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Baseball great Johnny Bench tours Bristol business

By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: Aug 22 2014 05:18:05 PM CDT

There's a local company that's getting national attention and they have a former baseball great who's helping to get the word out about the company and its product.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

There's a local company that's getting national attention, and they have a former baseball great who's helping to get the word out about the company and its product.

He's a legendary baseball player who played catcher for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983. We’re talking about Johnny Bench, and Friday he was in Bristol. "It's on my bucket list to see Bristol, so I'm really excited about that," he said. "It's going to be a great weekend."

He's going to watch the race at the Bristol Motor Speedway, but first he stopped by NFI Consumer Products, where he is the spokesperson for their product, Blue Emu. "When you're going to endorse a product, one thing you want to do is you want to believe in it. You want to use it, and so it was very simple for us," adds Bench.

Blue Emu is a cream used to help joint aches and relieves muscle stress. That’s something Johnny knows all about after his years playing the toughest position in baseball. "Every doctor, when they examine me or you're catching professionally, they say 'We'd like to see you in 30 or 40 years and see the arthritic changes,'" says Bench.

What makes this product so special is it’s nationally known and locally owned -- Blue Emu is made in Bristol, Tennessee. "Our first product acquisition being Blue Emu having it take off like that has just been fantastic and really exciting," says Susan Gregory.

President and COO of NFI Consumer Products, Susan Gregory, hopes their business is a great benefit to the community. "It creates jobs and it creates a sense of community. I think it’s great to have a product you can look to and turn on your television and see it on TV and know that's it’s made right here in Bristol," she said.

Johnny says he's impressed with the company and now he can't wait to see what else Bristol has to offer. "This would be a big town from where I come from and I'm anxious to see how this city turns out come this weekend with the race coming up."

Gregory hopes to continue to grow their business and create more jobs.