BENCH statute dedicated in Oklahoma City

Saturday, July 28th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Johnny Bench now guards the home plate entrance to the Bricktown Ballpark, just as he guarded the plate 17 years in the major leagues.

A nine-foot, bronze statue of Bench was dedicated yesterday afternoon.

The Hall of Famer from Binger was in town to catch the first pitch from his former Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson.

Bench says his successful major league career proves that with hard work and determination, even a kid from a small town in Oklahoma can be successful.

Anderson says the first time he saw Bench, in an instructional league game in 1966, he knew great things were in store for him.