Now there's even more incentive to visit one of the nation's greatest museums for baseball, thanks to items from a certain Cincinnati Reds legend.
National Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench has loaned three major pieces of history to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, a press release says. Bench is a career Cincinnati Reds alum who is widely considered to be one of the best catchers in the sport's history.
Via a long-term loan, Bench has newly shared some of baseball's biggest awards and milestone markers with the museum: his commemorative bat from the 1968 All-Star Game, the bat he used for the last his of 389 career homeruns on September 17, 1983, and his 1972 Gold Glove for defensive performance.
"What better place for some of my favorite mementos to land than the very home where my bats were born?" Bench says in a release. "Louisville Slugger was with me every step of my career, together we launched a lot of hits, homers, and very special memories. That makes Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory a perfect partner during this rewarding stage of my life. I can focus on my family and know that these historic items are in good hands where fans can enjoy them."
In the release, the Louisville Slugger Museum shares the highlights of Bench's historic Cincinnati career:
Many consider Bench to be the greatest catcher in baseball history. He signed with Louisville Slugger in 1965. Bench played his entire career with the Reds from 1967-1983. He was the National League Rookie of the Year and went on to become one of the leaders of the Big Red Machine that dominated the NL in the 1970s. During that era, Bench was a two-time World Series champion (1975, 1976). He won two NL MVP Awards and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2011 he was honored with the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Living Legend Award.
Bench's bats and Gold Glove will be on display in the museum through at least March 2023, the museum says.
Find more information and tickets on the Louisville Slugger Museum's website.