Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Man From Binger

Happy birthday to my all-time favorite baseball player, who was born December 7, 1947 in Oklahoma City and was reared in the tiny town of Binger. One of the most exciting nights of my young life was attending Johnny Bench Night at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati on September 17, 1983. It was one of the last games Bench would ever play before retiring at the end of the season. Even though he had mostly been playing third base (and not all that well), due to bad knees earned by squatting behind home plate 150 games a season, he caught that night and batted cleanup. And damned if he not only belted his 389th (and last) career home run, but also legged out an infield single!

The Reds lost to Houston that night 4-3, but no one in Cincy cared. I still carry the Cincinnati Post's box score of that game in my wallet.

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