Here’s a long-overdue “nickname” card for the great Johnny Bench, the “Little General”, who led the Cincinnati Reds through their “Big Red Machine” juggernaut teams of the decade to consecutive World Championships in 1975-76:
Though not really the most recognized nickname of the decade in
baseball, Bench was tagged with it early on when it was clear this guy
was a leader as well as a natural on the diamond.
All he would go on to do is win the National league Rookie of the Year
as a 20-year old in 1968, win TWO Most Valuable Player Awards by the age
of 24, and win those aforementioned championships by the age of 28.
Just an incredible career that took him straight to the Hall of Fame in
his first year of eligibility in 1989, as if there was any chance of
that NOT happening!
One of the all-time great catchers regardless of era.