Daily Archives: December 7, 2008

Where Does Johnny Bench Rank Amongst Baseball’s Greatest Players?

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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The Johnny Bench Award

Each year, the Johnny Bench Award is given to the nation’s best collegiate catcher.  Named after the greatest catcher in baseball’s history, the Johnny Bench Award signifies greatness amongst a player’s peers.

This award was first given out in 2000.  See below for a list of it’s recipients:

Year Name School
2000 Brad Cresse LSU
2001 Kelly Shoppach Baylor
2002 Jeremy Brown Alabama
2003 Ryan Garko Stanford
2004 Kurt Suzuki Cal State Fullerton
2005 Jeff Clement USC
2006 Jake Smith East Carolina
2007 Edward Easley Mississippi State
2008 Buster Posey Florida State

 

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Johnny Bench’s Incredible MVP Seasons

It would be very hard to argue if Johnny Bench was a better offensive player or defensive player.  This is a true testament to his amazing all-around game.  Bench’s skill level far exceeded any other catcher playing during his time, and for his incredible efforts he won baseball’s Most Valuable Player Award both in 1970 and 1972.

The numbers:

Games Hits Average Slugging % HR’s RBI Notes
158(139 as catcher) 177 0.293 0.587 45 148 AS, GG, WS Appearance
147(129 as catcher) 145 0.270 0.541 40 125 AS, GG, WS Appearance

 

Johnny Bench was so dominant and valueable to the Red’s roster that  he was often used as an outfileder just to keep his bat in the line-up.  In today’s game this is unheard of, but for Bench he actually played in 37 games in these 2 seasons as an outfielder.

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Famous Johnny Bench Quotes

 I have found some pretty entertaining quotes both by Johnny Bench as well as about him.  Take a gander….

First, the quotes by Mr. Bench:

“A catcher and his body are like the outlaw and his horse. He’s got to ride that nag till it drops.”

“I can throw out any man alive.”

“I’ve seldom seen a horny player walk into a bar and not let out exactly what he did for a living.”

“I want to win, but there’s the grind. There’s so much responsibility for a catcher…My arm feels good. My legs will be all right. How long will I go on? How long can I go on? How long for I want to go on playing baseball? Is this what it’s like to be thirty?”

“Jimmy Connors plays two tennis matches and winds up with $850,000, and Muhammad Ali fights one bout and winds up with five million bucks. Me, I play one-hundred and ninety games, and I’m overpaid ($200,000 in 1975)!”

“They’re (hitting slumps) like sleeping in a soft bed. Easy to get into and hard to get out of.”

And now, the quotes by others about him:

“Every time (Johnny) Bench throws, everybody in baseball drools.” – Harry Dalton

“He’ll (Johnny Bench) come out on the mound and treat me like a two-year old, but so help me, I like it.” – Jim Maloney

“I don’t want to embarrass any other catcher by comparing him with Johnny Bench.” – Sparky Anderson

“I told him (Pete Rose, Jr.) who to watch. I said if you want to be a catcher, watch Johnny Bench. If you want to be a right-handed power hitter, watch Mike Schmidt. If you just want to be a hitter, watch me.” – Pete Rose

 

 

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Happy Birthday Johnny Bench!!!

Johnny Bench turns 62 years old today.  Regarded as the greatest catcher in the history of the game, I will give Mr. Bench the only thing that I can:

1 day of posts on this blog all pertaining to Johnny Bench and his incredible career!!!

 

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Happy Birthday, Mr. Bench!!!