With his son Gus Bell, named after the first member of the family to play professional baseball, watching from the front row, David Bell pulled on a No. 25 Cincinnati Reds jersey and then placed a Reds cap on his head, officially taking the reins as the 63rd manager in franchise history.
Dick Williams, Reds President of Baseball Operations, introduced Bell at a press conference Monday at Great American Ball Park. Bell spoke to a packed room of media, family, friends and Reds personnel one day after the Reds announced his hiring.
“Thank you for this incredible opportunity,” said Bell, 46. “It’s just an amazing responsibility to do this job in this organization in this city that means so much to me and my family.”
A 1990 Moeller High School graduate, Bell is the son of Buddy Bell, a former Cincinnati Reds third baseman, and the grandson of Gus Bell, a Reds outfielder from 1953-61. Bell is a first-time big-league manager, but he managed in the Reds minor-league system with Double-A Carolina (2009-11) and Triple-A Louisville (2012) before moving to Mike Matheny’s staff with the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent last season as the vice president of player development for the San Francisco Giants.
Managing in the big leagues is something Bell said he has prepared for throughout his career. He has thought about the goal for a long time.
“I can’t wait to get started as soon as we’re finished here,” Bell said, “and start reaching out to the players and begin working with everyone in the organization. It’s just going to be a huge team effort, and I can’t wait to get going.”
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Bell takes over a franchise that has suffered five straight losing seasons and finished last in the National League Central Division four years in a row. He pledged to do everything possible to create every edge.
“We’re going to use all the information, all the resources, all the great people in this organization,” Bell said, “to do everything we can to be excellent in the way we prepare and the way we compete very single day in every inning of every game, and we’re going to play hard.”