Bill Plummer, former Mariners manager and catcher, dies at 76

Mar 14, 2024, 11:15 AM

CINCINNATI (AP) — Bill Plummer, a reliable catcher who spent spent seven seasons backing up Johnny Bench during the Big Red Machine era and later served as Seattle Mariners manager, has died. He was 76.

Plummer died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack last Thursday at home in Redding, California, according to family social media posts.

Plummer appeared in 324 games for the Reds between 1970 and 1977, including the teams that won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and ’76.

“Loved Bill for the person he was and the competitor he showed us on the field. He was always ready to play,” Bench said in a post Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Plummer played briefly with the Chicago Cubs in 1969 before being traded to the Reds. He was a solid defensive catcher but had a lifetime batting average of .188 with 14 career homers — two of them in the same game off future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1974.

Plummer played for Seattle in 1978 and later coached and managed in the Mariners organization. He was named manager for 1992 but was fired after one unsuccessful season. He was also a coach and manager in the minor leagues and independent leagues.

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Bill Plummer, former Mariners manager and catcher, dies at 76