09/07/2011 10:19 AM ET
Johnny Bench statue to be unveiled on Sept. 17 at "Bench Night"
CINCINNATI – Join the Cincinnati Reds and Reds Hall of Fame & Museum on Saturday, Sept. 17 for an historic evening at Great American Ball Park to celebrate "Johnny Bench Night," with the unveiling of a Johnny Bench statue at 5 p.m. and special pregame ceremonies beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Twenty-eight years ago on Sept. 17, 1983, "Johnny Bench Night" was held at Riverfront Stadium where Johnny was honored for his 17-year Major League career, all spent with the Reds. During the game he hit his 389th and final home run. He retired at the end of the season.
The Johnny Bench statue was commissioned by the Reds Hall of Fame and made possible through the generous donations from fans and friends of Johnny, and was created by local sculptor Tom Tsuchiya who also created the statues of Ted Kluszewski, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Nuxhall and Frank Robinson that adorn the Crosley Terrace entrance to the ballpark.
The statue will be located directly outside the main entrance to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum and captures Johnny at the height of his Hall of Fame career when he established himself as the greatest catcher in the history of the game.
The dedication ceremony begins at 5 p.m. Johnny will be joined by friends and family including teammates Joe Morgan, Dave Concepcion, Cesar Geronimo, George Foster and Doug Flynn.
The special on-field ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and will feature highlights from his career and a ceremonial first pitch by Johnny prior to the Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers at 7:10 p.m.
Game tickets are available at reds.com/benchnight or by calling 513-381-REDS.
All fans at the game will receive a 2011 Reds team photo giveaway commemorating the statue dedication, presented by Orville Redenbacher.
Bench Night also marks the official release of a collectible, pewter version of Johnny's statue that will be available for sale at the Reds Hall of Fame and at HOF sales areas around the ballpark.
The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum has been celebrating Johnny all season with the feature exhibit, Johnny Bench: Baseball's Greatest Catcher, presented by Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, a series of five Bench bobbleheads and a sold out dinner to honor Johnny in July.
For more information on the statue dedication visit redsmuseum.org or call 513-765-7923.