Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame Unveils Johnny Bench Exhibit
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Reds honored one of their own by opening an exhibit this weekend that highlights the career of the arguably the greatest catcher in the history of Major League Baseball.
The new Johnny Bench exhibit debuts Saturday at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
Bench cut the ribbon at the official opening of the feature exhibit of 2011, Johnny Bench: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greatest Catcher presented by Dinsmore and Shohl LLP.
The year-long exhibit follows Bench from the sandlots of Oklahoma to the stadiums around the major leagues. It includes never-before-seen artifacts, many of which originate from Bench’s personal collection. In addition, video and audio elements will take visitors back in time to see how Bench and his Big Red Machine teammates unleashed their formidable talents on the opposition.
“We are thrilled to honor Johnny through this year-long celebration,” said Rick Walls, Executive Director of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. “As the greatest catcher of all time, Bench’s extraordinary career and influence on the game will now be showcased like never before.”
Bench was born in Binger, Oklahoma in 1947. In 1968, his first full season in a Reds uniform, he won the Rookie of the Year award.
Bench went on to play 17 seasons during which he revolutionized the position and served as one of the key components in the dominant Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s.
Bench possessed a rare combination of offense and defense. He’s still regarded today as the best catcher to ever play the game.
During his Hall of Fame career Bench was elected to 14 All Star teams, won 10 Gold Gloves, two National League MVP Awards and helped the Reds win two World Series Championships.
Bench was inducted in to the Reds Hall of Fame in 1986 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
Bench remains a fixture in the Cincinnati community and had his number 5 retired by the team in 1984.
For more information on the Johnny Bench exhibit and other things offered at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, go to http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof/ or call (513) 765-7923.
The exhibit runs through Jan. 31, 2012.