Thursday, August 11, 2022
HomeBaseballTripleplay | The true feat of Salvador Pérez

Tripleplay | The true feat of Salvador Pérez

When Ted Williams met rookie catcher Johnny Bench in 1967 at the Cincinnati Reds 'spring training camp, he had barely finished the game with the Boston Red Sox, searched for a ball and a pen and hurried to the Reds' locker room. His presence caused a slight commotion, especially when he headed straight for the space Bench was occupying. He greeted him with a smile and wrote on the ball: “For a future Hall of Fame”, from his admirer, Ted Williams.

At 17, the Reds sent Bench to their AAA team, but four months later they called him up to the majors, and 22 years later, to keep Williams in the air, he entered the Temple of the Immortals in Cooperstown at his first opportunity.

Between Williams' prophecy and his arrival at the sanctuary, he was elected "Rookie of the Year" in the National League, twice he was the "Most Valuable" of the circuit, he won ten "Golden Gloves", he participated in fourteen All-Star Games, in four World Series, he won two, and in 1976 against the New York Yankees he was chosen as "Most Valuable" of the classic.

It was because of this that, upon learning that Salvador Pérez had surpassed the 45-homer mark for a catcher in a single season, imposed by Bench in 1970, we placed the name of the author of the record above. Our opinion is confusing, but it is that the advantage of the mark is not above the owner of the registry. In other words, if someone else had been the recipient, it would never have been the same. Pretensions of the writer, you will say. A journalist turned hobbyist and we couldn't blame them for that.

We are not going to complete the suggestion that Bench has been the most complete catcher in the centennial history of the major leagues. Out of respect for notable receivers of the past, and because perhaps Bench himself would be the first to not endorse that view. If you listened to the conversation he had with Salvador himself, days after the Venezuelan's achievement, you will understand his vision of the game.

However, how can we not remember that in his career between 1967 and 1983 he hit 389 home runs, 327 while playing receiver, while on two occasions he was the first for the National in that department, and on three other occasions the first in RBIs. He was behind the plate in 1743 of his 2158 major league challenges.

Bench's record was perpetuated for five decades in the major league record book. To hold his, who knows how long, Pérez closed the season with 48 homers. But we insist. That he did it in front of Johnny Bench was enough.

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