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Circa 1982/1983 Johnny Bench Signed Game-Used Fielder's Glove
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $5,100
Rawlings right-handed fielder’s glove used by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench while playing third base during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. This glove originates directly from Johnny Bench and is accompanied by a signed LOA from Bench attesting to its provenance. (Bench sold many of his personal baseball items, including this game-used glove, at auction in 2015; it was purchased by our consignor at that sale.) The “Pro H-C” model glove features the name “Bench” written in vintage black marker on the outside of the thumb. Bench later inscribed the reverse of the glove “Game Used/Third Base/Johnny Bench/1983” in blue Sharpie, with both the text and signature grading “9.” 1983 marked Bench’s final season in the majors, making this one of the final gloves ever used by the legendary catcher. Because catching became extremely difficult for him during his final three seasons, Bench saw most of his action at either third or first base. In 1982 he appeared in 107 games at third. The following year saw him split his time between the corners almost evenly, with forty-two games played at third and thirty-two games played at first. Bench, of course, is considered by many to be the greatest catcher in baseball history. A two-time home-run champion and winner of two MVP Awards and ten consecutive Gold Glove Awards, Bench was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility. In 1999 he received his final honor when he was named as one of two catchers to baseball’s All-Century Team. Game-used gloves of Hall of Fame players, especially one of Bench’s stature, are rare. The fact that this glove originates directly from Bench, and is accompanied by a signed LOA from him, not to mention dates from his final season in baseball, makes it one of the finest examples we have ever handled. The glove displays wear commensurate with a few seasons of use. The leather remains supple and all of the lacing is intact. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from Johnny Bench and Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,100
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