Johnny Lee Bench (born December 7, 1947) is an American former professional baseball player. He played his entire Major League Baseball career, which lasted from 1967 through 1983, with the Cincinnati Reds, primarily as a catcher. Bench was the leader of the Reds team known as the Big Red Machine that dominated the National League in the mid-1970s, winning six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series championships.A fourteen-time All-Star and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, Bench excelled on offense as well as on defense, twice leading the National League in home runs and three times in runs batted in. At the time of his retirement in 1983, he held the major league record for most home runs hit by a catcher. He is also the only catcher in history to lead the league in home runs.On defense, Bench was a ten-time Gold Glove Award winner who skillfully handled pitching staffs and possessed a strong, accurate throwing arm. He caught 100 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons. In 1986, Bench was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. ESPN has called him the greatest catcher in baseball history.