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Griffey Sr. taking helm in Bakersfield12/08/2010 1:50 AM ET
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Cincinnati Reds have announced that baseball great Ken Griffey Sr. has been assigned to head the field staff for the Bakersfield Blaze in 2011. Griffey joins the Blaze as a first-year manager after serving as the hitting coach for the Dayton Dragons (Class A) of the Midwest League in 2010.
He will be joined by pitching coach Rigo Beltran and hitting coach Tony Jaramillo. The strength and conditioning coach has yet to be determined. Jaramillo and Beltran were both with the Lynchburg Hillcats (Class A Advanced) of the Carolina League this past season.
Griffey debuted with the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 25, 1973. His breakout season came in 1975 and his best in 1976 as he became an integral part of the Reds' storied Big Red Machine, which won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976. He hit .296 for his career with 859 runs batted in. Griffey made the All-Star Game in 1976, 1977 and 1980, when he was voted the MVP of the midseason classic.
Griffey also played for the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves before returning to Cincinnati for one season. He finished his 19-year career alongside his son, Ken Griffey Jr. with the Seattle Mariners. On Aug. 30, 1990, the father and son made baseball history, becoming the only father-son tandem to homer in the same game. His other son, Craig Griffey, played Minor League Baseball, including spending the 1993 season with the California League's Riverside Pilots.
Beltran spent last season as the pitching coach for the Hillcats and has been a coach in the Reds' system for five seasons. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Beltran attended high school in San Diego, Calif., before going to the University of Wyoming. He was drafted in the 1991 free agent Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and spent 16 seasons in baseball. He played parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues, pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals (1997), New York Mets (1998-'99), Colorado Rockies (1999-'00) and Montreal Expos.
Jaramillo joins the Blaze staff after serving as the Hillcats' hitting coach in 2010. Jaramillo joined the Reds organization as the hitting coach for the Billings Mustangs (Rookie) of the Pioneer League in 2007. Jaramillo also spent a season with the Dayton Dragons, as well as time in the Detroit Tigers system. Jaramillo played professionally for six seasons, including three seasons in the Texas Rangers organization.
The Bakersfield Blaze is a charter member of the California League and the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.