Sports Motivational Speaker Johnny Bench is a Hall of Fame catcher who spent his entire 17-year career in the MLB with the Cincinnati Reds. Johnny set the standard for all catchers to come behind the plate and is widely considered the best catcher ever to play the game. He played alongside the likes of Pete Rose and Joe Morgan for a high-powered Reds team affectionately known as the Big Red Machine. Johnny and his fellow Hall of Fame teammates led the Reds to 6 division titles, 4 National League pennants and back-to-back World Series wins in 1975 and 1976. Johnny is an iconic sports figure who now makes regular appearances as a Motivational Keynote Speaker.
Johnny’s first full season in the major leagues came in 1968. At just 20 years of age, he became the first catcher in MLB history to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He also took home his first of 10 career Gold Glove Awards that season, becoming the first rookie catcher to earn that honor. 2 years later he helped spark the Reds to a World Series birth against the Baltimore Orioles and won the National League MVP Award. His incredible stats speak for themselves, but Sports Motivational Speaker Johnny Bench played the game the right way. He was a team player who was always working on getting better and leading by example in the clubhouse.
Sports Motivational Speaker Johnny Bench would go on to make 14 career All-Star appearances and was the World Series MVP during the Reds second time around in 1976. The Reds retired his #5 jersey and a statue of his likeness has been erected outside the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. He was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1989. Beginning in 2000, the NCAA has given out the Johnny Bench Award to the best catcher in division 1 college baseball each year.