The Sports Guy had his seasonal mailbag up today on espn.com and someone asked him about the manliest moments in sports. They felt that breaking a bat over your knee without flinching had to be up there. The Sports Guy then responded with his top five, including this little gem at number one:
"1. The time Johnny Bench kept getting shaken off by a pitcher who wanted to keep throwing fastballs, so he caught the next fastball with his throwing hand. That will never be topped. That was the sports equivalent of Dalton catching someone's punch at the Double Deuce, then twisting the guy's arm around and breaking his neck."
I am infinitely amused by this anecdote (less so with the comparison to "Road House," but hey, it's the Sports Guy. My question to the masses is this: (putting on Chris Farley attire) Mr. Johnny Bench, you know the time that you caught a guy's fastball with your bare hand? That was awesome! ...Is that true?
Johnny Bench is before my time, and shamefacedly I must admit that I don't know a ton about his career, let alone the fun baseball stories like that. For those of you that do know, please chime in on the veracity of this tale and share any others that callow "fans" like myself might not know. Also, if Bill Simmons were to comment on a diary about his own mailbag, well that would be super.