Ceremonies to honor Reds#8217; scout Bennett

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 19, 2008

Staff/Reds Report

CINCINNATI — It’s an awards weekend for the Cincinnati Reds, and Gene Bennett is among the honorees.

Bennett, a longtime Reds scout from Wheelersburg, clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe and the late baseball executive Sheldon &uot;Chief&uot; Bender will be recognized in pre-game ceremonies on Sunday.

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Bender’s grandson, Eric Muller, will represent his grandfather at the ceremonies. Chief Bender died February 27.

The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum announced the recipients of the newly created Powel Crosley Jr. Award, designed to honor individuals who have exemplified the Crosley spirit of dedication and devotion during extended careers of service to and achievement with the club.

“The contributions of these individuals have been vital to the Reds organization, sustaining its position of prominence and respect in the game of baseball and the community,&uot; said Reds Hall of Fame Board President Bob Castellini Jr..

“We look forward to honoring these individuals on July 20 with this well-deserved recognition and permanently in a special area within the Reds Hall of Fame.”

Bennett began his association with the Reds organization as a minor league player in 1952. He moved into a part-time scouting position following the 1958 season and gradually saw his responsibilities increase until he was promoted in 1975 to scouting supervisor for Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana.

His many notable signings include Reds Hall of Famers Don Gullett and Barry Larkin, All-Stars Paul O’Neill, Jeff Russell and Chris Sabo and longtime Major Leaguers Charlie Leibrandt and Dave Tomlin. Larkin, O’Neill and Sabo were regularly in the same lineup during the Reds’ World Series championship season in 1990.

Bennett has also served as an advance scout at the major league level for the Reds and has supervised countless amateur tryout camps. In 1992, he was named Special Assistant to the General Manager.

A 14-time winner of the TOPPS Scout of the Month Award and recipient of the TOPPS All-Star Scout Award in 1988 and 1995, Bennett was elected to the Middle Atlantic Major League Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in 1996.

The ceremonies are part of the Hall of Fame Weekend activities that also included formal induction ceremonies Saturday of Barry Larkin, Cesar Geronimo, Joey Jay and the late executive Garry Herrmann. All those honored on Saturday and Sunday will be recognized at Sunday evening’s Hall of Fame Induction Gala at Duke Energy Center.