Johnny Bench was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, receiving 431 of 447 votes. That’s an impressive 96.42%. At the time of his induction, that was the third-highest percentage in history, behind only Ty Cobb (1936, 98.23%) and Hank Aaron (1982, 97.83%). Currently, however, it is only the twelfth highest percentage, with Ken Griffey‘s 2016 election at 99.32% topping the list.
Bench’s name is often mentioned in discussions about the greatest catchers of all-time. Some claim Yogi Berra was better, but if I were the general manager, I would pick Bench every day. He was a fantastic defensive catcher, and busted home runs like no other backstop. Bench won the Rookie of the Year award in 1968, was twice named the NL MVP, three other times finished in the top 10, was named to 14 All-Star teams, and won 10 Gold Gloves.