Tramel: Is Johnny Bench really from Binger, Oklahoma?

From Barry Tramel at The Oklahoman on May 18, 2015, with mention of SABR member Sean Lahman:

I got a strange call Sunday night from our page designer, Rob Backus. He read my Johnny Bench column for the Monday Oklahoman, which you can read here. Rob had a question for me.

Was I sure Bench went to Binger High School?

Now, before you jump on Rob, you’ve got to know a couple of things: 1) He’s not from Oklahoma; and 2) He had some ammunition for his puzzlement.

Rob told me that on, Bench’s high school is listed as Anadarko. I looked it up and yep, there it was. Anadarko. is not some flighty website. It’s the new bible of baseball. It’s replaced the Baseball Encyclopedia or Total Baseball as the go-to place for all baseball statistical information. I’ve always found its reliability to be rock solid.

And yet it lists Johnny Bench — known early in his Cincinnati career as the Binger Kid, the guy who named his first son Robert Binger Bench — as being from Anadarko. At least they got the county (Caddo) right.

But how could this happen? Rob did some checking for me and got me an email address for Sean Lahman, with SABR (Society for American Baseball Research), which apparently is responsible for the biographical information at

I received a solid email from Lahman on Monday morning. “…I’ll confess I was surprised to see the error. I grew up in Cincinnati while Bench was playing there, and I remember him being referred to on occasion as ‘The Binger Kid.’ I’ll make sure the correction gets put into the queue for processing.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 19, 2015. Last Updated: May 19, 2015.