Rookie Card Year: 1968
Investment Rating: 7.0
Johnny Bench spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the Cincinnati Reds. He has been a collector favorite ever since he first laced up his cleats and is considered one of the greatest catchers of all-time. Through the years, he has maintained his visibility to the masses with his media involvement. Bench is a regular on the autograph circuit which, keeps his values at reasonable rates compared to other Hall of Famers. That said, he still draws crowds wherever he goes. Johnny Bench card values, although not the highest, are still strong.
Nolan Ryan isn't the only diamond legend to make his official hobby debut in 1968 Topps Baseball. Being a bit behind the strikeout king's status, the rookie Johnny Bench card often gets second billing in the set. However,that doesn't stop it from carrying significant weight in the collecting world.
Bench is a regular signer on the national autograph circuit. He also possess one of the best signatures in all of baseball. As a member of the Big Red Machine teams of the 1970's is fame carried over to commercial opportunities, contributing to him becoming a household name. As a result is signature is always in demand and has maintained its value very well through the years.
Johnny Bench Rookie Cards
The unfortunate design of 1968 Topps did not do Bench any favors as he broke into the league. Like many rookies from the era, Bench shares his first card with a player who would go on to be little more than a hobby footnote. Bench's card-mate: Ron Tompkins, a pitcher who never amounted to much. Had the Johnny Bench card been a solo affair, there's little doubt it would be worth much more.
The card also has an error on the back. In the first line, "the" is spelled "tne." There is some uncertainty if it is actually an error and not a print issue where the top half of the "h" did not appear. Also, many of the cards available do not feature the typo, which further supports the possibility of an issue with the ink.
Johnny Bench Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Johnny Bench's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Johnny Bench Cut Signature Exemplar
Johnny Bench Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Johnny Bench signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- Each letter of his name is completely readable and written in a smooth and meticulous manner, with perfect cursive penmanship.
- The letters "J" and "B" of his first and last name are over-sized.
- The "J" contains two closed loops, one very round in nature the other narrow and elongated.
- The letter's "o-h", each contain small loops used to maintain the flow of the signature.
- He spares no expense with the letter "n"'s each receiving their proper script, at a quick glance they resemble side-by-side letter "m"s.
- The letter "B" has a round loop in the middle to separate the humps of the "B."
- The remaining letters are all legible although the last letter "h" doesn't usually have a loop in it like the first.
- He almost always includes the inscription "HOF 89."
Johnny Bench Signed Baseballs
Johnny Bench Signed Jersey
Johnny Bench Signed Bat
Johnny Bench Signed Helmet
Johnny Bench Signed Photograph
Big Red Machine Signed Collectibles
The domination that the Cincinnati Reds achieved during the 1970s was nothing short of epic. Between 1970 and 1976, the Red's captured the National League Pennant four times in route to two World Series titles. They are acknowledged by fans and baseball historians alike as some of the greatest teams in the history of baseball.
As a result of their success and the fact that the team roster includes many hobby heavy weights and fan favorites, autographed items from the Big Red Machine are extremely popular and collectible. With names like Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, George Foster, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey Sr. and Dave Concepcion adorning an item, you can understand why.
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