Batter Up!

Strike one! Strike two! Strike three! You're out! Baseball fans cheer when a pitcher strikes out a batter. The pitcher throws the ball. The batter tries to hit the ball. What about the catcher? Sometimes he is forgotten. Johnny Bench was a catcher. He will never be forgotten.

Johnny Bench was born on December 7, 1947. He grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. Johnny was good at sports. He was very good at basketball. His favorite sport was baseball. He wanted to play in the major leagues. Johnny's father encouraged him. He told him that he should be a catcher. He said that catchers get into the majors faster.

Johnny was drafted when he was eighteen years old. Drafted means that he was chosen. The Cincinnati Reds drafted Johnny. Johnny was a good hitter. He had a strong throwing arm. In 1968, he was named Rookie of the Year.

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