Somebody asked me who Johnny Bench was today. Major League catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, 1968-1983, according to some the best catcher of all time.
“I want to win, but there’s the grind. There’s so much responsibility for a catcher…My arm feels good. My legs will be all right. How long will I go on? How long can I go on? How long for I want to go on playing baseball? Is this what it’s like to be thirty?”
Basically, I missed out on anything baseball before the Minnesota Twins went to the World Series when I was a kid, and pretty much everything after that, too. But if there’s one baseball player whose name I recognize, it’s his. Because of a line on a Bill Cosby comedy album called Himself:
“And the doctor’s sitting there like Johnny Bench.”
–By the way, that wasn’t the only reference that Mom had to explain to me. I also had no idea why it was so funny that Camilla stood up in the stirrups and told everybody in the delivery room that his parents were never married.
He gives us chocolate cake!