1981 Topps ‘Record Breakers’ – Card #201 – Johnny Bench
Headline – ‘Bench sets home run mark for backstops’
The story – Cincinnati, Ohio, October 5, 1980. Reds’ catcher Johnny Bench has finished the season as the all-time leading slugger among backstops. Johnny belted 23 round-trippers while catching in 1980, giving him a lifetime total of 323 4-baggers while wearing the ‘tools of ignorance’. The former major league record for home runs by a catcher was 313 held by Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra.
30 years later – Bench ended his career with 389 home runs; 326 of which were hit while catching in the game. The game’s new leader is Mike Piazza who hit 427 career home runs, 396 of which came while catching.