CINCINNATI (AP) -Former Cincinnati Reds scout and farm director Sheldon ``Chief'' Bender, who spent 64 years in professional baseball, died Wednesday. He was 88.
Bender died in Hamilton, Ohio, from complications of a recent fall at his home.
The Reds' minor league player of the year award is named for Bender. He retired in 2005.
Bender played and managed in the minor leagues for 12 seasons and worked in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization from 1948-66. Bender spent 39 years with the Reds and headed their minor league operations from 1967-89.
Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, Ken Griffey Sr., Don Gullett, Mario Soto, Tom Browning, Paul O'Neill, Eric Davis and Barry Larkin were among the future stars produced by the Cincinnati system while Bender was there.
Bender served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and earned a Purple Heart.
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