1990's Johnny Bench "Babe Ruth Crown" Award. From a standpoint of pure aesthetics, this might be our favorite baseball award of all, a regal lifetime achievement award presented in honor of Baltimore's favorite baseball son by the Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association. The honor was created in 1956, at which point it was presented to the player with the highest slugging percentage. Originally called "The Sultan of Swat Award," its recipients read like a who's who of long ball legends: Mantle, Aaron, Williams, Mays, Banks. In later years, along with the shift in terminology, the award would come to be presented to retired ballplayers instead, still honoring the elite power hitter which its namesake exemplified.

    This striking royal relic is the prize presented to the Big Red Machine's Johnny Bench, who redefined the role of catcher as offensive standard-bearer to pave the way for fellow future Hall of Famers like Carlton Fisk and Mike Piazza. Six baseball diamonds rise from the golden headband which encircles a crushed red velvet center, the emblem of the Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association applied to the diamond at front. Just below, raised and engraved text announce "Babe Ruth Crown Presented to Johnny Bench For Outstanding Batting Achievement, Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association."

    Engraved text on verso elaborates on the theme, recounting the legendary Red's career highlights: N.L. M.V.P. 1970, 1972, Gold Glove Award 1968 thru 1977, N.L. Rookie of the Year 1968, B.A. .267, Hits 2048, Doubles 381, Triples 24, H.R. 289, Runs 1091, World Series M.V.P. 1976, 12 All Star Games, Hall of Fame 1989."

    Condition is superb, with no flaws worthy of note.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Sportscard (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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