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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Major League Baseball has delayed the start of the 2020 season until mid-May at the earliest due to COVID-19. We will continue to monitor ongoing events, including the Bench Awards Luncheon and Clinic, and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide an update as soon as new information is available.


For two decades, the Johnny Bench Award was presented to college baseball’s top NCAA Division I catcher. The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission created the award in 2000 and dedicated it to Hall of Fame and Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.

In 2019, the award was expanded and permanently relocated to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Reds Scouting Department provides input on the baseball categories. The awards committee determines each winner with support from local media from each state.

The Bench Awards will honor:

  • Top male NCAA baseball catcher
  • Top female NCAA softball catcher
  • Top baseball and softball catchers from Ohio high schools
  • Top baseball and softball catchers from Kentucky high schools
  • Top baseball and softball catchers from Indiana high schools
  • Top baseball and softball catchers from West Virginia high schools

All ten winners will be invited to Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 7 for an awards luncheon at Great American Ball Park, followed by a catching clinic at the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy and a pregame ceremony prior to the Reds vs. Cleveland Indians game at 7:10 p.m.



2019 Winners School Sport
Adley Rutschman Oregon State University Baseball
Dejah Mulipola University of Arizona Softball
Joe Powell Mason High School (OH) Baseball
Samantha Hackenbracht Massillion Washington High School (OH) Softball
Colin Burgess Tates Creek High School (KY) Baseball
Riley Hull Pulaski County High School (KY) Softball
Nate Webb Union County High School (IN) Baseball
Grace Lorsung Cathedral High School (IN) Softball
Caleb Taylor Morgantown High School (WV) Baseball
Sofia Mikula Weir High School (WV) Softball
Year Name College Drafted By
2018 Joey Bart Georgia Institute of Technology San Francisco Giants
2017 Matt Whatley Oral Roberts University Texas Rangers
2016 Zack Collins University of Miami Chicago White Sox
2015 Garrett Stubbs University of Sothern California Houston Astros
2014 Max Pentecost Kennesaw State University Toronto Blue Jays
2013 Stuart Turner University of Mississippi Minnesota Twins
2012 Mike Zunino University of Florida Seattle Mariners
2011 Jake Lowery James Madison University Cleveland Indians
2010 Bryan Holaday Texas Christian University Detroit Tigers
2009 J.T. Wise University of Oklahoma Los Angeles Dodgers
2008 Buster Posey Florida State University San Francisco Giants
2007 Ed Easley Mississippi State University Arizona Diamondbacks
2006 Jake Smith East Carolina University Oakland Athletics
2005 Jeff Clement University of Southern California Seattle Mariners
2004 Kurt Suzuki Cal State Fullerton Oakland Athletics
2003 Ryan Garko Stanford University Cleveland Indians
2002 Jeremy Brown University of Alabama Oakland Athletics
2001 Kelly Shoppach Baylor University Boston Red Sox
2000 Brad Cresse Louisiana State University Arizona Diamondbacks


Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Location: FOX Sports Club at Great American Ball Park

  • 100 Joe Nuxhall Way Cincinnati, OH 45202


  • Luncheon 12 p.m.
  • Awards Program 1 p.m.


  • Individual: $125 includes lunch
  • Full table (8): $3,500 includes preferred, reserved seating, lunch, VIP Meet & Greet with Johnny Bench prior to event and Reds goodie bags for each guest

For more information or to register for the Johnny Bench Awards Luncheon, please contact Sara Ingram at [email protected] or 513-765-7240.



Registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Sorry, no exceptions. This means once we receive your registration, you are unable to receive a refund if you cannot participate. This No Refunds Policy applies even if the Event is cancelled for any reason. If this occurs, your registration fee will be considered a tax-deductible donation to the Reds Community Fund to be utilized for one of their many outreach initiatives.