- By B.J. Bethel
Bob Bailey, who played two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and won a title with the team in 1976 has died at age 75. His death was announced by the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bailey was a member of the original Montreal Expos in 1969, and is credited with the first hit in Expos franchise history.
Nicknamed ‘Beetle” after the character in the newspaper comic strip, Bailey played over 950 games over seven years with the Expos before joining the Reds. A power-hitting third baseman, Bailey’s best seasons were in the early 1970s according to CBC.ca. He hit 28 home runs and 84 RBIs in 1970 and hit 26 home runs and 86 RBIs in 1973. He led the team in home runs for two seasons and hit .298 in 69 games with the Reds in 1976.
Reds hall of fame catcher Johnny Bench remembered Bailey on his Twitter account Thursday.
“A character and a talent that brought me plenty of enjoyment,” Bench said. “He gave me a tip one day on how to hit Randy Jones. I hit three home runs that night.”
Bailey began his career in 1962, and was described as a “big bonus baby” by Bench. He played for the Pirates from 1962 to 1966. He spent two seasons playing for the Dodgers before joining the first Montreal Expos team. He was traded to the Reds on Dec. 12, 1975 for pitcher Clay Kirby. The Reds traded him two years later to the Boston Red Sox for Frank Newcomer, where he played two in only 45 games in two years, and then retired.
Bailey hit .257 over his career, with 189 home runs and 773 RBIs.