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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/27/2017

     "Don’t ever compare nobody to Johnny Bench; don’t never embarrass nobody by comparing them to Johnny Bench.” Those now famous words were spoken by Cincinnati Reds’ manager Sparky Anderson after his Reds swept the Yankees in the 1976 World Series. The star of the series was Johnny Bench and his World Series MVP Award was a testament to the Reds catcher's super-human drive and determination.

     Johnny Bench was the engine that powered Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" of the 1970's. The catcher had single-handedly re-invented the way the position of catcher was played and was twice voted the National League's MVP. His .283 average with 28 homers and 110 RBI helped lead the Reds to the 1975 World Championship, but 1976 would prove to be his toughest season yet. A decade of big league catching had taken its toll on Bench's shoulders and he spent much of the season trying to regain his form at the plate. In pain and clearly uncomfortable as the Reds entered the post-season, Bench reached deep down inside himself and found the strength and determination that set him apart from all the other backstops. He hit.333 to help knock off Philadelphia for the pennant and then completely destroyed Yankee pitching by hitting .533 with two homers. The voting that named Bench the World Series MVP was a mere formality.

     This stunning flame burned Hillerich & Bradsby B278C bat was used by Bench during the 1976 All-Star Game in Philadelphia in which he truly proved he deserved the words of praise uttered by Sparky Anderson. This special Bicentennial Louisville Slugger carries the “1776-1976 National Pastime” Liberty Bell logo on the barrel between the H&B brand mark and the embossed Johnny Bench signature, along with the “1976 – ALL STAR GAME” stamp. This bat shows light game use and has a slight crack in the handle. A light coat of pine tar is present on its handle and the red streaks on the barrel can place this bat to dugout at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Bench's famous number "5" has been hand written on knob end in black marker, matching documented Bench bats from this time period. Bench signed his name in black marker next to his stamped signature on the barrel. This bat comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA with a perfect GU 10 grade (B45542) for the game use and an LOA from JSA for the signature.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $9,600.00
Estimate: $6,000+
Number Bids: 28
Auction closed on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
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