Friday, December 9, 2022

I had no idea!

Johnny Bench recently celebrated a birthday. He turned 75 years old on December 7th. That means he was born in 1947. 

Do you know who else was born in December 1947? December 26, 1947 to be exact. 

I was made aware of this the other day and it did truly blow my mind. I think it's because I got to see Fisk play for a number of years, while Bench retired when I was just 2 years old. It's just hard for me to fathom them being born the same year, just a few weeks apart.

Even though Fisk retired 10 years after Bench, their career numbers aren't that far off. Bench began his career in 1967 and played continuously through 1983 (17 years). Fisk debuted in 1969, but did not spend any time in the majors in 1970. He would then play continuously from 1971 - 1993. (24 years) Bench played in 2,158 games compared to 2,499 games for Fisk. So even though Fisk played 7 more season than Bench, he had some years where he was limited due to injuries. 

Bench                                        Fisk

.267 career batting average    .269 career batting average

2,048 career hits                      2,356 career hits

389 career home runs              376 career home runs

1,376 career RBI                     1330 career RBI

When you look at the career numbers and take into consideration how difficult the catcher position is, both careers are extremely impressive, but I give the nod to Bench for all the he was able to accomplish in "just" 17 seasons. How about you? Bench or Fisk?


  1. I'm growing to appreciate Fisk a lot more as I get older. and longevity at the catcher position is nothing to sneeze at. But Bench was the man. His defense trumped Fisk as well as his offense.

  2. Bench. I saw both. Bench was by consensus better. Fisk, while terrific, only had longevity over Bench.

  3. Fisk was great, but Bench was a level above. The only catcher who might have been as good as Bench was Josh Gibson. (It's so hard to know how to evaluate the Negro League guys. Gibson was terrific, but we can't say exactly how terrific, you know?)

  4. I did not get to see Bench play but I did Fisk. But overall from what I have seen or read, I would take Bench. But in my humble, the best catcher of all time is Ivan Rodriguez, who happens to have the same nickname, Pudge, as Carlton Fisk.

  5. Wow. Never would have guess they were the same age. I thought Bench was at least a few years older, but that all has to do with the years they had cards. As for careers... I've seen so many articles and heard so many people comment on Bench being the greatest catcher of all-time, it's hard to argue with them. Although Brett Alan made a good point about tossing Josh Gibson into the debate.

  6. As much as I would want to vote for a Red Sox legend, Fisk was no Bench. Bench set the standard for Hall of Fame catchers.

  7. Greatness = Dominance x Durability

    Bench was more Dominant - Fisk more Durable

    I think Bench's dominance was slightly greater than Fisk's durability