PSA 5 1971 Topps #66 NL Home Run Leaders Johnny Bench Billy Williams Tony Perez
John Lee Bench (born December 7, 1947) is an American former professional baseball player. He played his entire Major League Baseball career, which lasted from 1967 through 1983, with the Cincinnati Reds, primarily as a catcher. Bench was the leader of the Reds team known as the Big Red Machine that dominated the National League in the mid-1970s, winning six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series championships.
A fourteen-time All-Star and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, Bench excelled on offense as well as on defense, twice leading the National League in home runs and three times in runs batted in. At the time of his retirement in 1983, he held the major league record for most home runs hit by a catcher. He was also the first catcher in history to lead the league in home runs. His record of 45 home runs in a season held the record for the most by a catcher, until Salvador Perez hit 48 in 2021. His 389 home runs and 1,376 runs batted in remain the most in Cincinnati Reds history.
Billy Leo Williams (born June 15, 1938) is an American former left fielder and coach in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played from 1959 to 1976, almost entirely for the Chicago Cubs. A six-time All-Star, Williams was named the 1961 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year after hitting 25 home runs with 86 runs batted in (RBI). A model of consistent production, he went on to provide the Cubs with at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI every year through 1973, batting over .300, hitting 30 home runs and scoring 100 runs five times each. Along with Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, Williams was one of the central figures in improving the Cubs' fortunes in the late 1960s after the club had spent 20 years in the bottom half of the league standings. His 853 RBI and 2,799 total bases in the 1960s were the most by any left-handed hitter in the major leagues.
In 1970, Williams was the runner-up in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) after leading the major leagues with 137 runs, 205 hits and 373 total bases, also hitting 42 home runs with 129 RBI, all career highs; excepting his run total, each remains the team record for left-handed hitters. In 1972, he was again the runner-up in MVP voting after winning the NL batting title with a .333 average, adding 37 home runs and 122 RBI while leading the major leagues in total bases and slugging percentage; in both years, he lost the award to Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds. Williams played 1,117 consecutive games between September 1963 and September 1970, holding the NL record from 1969 to 1983. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics after the 1974 season, becoming a designated hitter in the American League (AL), and contributed 23 home runs and 81 RBI to finally reach the postseason as the team won their fifth consecutive division title.
Atanasio "Tony" Pérez Rigal (born May 14, 1942) is a Cuban-American former professional baseball player, coach and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman and third baseman from 1964 through 1986, most notably as a member of the Cincinnati Reds dynasty that won four National League pennants and two World Series championships between 1970 and 1976. He also played for the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies.
A seven-time All-Star, Pérez averaged more than 100 runs batted in per season from 1970 to 1976 for the powerful Cincinnati team that became known as the Big Red Machine for their dominance of the National League in the mid-1970s. Variously nicknamed "Big Dog", "Big Doggie", and "Doggie", he was one of the most popular players in Reds history.
After his playing career, Pérez became a coach and later managed the Reds and the Florida Marlins. From 1993 through the 2017 season, he was Special Assistant to the General Manager with the Marlins. In 1998, Pérez was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.