Bell returns to Reds in senior advisor role

Bell returns to Reds in senior advisor role

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati native Buddy Bell was so thrilled about returning to the Reds and working in his hometown that he wasted no time in finding a new place to live in the area.

The Reds announced on Monday that Bell, 66, is joining the organization's front office to become a vice president and senior advisor to general manager and president of baseball operations Dick Williams.

Reds bring in Buddy Bell

"We were in town for this past week, and I was able to look around a little bit," Bell said. "I can't tell you how excited I am. It's crazy because all of the male members of my immediate family have worked for the Reds at some point."

Bell is part of a Reds legacy that spans three generations. The son of Reds legend Gus Bell, he played four seasons for his hometown club from 1985-88. After his playing days, he was the Minor League field coordinator in '99. His son, Mike, played for the Reds in 2000.

For the past 14 seasons, Bell worked for the White Sox, spending the last five years as that club's vice president and assistant GM. He oversaw the team's player-development system and assisted in Major League roster decisions.

Bell expressed mixed emotions about leaving the White Sox, but that organization is also going through the start of a rebuild and has a farm director in Chris Getz who Bell helped hire last year. About 10 days ago, he asked owner Jerry Reinsdorf for permission to speak to other clubs.

"Secretly, I was hoping the Reds had some interest," Bell said. "I got a hold of Dick and asked him if the Reds had any interest. This happened pretty quickly."

Bell played 18 seasons from 1972-89 for the Indians, Rangers, Reds and Astros, and he was a five-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove Award winner. After his playing career, he worked on big league coaching staffs and also managed for nine seasons for the Tigers (1996-98), Rockies (2000-02) and Royals (2005-07).

The overall makeup of the Reds' front office will not be overhauled by the addition of Bell, but Williams valued having him as part of his inner circle.

"Obviously, the background on the field and in the dugout is something that in the front office I don't really have," Williams said. "We have a lot of really experienced people in scouting and a resource like [executive advisor] Walt [Jocketty], but Buddy brings something that these other guys don't have. A real good fit from that perspective."

Gus Bell played nine of his 15 Major League seasons in Cincinnati from 1953-61. Buddy Bell graduated from Moeller High School and attended Xavier University and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Another Bell, Buddy's son David, played in the big leagues from 1995-2006 and later managed in the Reds' organization at Double-A. David Bell, who was on the Cardinals' coaching staff last season, was recently named vice president of player development for the Giants.

Gus and Buddy Bell established a Major League record for hits by a father-son duo (4,337), later broken by Barry and Bobby Bonds.

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A former third baseman, Bell was excited to see more of Eugenio Suarez and top prospect Nick Senzel.

"I've always liked Suarez. … I would do some amateur scouting as well for the White Sox. I love this kid [Senzel]. First of all, I think he can play anywhere. But I'm excited about this team in general.

"I'm very familiar with what's going on already, so the transition is not going to be all that terribly hard."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.