The Reds Caravan made stops Saturday at the National Museum of the Air Force (pictured) and Miami University Hamilton. Mike Hartsock/WHIO TV

David Bell impressed by size of Cincinnati Reds Country

Reds manager part of North Tour of caravan

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Mike Moustakas excited to ‘mesh with the boys’

The North Tour of the caravan continued Saturday at the Air Force Museum before heading to Parrish Auditorium in Hamilton.

Among the faces fans in Dayton and Hamilton saw is manager David Bell’s. He’s 15 months and one season into the job and still find himself marveling about the passion of the fan base, which he saw in Columbus and Lima on the first two days of the trip.

Hundreds of fans came out to see Bell, new Reds infielder Mike Moustakas, Miller, Reds President Phil Castellini, Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster Thom Brennaman and others.

“It’s a reminder of how many people care about our team,” Bell said Thursday at Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus. “It’s incredible to see that. You get to meet people and talk about our team. There’s a lot of excitement right now. I’ve been in Cincinnati all winter, so I know what’s going on there, but to experience that out in Reds Country, it’s fun to see. It’s such a nice surprise to see how big Reds Country is and how much support we have.”

» PHOTOS: Reds Caravan in Columbus

The Reds suffered their sixth straight losing season in Bell’s first year on the job. However, they improved their win total (75-87) by eight from 2018 (67-95) and ended a streak of four straight seasons in last place in the National League Central Division.

The free-agent signings of Moustakas, starting pitcher Wade Miley and outfielder Shogo Akiyama have raised hopes the Reds can return to the postseason for the first time since 2013 and compete for their first division title since 2012.

Bell sees the optimism when he’s out and about in Cincinnati.

“It’s definitely all positive, and there’s a lot of excitement,” Bell said. “It feels different than last year even. I think we made a lot of progress that people saw last year. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but there were signs people could get excited about with the group we had. That’s how we feel about it. I think the fans are perceptive and they saw the same thing. Now we’ve added to that. A weeks away from spring training, the excitement is evident.”

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