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Posts Tagged ‘MLB Legends.’

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT: Johnny Bench, Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Legend

 

JOHNNY BENCH AUDIO: 50,479 Johnny Bench Pepsi MAX MLB LEGEND

Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame catcher (megasportsnews.com photo)

When the Inaugural Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Game came to town this past weekend, the MLB Legends team had Reds Hall of Fame catcher, Johnny Bench.

The 64-year-old looked as if he could still play the game. But he told us that the knees and back would not hold up.

Johnny Lee Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 7, 1947 and grew up in Binger, Oklahoma.

Bench’s childhood dream was to become a major league baseball player and his father encouraged him to pursue the catching position would get him there quicker. Johnny listened to his dad and was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1965 amateur draft.

It only took two short years in the minor leagues and Bench made the Reds roster for the 1968 season. Bench was on his way to a stellar career and would have celebrity status.

Johnny bench in the batting cage (photo by Dave Maetzold)

Johnny played for the Reds from 1967 to 1983 and his teammates would include Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Bobby Tolan, Tony Perez, George Foster, Danny Driessen, Cesar Geronimo, Dave Concepcion and Ken Griffey, Sr. This group conprised the Big Red Machine, a team that dominated National League baseball in the 1970′s with their hitting, pitching, running and defense.

The Big Red Machine, under the direction of George Lee “Sparky” Anderson, won six division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.

ESPN called Johnny the greatest catcher in baseball history.

A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, voted in back in 1989 with 96.42 percent of the vote, Bench was a 14-time All-Star and a two-time NL Most Valuable Player.

His other career accomplishments include: a .267 batting average, with 389 home runs, 1,376 RBI’s, a 10-time Gold Glove award winner, 1968 NL Rookie of the Year, 1976 World Series MVP, 1976 Babe Ruth Award, 1975 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, 1981 Hutch Award, Major League Baseball All-Century Team, Major League Baseball All-Time Team and his #5 Cincinnati Reds jersey retired in 1984.

The Sporting News dubbed him as the greatest catcher ever in 1998, when he was named the 16th greatest player of all time.

In 1980, Bench set the endurance record by catching 100 or more games for 13 straight seasons.

NEXT UP, A FEATURE ON HALL OF FAME 3B WADE BOGGS

MLB Legends hold on to beat Tim Wisecup’s team, 12-11 in Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Game

 

Outfield wall has the look of corn for the Field of Dreams effect

The inaugural Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Game took place Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio’s Huntington Park, home of the International League’s Clippers.

The MLB Legends won 12-11 over The Wisecup Team.

Highlights of the game included leadoff batter Rickey Henderson gettingĀ  a single on the game’s fourth pitch. Eventhough, stealing wasn’t allowed, the MLB’s all-time basestealer stole second and third before Frank Thomas, living up to his nickname, put the “Big Hurt” on a pitch and hit a towering homer to left-center.

The goal of the MLB Legends was to entertain, allow Tim Wisecup’s team to enjoy themselves and not get hurt.

Pepsi MAX and Major League Baseball initiated the “dream baseball experience” on the contest winner’s home town field. It pits former pro baseball players against non-professional local baseball players.

In 2011, all baseball fans across the country voted to decide which of four regional finalists would have the opportunity to take the field with the best from MLB.

Tim Wisecup, from the Columbus suburb of Hilliard, Ohio won the votes of baseball fans throughout the country and was chosen as the winner of the Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams contest.

Field of Dreams winner Tim Wisecup

Wisecup put together a team of 10 friends from Ohio and Michigan to play against 11 MLB Legends.

The MLB Legends included:

35 FRANK THOMAS 1B

29 ROD CAREW 2B

1 OZZIE SMITH SS

12 WADE BOGGS 3B

44 REGGIE JACKSON OUTFIELD

24 RICKEY HENDERSON OUTFIELD

31 DAVE WINFIELD OUTFIELD

11 EDGAR MARTINEZ DESIGNATED HITTER

5 JOHNNY BENCH CATCHER

45 PEDRO MARTINEZ STARTING PITCHER

43 DENNIS ECKERSLEY RELIEF PITCHER

 

THE WISECUP TEAM

5 TIM WISECUP 1B, HILLIARD, OHIO

25 CURTIS THOMPSON 2B, MARYSVILLE, OHIO

24 ERIK BARBONE SS, MANSFIELD, OHIO

8 MIKE HENNON 3B, HILLIARD, OHIO

3 CHRISTIAN BARTHOLOMEW OUTFIEDER, COLUMBUS, OHIO

4 TODD CARSEY OUTFIELDER, COLUMBUS, OHIO

7 GREG SECH OUTFIELDER, HILLIARD, OHIO

2 JOSHUA SLAUGHTER DESIGNATED HITTER, COLUMBUS, OHIO

11 ERIC GRANT CATCHER, MARYSVILLE, OHIO

22 DOUG LINDSEY STARTING PITCHER, WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, OHIO

6 BRIAN WEST RELIEF PITCHER, MT. CLEMENS, MICHIGAN

Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio (Clippers photo)

The MLB Legends ages ranged from the youngest of 40 years old, Pedro Martinez to 66-year-old Rod Carew, who was the oldest.

 

EVENT PHOTOS BY MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM

 

OUR NEXT ARTICLE WILL HAVE AUDIO FROM REDS HALL OF FAME CATCHER JOHNNY BENCH