Ed Bailey, who hit 28 home runs for the 1956 Reds team that tied a major-league record with 221 homers, passed away Friday in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 75.
Bailey, a catcher, played on the freshman team at the University of Tennessee before going off to the U.S. Army.
He signed with the Reds as an amateur free agent and played with the team from 1953-61, when he was traded to the San Francisco Giants.
Bailey was one of five Reds to hit 20 or more homers in that season, led by rookie Frank Robinson’s 38.
Wally Post (36), Ted Kluszewski (35) and Gus Bell (29) also hit 20 or more.
Bailey’s 28 homers were a career high. He hit 20 two other seasons.
Bailey was a Knoxville, Tenn., City Council member for 12 years after his retirement. He was a Strawberry Plains, Tenn., native.
The Reds have been blessed with more than a few very good catchers in franchise history. Bailey rates in the upper level.
RN sends our condolences and best wishes to his family.
I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.