LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench hit it out of the park Tuesday morning as an entertaining and inspirational keynote speaker at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference breakfast.
Bench’s speech on the “Vowels of Success” offered an inspirational framework for industry members and touched the bases of action that he encourages people to follow on the path to success.
Bench warmed the crowd with anecdotes about growing up in Oklahoma and he took the crowd on a ride through his professional career, starting with being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds when he was only 17 and culminating with his 1989 induction into the MLB Hall of Fame.
Bench’s “vowels” include Atttitude; Effort for Excellence; No I in Team; and Using Knowledge.
“Aspire to inspire before you expire,” he said.
“Johnny Bench is a symbol of winning through hard work and teamwork, and we are thrilled to welcome the ‘Catcher of the Century’ to deliver the keynote address at the annual IBEX Industry Breakfast,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said.
“Johnny’s impressive record on and off the baseball field illustrates his dedication to his team and the game, all values which will resonate with our attendees, who will be inspired by his drive to succeed.”
Bench’s achievements include National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970 and 1972); World Series MVP (1976); 14-time All-Star; and 10 Gold Gloves. In 1980 Bench set an endurance record by catching 100 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons. In 1999 he was named to the All-Century Team.
He has used his celebrity status to aid such causes as the Heart Association, the American Cancer Society (as past National Chairman of Athletes vs. Cancer), the Kidney Foundation, the Franciscan Sisters of Poor Health System, the American Lung Association and the “Catch the Cure” program of Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati.