Former Big Red Machine backup C Bill Plummer dies


Bill Plummer, who earned two World Series rings while backing up Johnny Bench, has died. He was 76.

Plummer died Tuesday. The former Cincinnati Reds catcher had a heart attack last Thursday at his home in Redding, Calif, according to Redding Colt 45’s general manager Rick Bosetti. Plummer was a Redding assistant coach from 2018-23.

Plummer only batted .188 with 14 homers in 367 games over parts of 10 seasons, eight coming with the Cincinnati Reds from 1970-77.

His high for at-bats was 159 in 1975 as he backed up Bench, the Hall of Famer who was one of the stars of the franchise’s “Big Red Machine” era.

Plummer was the No. 2 catcher on the 1975 and 1976 teams that won the World Series. He set highs for batting average (.248) and homers (four) while playing 56 regular-season games in 1976.

“Loved Bill for the person he was and the competitor he showed us on the field,” Bench said on social media. “He was always ready to play.”

Plummer played in two games for the Chicago Cubs in 1968 before being traded to the Reds’ organization prior to the 1969 season. He finished his career in 1978 with the Seattle Mariners.