6:33 PM ET
The recent deaths of baseball greats Lou Brock, Tom Seaver and Al Kaline got Johnny Bench thinking about the future and the prospect of unloading memorabilia from his Hall of Fame career.
He had seen Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith sell their collectibles. Bench checked out items from Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully’s recent online auction.
“You wonder, what is the best thing to do?” Bench said by phone Thursday. “Who does it go to?”
Bench reaped the rewards of a 17-year career catching with the Cincinnati Reds: two World Series titles, 14 All-Star selections, two National League MVP awards, multiple Gold Gloves. He was leader of the Big Red Machine that won six division tiles and four NL pennants in the mid-1970s.
“The memories are still there. I still am the MVP,” he said. “I’m blessed with what I’ve got and I’m enjoying my life.”
He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with 30-year-old son Bobby and sons Justin, 14, and Josh, 11, from Bench’s fourth marriage. The younger boys are with him 38 weeks of the year, keeping Bench busy as a single father cooking, grocery shopping, helping with