“He was Jewish” – Johnny Bench mars former MLB icon’s tribute ceremony with his troubling anti-semitic statement

Former Cincinnati Reds
sports gates الإثنين 17 يوليو 2023 - 23:01

Johnny Bench, a Hall of Fame catcher, is under fire for his anti-Semitic comments. The Cincinnati Reds sent an invitation to Bench, 75, to attend a pregame ceremony on Saturday in honor of Gabe Paul.

Paul was the team’s general manager in the 1950s and was being inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame alongside two other Reds legends. Paul, who died in 1998, was represented by Jennie Paul, his daughter.

He signed the team’s first Black player during his time, and Jennie Paul linked his Jewish identity to his advocacy for other minorities. He also built a strong roster.

This prepared Bench for his remark, which he made when MLB’s all-time leading scorer Pete Rose took the mic. Rose said that Paul, who died in 1998, signed him out of high school in 1960 for $600 a month, and Jennie Paul said, “That cheap — never mind.” To this, Bench responded:

“He was Jewish”.

Johnny Bench, who is regarded as one of the top hitting backstops in Major League history, upset Jewish supporters of the team with the casual remark.

Johnny Bench’s career statistics

Johnny Bench is a former American MLB player. He spent the entirety of his MLB career (1967–1983) with the Cincinnati Reds, mainly as a catcher.

Bench captained the Big Red Machine, a Reds club that won six division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series triumphs in the middle of the 1970s.

Bench was a ten-time Gold Glove Award winner in defense with a powerful, accurate throwing arm adept at handling pitching staffs. 13 times in a row, he caught 100 or more games. He was admitted to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1986.

In 1989, he received membership to the Baseball Hall of Fame and has also been hailed as baseball’s finest catcher by ESPN. During his 17-year Major League career, which he spent exclusively with the Reds, Bench collected 2,048 hits for a batting average of .267, hit 389 home runs, and drove in 1,376 runs.

He retired with the most career home runs for catchers, a record that was exceeded by Carlton Fisk and Mike Piazza. However, with 10 grand slam home runs, Bench still holds the Major League record for a catcher’s most hits.

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