February 25, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 30, Johnny Bench (The Athletic)


Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

Ted Bench had one of those extraordinary arms that left people around him breathless. He was a catcher, naturally, and every time he would make the throw to second, even if it was just at the end of the warmup pitches, people around him would ooh and ahh and whistle. Many people thought that with an arm like that, Bench should have become a pitcher.

But they didn’t understand. Ted Bench was a catcher. Not a pitcher. That’s just how it was.

Ted often ran into people who just didn’t understand how it was. Take his high school baseball coach. Ted somehow got sideways with the guy, never really knew why, and at some point in Ted’s senior year, the coach…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 30, Johnny Bench” at The Athletic