May 9, 2011
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati baseball team received a visit from Cincinnati Reds legend Johnny Bench on Monday prior to the Bearcats' training session at the Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center.
Bench, a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 1989, is widely viewed as the greatest catcher of all-time. In 17 seasons as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, Bench was voted an All-Star 14 times, garnered 10 Gold Glove Awards, and twice was named the National League Most Valuable Player in '70 and '72. As the defensive anchor of the Big Red Machine, Bench guided the Reds to World Series championships in '75 and '76.
Cincinnati head coach Brian Cleary and his team assembled in the Lindner Center's Golf Room, which houses the UC vision training equipment. In addition to Bench, the Bearcats were greeted by team optometrist Dr. Jim Ellis, who facilitated the visit, and athletic trainer Patricia Graman, who coordinates the UC vision training program.
Bench addressed the team and spoke about baseball fundamentals, the importance of bringing a competitive attitude to the ballpark every day, as well as the advantages of vision training.
Cincinnati plays Miami University in a two-game, home-and-home series beginning with a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday game at Marge Schott Stadium.