Bench, Johnny (Lee)(1947– ) baseball player; born in Oklahoma City, Okla. Part Cherokee, often injured, he is regarded as one of the game's greatest catchers. He pioneered the technique of one-handed catching and used a hinged catcher's mitt. He hit 389 career home runs for the Cincinnati Reds (1967–83) and won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1970 and 1972. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.