2021 Goldin Elite Closing Jan 30 &31
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/30/2021

38 years after he last caught a big league game, Reds legend Johnny Bench is still the “benchmark” all catchers are measured. From his very start in 1967, Johnny Bench re-invented the position of backstop, pioneering the one-handed catching style, aided by the new introduced “hinged” catcher’s mitts. His remarkable dexterity allowed him to block breaking balls in the dirt with one hand instead of the textbook way of dropping both knees to the ground and using the bottom of the chest protector. He aggressively blocked the plate against opposing base runners and commanded a deep respect from his pitchers due to his encyclopedic knowledge of the league’s hitters. Perhaps his biggest tribute came after the 1976 World Series when a reporter asked Bench’s manager Sparky Anderson if New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was as good as Johnny. Sparky unhesitatingly replied, "I don't want to embarrass any other catcher by comparing him to Johnny Bench.” There is no piece of game used equipment that more exemplifies Johnny Bench than a catcher’s mitt – and this signed example is one of the finest in existence. According to PSA/DNA, who have authenticated the game use on this glove, “Dating to 1980/81 the subject glove may be the last catchers mitt used by the Hall of Famer. After April of 1981 Bench was positioned at 1st or 3rd base till his final season of 1983.” The Rawlings “Deep Well” professional model catcher’s mitt shows great game use. The pocket shows the wear of countless fastballs and the edges display scuffing and scratches from digging out errant curveballs and contact with the ground. The Rawlings label is still affixed, though the stitching has loosened in places. The rawhide lacing is intact and the factory stamping reads well. Ideally, Bench’s number “5” is handwritten in faded marker on the back of the fore finger and the Hall of Famer has signed the outside of the thumb, also in faded black marker. This glove comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA for the game use and a COA from PSA/DNA (J48081) for the signature.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $18,450.00
Number Bids: 29
Auction closed on Monday, February 1, 2021.
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