Note to Reds: Pick Prince
Who among us locals is not rooting for Tom Prince right now?
For those who might have missed it, Prince recently interviewed for the open position of manager of the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team. Currently the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Prince has previously mentioned that becoming a manager is his top goal.
There is no one who has paid more dues and is more deserving of the promotion. Many of us remember when Prince first caught our eye as a promising player in the area’s youth baseball ranks.
From there, he went on to Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, where he developed into a star catcher before graduating in 1982. Next came Kankakee Community College, where he also was a standout. The prowess he showed there caught the attention of professional scouts, and in 1984, he was a fourth-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He made his debut as an MLB player in 1987, and for the next 17 seasons, played for Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Kansas City. While he saw limited action in most seasons, he developed the reputation as a fine defensive catcher with a keen understanding of the game.
That insight came in handy in the succeeding years. He spent 11 seasons as a minor league manager, leading his teams to six postseason appearances during that time.
Since becoming bench coach for the Pirates major league team two years ago, Prince has become an invaluable adviser to Bucs’ manager Clint Hurdle. In fact, when Hurdle had to leave the team briefly last year, it was Prince who served as interim skipper.
Cincinnati would do well by hiring Prince for the full-time job. He has the endorsement of a whole lot of people around here.