Johnny Bench Biography
Johnny Bench (Johnny Lee Bench) is an American former professional baseball catcher. He played in the Major Leagues for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983. He is also a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Johnny is a 14-time All-Star selection and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player. As the key member of the Big Red Machine Patrick won six division titles, four National League pennants, and two consecutive World Series championships. ESPN has called him the greatest catcher in baseball history.
Johnny Bench Age
Johnny was born on December 7, 1947, in Oklahoma. He is 73 years old.
How Tall Is Johnny Bench
Johnny stands at a height of 1.85 m.
Johnny Bench Family
Born and raised in Oklahoma. He is the son of Ted Bench who was also a baseball player and a truck driver and Katy Bench who was a housewife. Johnny has three Siblings, two elder brothers: Teddy Bench and William, and one younger sister: Marilyn Bench. Johnny spent his childhood in a small town in Binger picking up cotton and delivering the newspaper. From a very young age, Johnny had a strong desire for baseball. His father told him that the fastest route to becoming a major leaguer was as a catcher.
Johnny Bench Wife | Johnny Bench Sons
Bench has been married four times. Once hailed as “baseball’s most eligible bachelor.” His recent marriage was to 31-year-old Lauren Baiocchi, the daughter of pro golfer Hugh Baiocchi whom she married in 2004. After living in Palm Springs with their two sons, Justin (born 2006) and Josh (born 2010), Johnny had the urge to return to South Florida, where he lived from 2014-17, so the family scouted homes in Palm Beach Gardens.
In the end, Lauren decided she wasn’t going to move to Florida, so she and Johnny divorced; as of 2018, Bench has primary custody of the boys.
Johnny Bench Gay
Johnny is not gay since he has married four times to women.
Johnny Bench Stats
Johnny had 2,048 hits for a .267 career batting average with 389 home runs and 1,376 RBI during his 17-year Major League career, all spent with the Reds. Johnny retired as the career home run leader for catchers. This record stood until surpassed by Carlton Fisk and the current record holder, Mike Piazza.
He still holds the Major League record for the grandest slam home runs by a catcher with 10. In his career, Bench earned 10 Gold Gloves, was named to the National League All-Star team 14 times and won two Most Valuable Player Awards.
He led the National League three times in caught stealing percentage and ended his career with a .991 fielding percentage. He caught 118 shutouts during his career, ranking him 12th all-time among major league catchers. Bench also won such awards as the Lou Gehrig Award (1975), the Babe Ruth Award (1976), and the Hutch Award (1981).
Johnny Bench Net Worth
Johnny a retired professional baseball player has an estimated net worth of $5 million.
Johnny Bench Signed Baseball
When Johnny was seventeen years old he was selected 36th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 1965 amateur draft, playing for the minor-league Buffalo Bisons in the 1966 and 1967 seasons before being called up to the Reds in August 1967.
Johnny hit only .163, however, he impressed many people with his defense and strong throwing arm, among them Hall of Famer Ted Williams. Ted signed a baseball for him and predicted that the young catcher would be “a Hall of Famer for sure!” Williams’ prophecy became fact 22 years later in 1989 when Bench was elected to Cooperstown.
The year 1970 was Johnny’s finest statistical season. When he was 22 years old, he became the youngest player to win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Johnny hit .293, led the National League with 45 home runs and a franchise-record 148 runs batted in as the Reds won the NL West Division. The Reds swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Championship Series but lost to the Baltimore Orioles in five games in the World Series.
During the last three seasons of his career, he moved out of the plate, catching only 13 games, while primarily becoming a corner infielder (first or third base). The Cincinnati Reds announced officially Saturday, September 17, 1983, “Johnny Bench Night” at Riverfront Stadium, in which he hit his 389th and a final home run, a line drive to left in the third inning before a record crowd. Johnny retired at the end of the season at age 35.
Johnny Bench Hand Size
In one season, Johnny was getting his glove 4 to 6 inches lower than most other catchers in the league lower even than Randy Hundley of the Chi Chicago Cubs.
Johnny Bench Commercial
For a time in the 1980s, Johnny was a commercial spokesman for Krylon paint, featuring a memorable catchphrase: “I’m Johnny Bench, and this is Johnny Bench’s bench.
Johnny Bench Batter Up
Batting practice device endorsed by the Cincinnati Reds catcher and widely used by children growing up in the 1970s. The Johnny Batter-Up was a remarkably simple contraption: a baseball was tethered to a tyke-sized pole rising out of a heavy concrete base, allowing the user to whack the ball and then wait for the next “pitch” when the elastic tether swung back in the opposite direction.
Chuck Knoblauch a former Minnesota Twin and New York Yankee second baseman are one of many major leaguers who claims to have learned to hit using a Bench Batter-Up.