Congratulations Gene Bennett

The Reds announced today that longtime front office man Gene Bennett retired. For most Reds fans, his name won’t be immediately recognizable but you’ll know many of the people he’s responsible for signing to the team. He’s been part of the Reds organization for 58 years!

I will write that part again….58 years. Wow.

Gene has long been one of my favorite people to know since I’ve started covering the Reds. He’s always been kind and will come up and talk. He knows the game inside out and I’ve always enjoyed running into him at Spring Training and chatting with him near the practice fields.

Here is a portion of the Reds’ press release:

 He will be honored tonight during the Reds Caravan stop at Fannin Motors in Ashland, Kentucky and on Portsmouth Day in ceremonies prior to the Sunday, April 17 afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

            “Gene has been an important part of the Reds’ family for almost 60 years,” said Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty. “He leaves a legacy not only here but also in baseball’s scouting fraternity. He made countless contributions to the success of our proud franchise.”

            Bennett, 82, has been a senior special assistant to the general manager since October 1992. After signing as a player in 1952, he began scouting in 1958 and was promoted to scouting supervisor in 1975. His notable signings include Reds Hall of Famers Don Gullett, Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo along with Jeff Russell, Charlie Leibrandt and Paul O’Neill.

            Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1995, said, “Gene not only is a great scout, as anyone in baseball will tell you, but he also is such a wonderful person. He will be missed by everyone in the game.”

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