Johnny Bench tests positive for virus, to miss Hall ceremony

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Former Cincinnati Reds player Johnny Bench, left, and Barry Larkin participate in Joe Morgan Day at a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Reds at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this year’s induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York.

The 73-year-old Bench posted Friday on Twitter that he had the virus.

“Fortunately, I have been vaccinated, otherwise doctor said I would be hospitalized,” Bench said.

Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker will be enshrined in the Hall festivities on Wednesday.

Bench was a two-time NL MVP, a Rookie of the Year, a 14-time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glover for the Cincinnati Reds while playing from 1967-83.

Bench hit 389 career home runs and was a driving force for the Big Red Machine. He was MVP of the 1976 World Series when Cincinnati won the second of its back-to-back championships.

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