News broke on Tuesday that longtime Cincinnati Reds clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe had passed away, and the outpouring of remembrances and condolences has been both enormous and - if you'd followed Bernie's lengthy career with the team - beautifully predictable. By all accounts, Stowe was a pillar of the franchise, a man who spent the bulk of his life as the oil that kept the Reds' engine rolling and in tune, sentiments specifically expressed by team President and COO Bob Castellini in a statement yesterday.
"There is no one in the Reds family more loved, admired, and respected than Bernie Stowe," Castellini said, adding that Stowe's personable reach made him integral at all levels of the organization, be it with players, coaches, or front office personnel.
Tributes and stories began rolling in, too, as the likes of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and Marty Brennaman all reflected on Stowe's 67 year era with the Reds, much of which is included by C. Trent Rosecrans in this Enquirer article. As Marty made note of, it's telling that two of Bernie's sons, Mark and Rick, have followed in their father's footsteps to be integral parts of the Reds' clubhouse operations themselves. The Reds certainly have a lengthy familial history in their franchise fabric - from the Bells to the Boones to the Griffeys to the Brennamen - and much like Bernie himself held the threads of the clubhouse together, the story of the generations of Stowes as bedrocks of the organization also seem to tie the whole thing together.
There's a slideshow of Stowe up at Reds.com that chronicles his time with the team.
Longtime beat reporter John Fay also had fond memories of Stowe, and remembered him in his column at WCPO.com.
Jamie Ramsey called Stowe "one of the funniest guys who ever lived," at Better Off Red, while also hoping Stowe and his dear old friend Joe Nuxhall are once again having a good laugh somewhere sunnier than Cincinnati.
ESPN Senior Writer Jerry Crasnick penned a wonderful article about Stowe the person and his interactions with the Reds over the years, and it may just get a little dusty in whichever room you read it in. Crasnick, who covered the Reds' beat for the Cincinnati Post in the late '80s, called Stowe "a walking monument to Reds history," and caught up with former Reds Sean Casey and Tom Browning to talk about the impact that Bernie had on their respective stints with the club.
Stowe retired from work with the Reds after the 2013 season, and had been fighting Alzheimer's for some nine years at the time of his death. He was 80 years old.
Rest in peace, Bernie.