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Obituary: Sheldon “Chief” Bender

February 29, 2008 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Johnny Bench was produced under Chief Bender's watch.
Hall of Famer Johnny Bench was just one of the stars churned out in Cincy under Sheldon “Chief” Bender’s watch.

The baseball world lost a good one this week when Sheldon “Chief” Bender, former farm director of the Cincinnati Reds, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 88.

During Cincy’s vaunted Big Red Machine days, Bender ran the scouting a player development department, helping to produce such stars as Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, Ken Griffey Sr., Don Gullett, Mario Soto and Barry Larkin, among others.

Bender began his tenure as the Reds’ minor league director in 1967 and ran it until 1989, finally retiring in 2005. By that point, he had accumulated 64 years in the sport as a player, manager and executive.

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