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Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Johnny Bench was nominated by Sporting News as the 16th greatest baseball player of all time, and the very greatest catcher. He symbolizes the virtues of victory attained through hard work and teamwork and shares his vision of this with his audiences.

Signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur, Johnny made the professional ranks in 1968 and went on to have a Major League career that is almost unrivaled. He was National League Rookie of the Year, National League MVP twice, World Series MVP, 14 time All-Star selection and winner of 10 Gold Gloves. He set an endurance record for catchers by appearing in over 100 games for 13 consecutive seasons, and he was chosen for the All Century Team in 1999.

Johnny's belief in his duty to use his celebrity status for good has led him to work with the Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Kidney Foundation, the Franciscan Sisters of Poor Health System, the American Lung Association and the “Catch the Cure" program of the Children's Hospital of Cincinnati. He is also a supporter of the Cincinnati Symphony, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Johnny Bench Scholarship fund, providing college funds for students in the Cincinnati area.

In the world of entertainment, Johnny has made many personal appearances on TV networks including ESPN and Fox Sports; he has toured with Bob Hope's Christmas Shows and made personal appearances to entertain the troops during Desert Storm. He has appeared with the Cincinnati Pops as a singer, hosted the Emmy award-winning “how-to" show, The Baseball Bunch, and authored several books. He has worked as a commentator and summarizer on CBS radio and Reds' television.

Full Profile

Johnny Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 7, 1947 and grew up in the small town of Binger, Oklahoma.

Johnny′s childhood dream was to become a major league baseball player and his father counseled, that the position of catcher was the most direct route to that goal. Taking that advice, he was selected and signed in the 1965 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds. After two seasons in the minors, Bench made Cincinnati′s Major League roster for the 1968 season. This marked the beginning of one of the most successful careers in baseball history and to Johnny′s ascension as a celebrity.

Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989, Bench is undoubtedly the greatest catcher ever as stated by the Sporting News in late 1998, in which Johnny was named the 16th greatest player of all time – His successes include National League Rookie of the Year (1968), National League Most Valuable Players (1970 & 1972), World Series MVP (1976), 14-time All-Star, and 10 Gold Gloves. In 1980, Bench set an endurance record by catching 100 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons. Then, in 1999 Johnny received baseball′s esteemed honor of selection to the All Century Tearn on October 24.

Over the years, Johnny has maintained a sense of balance by using his celebrity status to aid such worthy causes as the Heart Association, the American Cancer Society (as past National Chairman of Athletes vs. Cancer), the Kidney Foundation, Franciscan Sisters of Poor Health System, the American Lung Association, and the ′Catch the Cure′ program of the Children′s Hospital of Cincinnati. He also supports the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Museum of Science and Industry in addition to the Johnny Bench Scholarship Fund, which provides funds for students to attend college in the Cincinnati area.

Johnny has also spent quite some time in entertainment, logging thousands of hours in personal appearance on television networks such as ESPN, and Fox Sports in addition to participating in events such as touring with Bob Hope′s Christmas Shows, and visiting troops in the Far East during Desert Storm. He has also sung with the Cincinnati Pops, authored books, and was the host of the Emmy-Award-winning instructional show, The Baseball Bunch.

Johnny′s national broadcasting background includes nine years with CBS Radio broadcasting the National Game of the Week, the All-Star Game, the League Championship Series and the World Series as well as play-by-play on Reds′ television.

Johnny′s corporate involvement is evident in long term spokesman relationships, both present and past with the Cincinnati based Fifth Third Bank and national retailer, S&K Menswear.

Johnny is a symbol of winning through hard work and teamwork as outlined in his keynote presentation featuring, “The Vowels of Success” which highlights easy to remember motivational tips. A much traveled and well experienced speaker, Johnny would be a great addition to your event.

Johnny Quote: “A slump is like a soft bed, easy to get in to, but hard to get out of! Persevere.”


Johnny Bench Speaker Videos Back to top

Speech


Johnny Bench shows his characteristic self-deprecating humor and humility in his induction into baseball's Hall of Fame: “They asked what I wanted to be and I said major league baseball player, I was only about 5 foot 3, had size 11 1/2 feet, same size hands, same size head, so you can understand that Barnum & Bailey were the only people interested in scouting me!"

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, he tells the audience, “When you're a kid you might dream of all-star games or World Series, but you don't dream of the Hall of Fame, that is for fantasy, for the Ty Youngs and the Babe Ruths and the Lou Gehrigs… now to be a part of them, to share with them this plaque… A guy called Yogi Berra said it's not over till it's over–Yogi, it's over, and we have made it."

Note: this is an older speech from 1989 , please see the clip below for a recent clip of Johnny speaking. He does not allow recording of his presentations, so there are no public speaking engagement clips available. We are happy to set-up a call between your event programming team and Johnny to discuss his speaking style and content.

Ford C. Frick Award Winners with Johnny Bench


Archive: Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Johnny Bench is available for speaking engagements as well as personal appearances, Baseball Memorabilia shows and corporate golf outings. He uses his personal experience of making his dreams come true to show how his audience can do the same.

Whatever the audience, Johnny touches them with his blend of sincerity, credibility and wit. Johnny's message of hard work and motivation is applicable everywhere. He knows what is necessary to succeed and gives you the tools to do so.

Over the years Johnny has devoted many hours to speaking engagements and personal appearances, entertaining and inspiring hundreds of audiences across the country. Johnny has been a guest speaker for numerous corporations, including Panasonic, Compaq, Motorola, Wal-Mart, Verizon, Nokia, Delta, Procter & Gamble, John Hancock and Arthur J. Gallagher to mention just a few.

Johnny has also taken part in many corporate golf outings, Baseball Memorabilia Shows and other public appearances. Johnny is not only a sports legend and role model, but is also a gifted and compelling speaker, and uses his high-energy personality to inspire audiences to make their own dreams come true.

Using a blend of sincerity, credibility and wit, Johnny is able to move easily from the world of sports and entertainment to civic involvement, from culture to business. He is a symbol of winning through hard work, as outlined in his presentation featuring the Vowels of Success, which highlights easy to remember motivational tips.

Johnny′s appearances are not simply limited to corporate events. He is also happy to play golf and socialize with corporate clients or customers. Or, why not have Johnny in your next Trade Show Booth to sign autographs, pose for photographs, and meet and greet potential customers.

Topics Include:

  • Winning Through Persistence and Teamwork
  • The Vowels of Success:
    Bench discusses what is necessary to be successful in anything you may desire or want to achieve. With methods for success represented by the five vowels, Bench shows that it is as easy as the ABC′s to succeed at individual and group goals.




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Catch Every Ball: How to Handle Life′s Pitches
    Johnny Bench never had it easy.

    When he was 6 years old, he picked cotton for two cents a pound, to afford a pair of new blue jeans. When he was 17, the bus that carried him and his high school teammates home from a baseball game flipped over a guardrail on an Oklahoma highway. Bench escaped with a gash on his elbow. Two of his friends were killed.

    In September 1972, doctors discovered a spot on Bench′s lung. The former National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player played the rest of that season not knowing what was wrong with him. He won a second MVP Award.

    Bench made Baseball s All Century Team and was the catcher on the Big Red Machine, two clubs that dominated the game in the 1970s. After his retirement, he launched a successful broadcasting career. More recently, he has made his living as a motivational speaker.

    Catch Every Ball is an accumulation of wisdom gleaned from 60 years of living. Bench uses examples from his own life and playing career, as well as knowledge gathered from other successful people in all walks of life, to offer a guide to success anyone can relate to.

    Follow his life through the cotton fields of Oklahoma to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Meet some of the people who have influenced him along the way: Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer, Sparky Anderson, Joe Morgan and Bob Knight, among others. Allow Bench′s wisdom to help you Catch Every Ball.
    Order Here





Over the years Johnny has devoted many hours to speaking engagements and personal appearances, entertaining and inspiring hundreds of audiences across the country. Johnny has been a guest speaker for numerous corporations, including Panasonic, Compaq, Motorola, Wal-Mart, Verizon, Nokia, Delta, Procter & Gamble, John Hancock and Arthur J. Gallagher to mention just a few.

Johnny has also taken part in many corporate golf outings, Baseball Memorabilia Shows and other public appearances. Johnny is not only a sports legend and role model, but is also a gifted and compelling speaker, and uses his high-energy personality to inspire audiences to make their own dreams come true.

Using a blend of sincerity, credibility and wit, Johnny is able to move easily from the world of sports and entertainment to civic involvement, from culture to business. He is a symbol of winning through hard work, as outlined in his presentation featuring the Vowels of Success, which highlights easy to remember motivational tips.

Johnny′s appearances are not simply limited to corporate events. He is also happy to play golf and socialize with corporate clients or customers. Or, why not have Johnny in your next Trade Show Booth to sign autographs, pose for photographs, and meet and greet potential customers.

Topics Include:

  • Winning Through Persistence and Teamwork
  • The Vowels of Success:
    Bench discusses what is necessary to be successful in anything you may desire or want to achieve. With methods for success represented by the five vowels, Bench shows that it is as easy as the ABC′s to succeed at individual and group goals.


Speech


Johnny Bench shows his characteristic self-deprecating humor and humility in his induction into baseball's Hall of Fame: “They asked what I wanted to be and I said major league baseball player, I was only about 5 foot 3, had size 11 1/2 feet, same size hands, same size head, so you can understand that Barnum & Bailey were the only people interested in scouting me!"

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, he tells the audience, “When you're a kid you might dream of all-star games or World Series, but you don't dream of the Hall of Fame, that is for fantasy, for the Ty Youngs and the Babe Ruths and the Lou Gehrigs… now to be a part of them, to share with them this plaque… A guy called Yogi Berra said it's not over till it's over–Yogi, it's over, and we have made it."

Note: this is an older speech from 1989 , please see the clip below for a recent clip of Johnny speaking. He does not allow recording of his presentations, so there are no public speaking engagement clips available. We are happy to set-up a call between your event programming team and Johnny to discuss his speaking style and content.

Ford C. Frick Award Winners with Johnny Bench


Archive: Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech