Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#61 Johnny Bench Super Veteran

Then and Now:  Johnny Bench was very good at an early age, making his MLB debut as a baby faced 19 year-old and winning Rookie of the Year a year later at age 20.  Bench was a relatively young veteran at age 35 during his last season.

Career Span: 8/28/67 to 9/29/83

All Star: Bench was an All-Star 14 times although the last time in '83 was pretty much an honorary selection.  Bench played in twelve of those games and batted 12 for 28 with three home runs.

Gold Glove:  Bench won ten gold gloves, all consecutive from '68-77.

All-Time Ranks:  Bench held the record at one time for most home runs at the catcher position with 327.  He has the highest Wins Above Replacement of any player whose primary position is catcher at 71.3. 

Postseason:  Bench won the World Series with the Reds in '75 and '76 and was series MVP in '76.  In all Bench played in four World Series and six championship series.  Bench homered in nine of those ten series and for his postseason career had a .266/.335/.527 line which is right on track with his regular season line of .267/.342/.476.

MVP:  Bench won the MVP in 1970 and 1972.  He finished fourth in 1974 and 1975 and also received votes in '68, '69, '73, '77, '79, and '80.

Hall of Fame:  Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 in his first year of eligibility, receiving a vote on 431 of the 447 ballots.  What were the other 16 voters thinking?

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