The Cincinnati Reds added a familiar name to the organization this week with the hiring of Buddy Bell.
The 66-year-old former Reds player was named a club vice president and will serve as a senior advisor to general manager Dick Williams.
“I want to be able to impact this organization,” Bell said on a conference call Monday. “They have a long history here. It’s my home, so it’s hard to get the Cincinnati out of you, that’s for sure.”
Bell attended Moeller High School and played for the Reds from 1985-88, late in an 18-year career in which he hit .279 with 201 home runs and 1,106 RBIs. He was drafted in the 16th round of the 1969 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians. He played seven seasons (1972-78) for the Tribe.
Having worked in the front office in 1999, Bell noted this will be his third stint with the club for which his father, Gus, played nine seasons in the middle of the 20th century.
Buddy Bell returns to the Queen City after 14 years in the front office for the White Sox.
He said he anticipates concentrating on player development at the major-league level for the Reds, who have experienced a lot of roster turnover over the past couple of seasons while rebuilding teams that won a pair of division titles.
Williams, who recently finished his first season as GM after serving as an assistant to Walt Jocketty, indicated he can use another set of eyes with playing experience.
“Obviously the background in the dugout and on the field is something I don’t really have,” Williams said. “We’ve got a lot of really experienced people in scouting and a resource like Walt but Buddy brings something these other guys don’t have. Real good fit from that perspective.”
A six-time Gold Glove third baseman, Bell said he is already familiar with much of the Reds’ organization from his time in Chicago, and he is excited about incumbent third baseman Eugenio Suarez and rising prospect Nick Senzel.
“I’ve always liked Suarez. I’m just now getting into the makeup of the players. I know of them but I don’t know the real intimacies of all of them.
“The Senzel kid was probably No. 1 on my list because I would do some amateur scouting for the White Sox. I love this kid. First of all It hink he can play anywhere, but I’m excited about this team in general.”