03/21/2011 1:42 PM ET
New Johnny Bench exhibit opens Saturday
Ribbon cutting scheduled for 12:30 p.m. with Johnny
Johnny Bench will cut the ribbon at the official opening of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum's feature exhibit for 2011, Johnny Bench: A Celebration of Baseball's Greatest Catcher presented by Dinsmore and Shohl LLP, on Saturday, March 26 at 12:30 p.m. A press conference will precede the ribbon cutting at Noon.
A tribute to the incomparable career of career of the Hall of Fame catcher, the year-long exhibition follows the arc of Bench's career from the sandlots of Oklahoma to stadiums around the major leagues.
The exhibit explores Bench's career through a host of rare, never-before-seen artifacts, many of which originate from Bench's personal collection. In addition, video and audio elements will take visitors back in time to see how Bench and his Big Red Machine teammates unleashed their formidable talents on the opposition.
"We are thrilled to honor Johnny through this year-long celebration," said Rick Walls, Executive Director of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. "As the greatest catcher of all time, Bench's extraordinary career and influence on the game will now be showcased like never before."
"Dinsmore & Shohl is proud to be a supporter of the Reds and Reds Hall of Fame's newest exhibit which celebrates one of the most integral players of the Big Red Machine," said George Vincent, Managing Partner of Dinsmore and Shohl and the current Chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
Johnny will participate in an online chat with fans on Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m. on RedsMuseum.org.
The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum will unveil a statue in honor of the legendary catcher on September 17, just outside the HOF entrance. The museum has launched a fundraising campaign to ensure the statue's completion by the September unveiling.
Johnny Bench: A Celebration of Baseball's Greatest Catcher will run through January 31, 2012.
The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is open seven days a week now through October and is closed on Mondays November-March. For admission tickets and additional information, visit RedsMuseum.org or call (513) 765-7923.
About Johnny Bench:
Born in Binger, Oklahoma in 1947, Johnny Bench was an immediate sensation in his first full season in a Reds uniform in 1968. That initial Rookie of the Year Award-winning campaign was the start of a 17-season Major League career during which Bench revolutionized the catching position and served as a key cog in the dominant Big Red machine teams of the 1970s. Possessing an impressive combination of offense and defense, Bench is considered by most baseball historians to be the finest catcher to ever play.
- 14 All-Star Selections
- 10 Gold Gloves
- 2 National League MVP Awards
- 2 World Series Championships
- National League Rookie of the Year (1968)
- Uniform #5 retired by the Cincinnati Reds (1984)
- Reds Hall of Fame Induction (1986)
- National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction (1989)