LF
15 Bob Feller 1962 160 150 93.75% P

So, now we know the answer to that question:  Johnny Bench Has The 9th Highest Percentage Of Votes For Hall Of Fame Induction!!!

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Johnny Bench’s Fantastic Autograph

Johnny Bench’s Fantastic Autograph

If a player could teach a ‘How To Sign’ class, Johnny Bench could easily be the professor.

His signature is crisp, clear, and almost perfectly executed each time.  In fact, of all of the Bench signatures I have seen both in person and online, I have to say that I have never seen a bad one.

Written in a very clean script, his autograph is easy to read while offering just enough flare to bring a smile to the recipient’s face.

I once read that as a kid growing up, Bench used to practice his signature repeatedly so he got accustomed to the same look and feel each and every time he signed.  He took a lot of pride in his signature, and wanted the recipients to be pleased with what he offered.

I have two in my collection, and if I have my way, more will follow.

Here is just one example of the perfection that Bench offers up:

Johnny Bench And His 1975 & 1976 World Series Championships

Johnny Bench And His 1975 & 1976 World Series Championships

As the anchor of the mighty ‘Big Red Machine’, Bench helped take the Cincinnati Reds to the pinnacle of the sport during the post-seasons of 1975 and 1976.

And he did it in grand fashion…

In 1975, the Reds topped the Red Sox in 7 games  Bench rung up just a .207 batting average, but was responsible for driving in 4 crucial runs.  And in 1976, he dominated the Yankees.  In a 4-game sweep, he hit .533 while collecting 6 RBI, scoring 4 runs, and smashing 2 home runs.  His efforts in ’76 earned him the World Series MVP award.

Johnny Bench Captured 10 Gold Gloves During His Big League Career

Johnny Bench Captured 10 Gold Gloves During His Big League Career

Right at the start of his major league career, it was obvious that Johnny Bench was a supreme defender.

In his first full-time season, Bench captured the first of ten consecutive Gold Glove awards.  In his rookie season of 1968, Bench posted a fielding percentage of .991 while committing just nine errors in 154 games played.

He would go on to compile a career fielding percentage of .990 while committing just 97 errors in 1,742 games played.

Johnny Bench Was A 14-Time All-Star!!!

Johnny Bench Was A 14-Time All-Star!!!

Arguably the greatest catcher of all-time, Johnny Bench made the All-Star team in 14 of his 17 seasons as a major league baseball player.

A member of the Cincinnati Reds for the duration of his playing days, Bench was a fixture on the squad for a majority of the time that he played in the big leagues.

And while there was competition for the starting spot from a few worthy candidates in the National League during the time that Bench played, nobody could stack up to the ‘Little General’.

Johnny Bench’s Second MVP Season – 1972!

Johnny Bench’s Second MVP Season – 1972!

Bench was an unstoppable force during the 1972 baseball season.  Hitting .270 along with 40 home runs and 125 RBI, Bench solidified himself as the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history.  During that season, Bench earned his 5th consecutive Gold Glove as well as his 5th straight All-star game selection.  He also led the team into the 1972 World Series, losing in game 7 to the mighty Oakland A’s.