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"I don't want to embarrass any other catcher by comparing him with Johnny Bench."* * * *
-- Sparky Anderson
"In my 30 years in baseball, the closest total package I've seen to (Ivan Rodriguez) is Johnny Bench."
-- Johnny Oates
"The game has never seen a better catcher than Yadier Molina."
-- Tony La Russa
|Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is considered among the best in baseball at framing pitches.|
"My idea is to really play the game of baseball. Not many people know what that can mean. You don't give the other team a single extra out or base or at-bat. You don't even give them one extra swing. You have to know the game to understand why a catcher feels so special about his work. You have every part of the game running through your fingers."
-- Carlton Fisk, "Why Time Begins On Opening Day"
"Johnny just does things other catchers can't do. We have a boy on our team, Bill Plummer, who can throw as hard, but there is no one who can come up throwing quicker than John. Nobody ever really steals a base on him. ... If we had pitchers who could hold a runner, we'd never have any bases stolen at all. Johnny will grab a ball that is inside and be in a throwing motion all at the same time. He has a way of fielding a bunt in front of the plate so that as he picks it up he is bounding back to throw. And he makes the play at the plate better than anyone. He just takes the plate away from the runner. That's physical strength, of course, but there's a technique involved, too."
|Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench won his first Gold Glove Award as a 20-year-old rookie.|