Joe Powell Earns Prestigious Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Honor


Mason senior baseball standout, Joe Powell, received a very prestigious recognition on Tuesday, from a major league baseball Hall of Famer.  Powell was honored as the Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year along with 7 other male and female high school recipients from around the Greater Cincinnati area.  

The eight high school winners and their families were in attendance on June 18 for a full day of activities in the Queen City, highlighted by the first Johnny Bench Awards VIP Reception and Awards Luncheon at Great American Ball Park. The student-athletes posed for photos with the Hall of Fame catcher and mingled with guests during the reception before congregating in the FOX Sports Club for the luncheon and awards presentation.

It was a star-studded affair, as Bench was joined by former teammates Joe Morgan and George Foster as well as Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning. Other Reds on hand included current catchers Tucker Barnhart and Curt Casali. 2015 Johnny Bench Award winner Garrett Stubbs, who recently made his Major League debut with the Astros, also took part.

Several members of the Reds' executive office participated in the event, including Reds chief executive officer Bob Castellini, president and chief operating officer Phil Castellini, president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall. WCPO’s Dennis Janson and longtime Reds broadcaster George Grande emceed the event.

Pictured above with Joe is Mason Head Baseball Coach Curt Bly, Johnny Bench, and Athletic Director Scott Stemple.

“This award represents the greatest catchers in America,” Grande told the audience before the home-plate inspired trophies were presented. “Along with the Golden Spikes Award, there’s no award that’s more respected in the game of baseball than the Johnny Bench Award. Not just because of the athletic ability of all of you, but because of what you bring to the table. You won this award not just because of what you do on the field, you won because you are special people. You won it because we know that you’re going to represent baseball, your families and your teams in a way that Johnny Bench represented the Cincinnati Reds.”

After the ceremony, the group visited the P&G MLB Reds Youth Academy for the Johnny Bench Catching Clinic presented by Rawlings. Bench and the award recipients provided fundamental baseball and softball catching instruction to local kids. Later that afternoon, the winners were treated to watching the Reds take batting practice from the field and were recognized during a pregame ceremony. They wrapped up the day by taking in a Reds victory over the first-place Astros.

Powell, a 3-time, 1st Team All GMC selection, will attend the University of Cincinnati on a baseball scholarship next year.  


Article content and photo compliments of Mason Sports Information Director, Dan Hilen