- 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. He will be joined by pitching coach Rigo Beltran and hitting coach Tony Jaramillo. The strength and conditioning coach has yet to be determined. Griffey joins the Blaze as a first year manager after serving as the hitting coach for the Dayton Dragons (Low-A) of the Midwest League in 2010. Tony Jaramillo and Rigo Beltran were both with the Lynchburg Hillcats (High-A) of the Carolina League.
Ken Griffey, Sr. debuted with the Cincinnati Reds on August 25, 1973. His break out 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 mid-season 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 August 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.
Rigo Beltran spent last season as the pitching coach for the Lynchburg Hillcats and has been a
coach in the Reds system for five seasons. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Beltran attended high school
in San Diego, California, 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.
Tony 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 Affiliate of
the Cincinnati Reds. The Blaze play 70 regular season home games in 70 year old Historic Sam
Lynn Ballpark. Tickets and hospitality packages are now on sale. For more information call (661) 716-4487
or go to BakersfieldBlaze.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.