Johnny Bench was one of the best catchers that baseball has ever seen. He was an essential part of the Cincinatti Reds throughout the 17 years of his career there, as he helped lead them to back-to-back World Series wins in 1975 and 1976. However, it’s not Bench’s two world series rings or even his 10 Gold Gloves that make him most impressive. What makes Johnny Bench so tough was how much he could take a hit. One only needs to read about when Gary “Sarge” Matthews ran into Bench at the plate back in 1975, sending him backwards and leaving Bench with a sharp pain in his shoulder that didn’t take him out of the game. No, even though that shoulder pain remained all season, it was never enough to bench Johnny Bench, and he fought throw that pain to win that first of two World Series titles.
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