A former Cincinnati Reds manager joins Adam Dunn with a Hall of Fame induction.
The Cincinnati Reds fans elected former left fielder Adam Dunn into the Reds Hall of Fame earlier this off-season. Then it was up to the Veterans Committee. They added a pitcher and a manager to the mix.
Dave Bristol managed the Reds from 1966-1969. During that time Bristol led the team from a sub-.500 group to one that finished fourth in the National League. During his last season at the helm Bristol led the Reds into the newly created NL West division where they finished in third place.
The first season that Bristol was manager, the team ended up in seventh place in the NL. He was only manager for part of the season, however. Following the season, Bill DeWitt sold the team to Francis Dale, who in turn hired Bob Howsam.
While Howsam was the architect of the Big Red Machine, Bristol was the foundation layer. He helped Hall of Fame catcher earn the Rookie of the Year award in 1968. Bench also won his first two of ten consecutive Gold Gloves behind the plate under Bristol.
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Bristol also saw fit to move Pete Rose from second base to the outfield. That opened up second for Tommy Helms, who eventually was trade for Joe Morgan. Without that shift, the Big Red Machine may never have existed.
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The Cincinnati Reds are also adding a top notch lefty to their Hall of Fame class.
Fred Norman was not an elite pitcher for most of his career. Over the course of a nineteen year MLB career, he played for seven teams. His time with the Reds was something special, though.
During that same career, Norman had 56 complete games. Fifteen of those were shutouts. Those would be elite numbers today.
As a member of Big Red Machine, Norman won at least eleven games every year from 1973 through 1979. He wasn’t the best pitcher on the staff, but he ate inning like few the franchise has ever seen. His best season was1973 when he finished sixth in the Cy Young voting despite starting eleven games for the San Diego Padres before joining the Reds.
For Adam Dunn making the Reds Hall of Fame may be a right of passage and his chance to get consideration for Cooperstown. For Bristol and Norman, though, it is confirmation of their roles in creating the Big Red Machine. Earning that sort of immortality is not easy.