Johnny Bench played his entire MLB career as a catcher for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 through 1983. Bench was the leader of the Reds team known as the Big Red Machine that dominated the National League in the mid-1970s, winning six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series championships. A fourteen-time All-Star and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player.
At the time of his retirement in 1983, he held the major league record for most home runs hit by a catcher. In 1986, Bench was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. ESPN has called him the greatest catcher in baseball history. In 2008, Bench co-wrote the book Catch Every Ball: How to Handle Life's Pitches with Paul Daugherty.