Bench sets Reds mark with 325th home run
“He’s just been a guy that no one can describe with words except to say that he’s a legend and definitely destined to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Gary Carter during Bench’s playing days.
When Bench was in Spring Training in 1968, then a 20-year-old rookie, Hall of Fame outfielder Ted Williams autographed a baseball for him. Despite the fact that Bench had played just 26 big league games, Williams had a lofty prediction for the young catcher. On the autographed ball, Williams wrote, ‘To Johnny Bench, a Hall of Famer for sure.’
Needless to say, Williams’ prediction came true. Bench was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1989. Sparky Anderson, who managed Bench from 1970-78, also made a prediction about Bench.
“We’re never going to see another one like him in our lifetime,” Anderson said. “I’ll tell you we would be the most fortunate people in the world if we ever seen another one like him in our lifetime.”
Connor O’Gara was the 2012 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development