I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fans. I was blessed to grow up in the era of The Big Red Machine. My favorite player was #5 Johnny Bench. The greatest catcher to ever play the game. So of course, I always played catcher and wore #5. I was determined to be the next Johnny Bench.
Fast forward a few decades and I never did become the next Johnny Bench. So far, nobody else has either. I am still a huge Reds fan and Mr. Bench is still my favorite all time player.
Laura and I are blessed that several of our dear friends are neighbors with Mr. Bench. They have made it their mission to let this Johnny Bench fan meet his hero. And last night was the night.
I know several people who have met their childhood hero and been disappointed. The person just didn’t measure up to who they thought their hero would be. So I was a little nervous meeting my childhood hero.
I met Mr. Bench has he walked in from a golf tournament he was hosting. The fundraiser was for my friends school for at-risk students called Believers Academy (www.believersacademyinc.org). The school is doing amazing work. My friends had invited Laura and I to attend the auction that would raise money for this amazing school located in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I have to say, I was not disappointed in meeting Mr. Bench. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Our friends had arranged for us to sit at Mr. Bench’s table. I do not believe Mr. Bench has ever met a stranger. He treated everyone he met with respect. I was most impressed with how well he treated the staff at PGA National, where the event was held. Mr. Bench is truly a class act.
I hope if you ever get to meet one of your heroes, they will not disappoint you. I can honestly say, I walked away from my encounter with Mr. Bench a bigger fan. Go Reds! ~OC