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    Description

    1967-68 Johnny Bench Rookie Era Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.
    Johnny Bench is the gold standard for baseball catchers of any era. At nineteen, he was repositioning veteran infielders and advising star pitchers. By the time he was twenty, he had redefined how to play the position. Even now, long after his playing days have past and his ten Gold Gloves, two MVP's, and two World Series championships have been committed to memory, Bench still matters.

    Exhibiting world-class talent as a teen, Johnny signed with the Reds in 1965 for $6,000 plus college tuition and played in the Florida State League. In 1966, he trained with the Reds in Tampa. In 1967, the Reds brought him up in August and traded their All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Johnny Edwards after the season. In 1968, Bench was named an All-Star, Gold Glove winner, and N.L. Rookie of the Year.

    The Hillerich & Bradsby exemplar on offer here dates from Bench's first two Major League season, 1967-68, when he was a 19-20 year-old phenom. It measures 35.5" long and weighs 32.8 ounces, with "R161" punched into the knob. Bat expert John Taube's detailed assessment notes that the bat exhibits evidence of heavy use, including a cracked handle which has been professionally repaired. Numerous ball marks, cleat marks, and scoring by Bench, to enhance the hitting surface, are all visible on the barrel, as well a heavy coat of pine tar on the handle, another Bench signature trait.

    A premium addition to any serious bat collection, this is one of the few Bench gamers extant from the dawn of his career, when he was baseball's greatest young talent. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2018
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 528

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