Friday, January 24, 2014

Player Profile: Johnny Bench

I have fourteen cards of Johnny Bench. This one is from 1984 Fleer.

Playing career: Arguably the greatest catcher of all time, Johnny Bench played seventeen seasons for the Cincinnati Reds. A fourteen-time All Star and ten-time Gold Glove winner, Bench hit .267 with 389 HR and 1,376 RBI. He led the NL in home runs in both 1970 and 1972, winning the MVP award each year. He helped the Reds win back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976.

Where he is now: He is involved in various business and charity ventures, which can be found in his bio at He has also written three books about baseball, played in the Senior PGA Tour, and acted on stage (Joe Hardy in a Cincinnati production of Damn Yankees) and TV (played a military guard in a 1971 episode of Mission: Impossible).

My memories: His playing career is from before my time. My earliest memories of him were Krylon spray paint commercials that would often air during ballgames in the late 1980s. Some poor sap would spray a bench with a competitors’ paint, then sit on it and get paint all over his suit. Then Johnny would spray a bench with Krylon paint, sit on it and stay dry, saying, “Krylon. No runs, no drips, no errors.”

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Johnny B, between Johnny B Goode and Johnny B Goode Lyrics, which refer to the Chuck Berry song. There do not appear to be any other prominent Johnny Benches.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bill Bene.

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