Cincinnati Reds Manager David Bell currently wears the No. 25, but who is the greatest player to have worn the uniform number?
When David Bell was named manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 2018, he was given the No. 25, which is a Bell family tradition. David Bell is now the third generation of his family to wear No. 25 for Cincinnati, following in the footsteps of his father Buddy Bell and grandfather Gus Bell. But who else throughout Reds history has put on that same number?
The No. 25 made its Reds debut in 1939, when catcher Clyde Manion first wore it on the back of his jersey. Since then, 32 other players have worn the No. 25. Notable Reds players Wally Post and Ken Griffey, Sr. donned the No. 25 for one year.
The first player to wear No. 25 for multiple seasons was pitcher, Paul Derringer, from 1935-1937. During those three years, Derringer won a total of 51 games and struck out 335 batters. Todd Benzinger made one of the most famous defensive plays in Reds history while wearing No. 25, when he caught the last out of the 1990 World Series.
While players like Derringer and Benzinger may have had some measure of success while wearing the No. 25, they aren’t up for the honor of being the best to wear No. 25. However, the following players are certainly in the running.
Gus Bell wore the No. 25 during his entire Cincinnati Reds career, which lasted nine years from 1953-1961. He has the longest tenure wearing the number. Gus Bell is also the only player to wear the number while the Reds were known as the Redlegs from 1953-1958.
While wearing No. 25, Bell appeared in four All-Star games. He had three seasons of 27 or more home runs, four seasons of 101 or more RBI, and has a career .288 batting average. Bell was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1964.
Former Cincinnati manager, Ray Knight wore the No. 25 in 1974 and again from 1977-1981. He had his best statistical season with the Reds in 1979, when he hit .318 and finished in the top five in the National League MVP vote. He appeared in the All-Star game as a member of the Reds in 1980.
Buddy Bell started wearing the No. 25 when he joined Cincinnati via trade in 1985. He wore the number on the back of his jersey until 1988. Bell led all National League third baseman with a .979 field percentage in 1987, and finished his Reds career with a .266 batting average.
Fan favorite, Dmitri Young had No. 25 on his back from 1998-2001. In 1998, Young, nicknamed Da Meat Hook, committed the fewest errors by an NL left fielder (9) and ranked second in doubles in the league (48). Young finished his Cincinnati career with a .304 batting average.
When looking at the careers of Gus Bell, Ray Knight, Buddy Bell and Dmitri Young, it’s easy to see that Gus Bell is the best of the bunch. While Gus Bell was the first member of his family to wear the number, he is also the best player of every generation to wear No. 25 for the Reds.