Defined by several sources as the greatest catcher to ever play, Johnny Bench backed that lofty billing with two MVP honors, 389 career home runs, 10 Gold Glove Awards and 14 All-Star Game selections. This Cincinnati Red cap was worn by the Queen City backstop during the 1970s. The red wool accessory features a “C” logo embroidered to the front center in white. The interior sweatband is home to a “KM Pro Cap” label and a size “7-3/4” stampings. Bench’s since-retired number “5” is inscribed on the bill’s underside in black marker.
The all-original cap shows solid game wear with perspiration-induced stains along the sweatband and dirt on the bill’s underside. A black marker notation of “75” within the crown suggests wear during a 1975 season in which the “Big Red Machine” won its first of two straight World Series titles. Of note is the “KM” (Kaufmann-McAuliffe) tagging. While it’s impossible to date to a specific season, this style was used during the early to mid-1970s, after which, Tim McAuliffe passed away and the label changed during the late-1970s.
Huggins and Scott is allowing the winning bidder 45 days from the date when payment is received to have the item independently authenticated. Payment must, however, be made within two weeks from the end of the auction. Huggins and Scott is not responsible for any authentication fees or shipping charges incurred by the winning bidder but H&S will refund the hammer price and buyer's premium if the item does not pass authentication with a reputable third party company.