Tom Prince’s career in professional baseball has stood the test of time.
On Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Prince stood his ground.
As tensions arose from a tight pitch Pittsburgh pitcher Chris Archer threw in the direction of Cincinnati hitter Derek Dietrich in the fourth inning, another Reds’ player, Yasiel Puig, charged at a group of Pirates to precipitate a good, old-fashioned baseball brawl.
Waiting on Puig, was the 54-year-old Prince, a 1982 Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School graduate who now is the Pirates’ bench coach. Prince assumed a crouched position as Puig surged forward, and held his ground even as Puig tried to apply a headlock. Eventually, Reds’ teammate Joey Votto helped restrain Puig.
Puig was ejected from the game, as were Reds’ manager David Bell and pitcher Amir Garrett. Pittsburgh pitchers Keone Kela and Felipe Vazquez also were ejected.
Prince remained in the dugout the rest of the contest, which ended with Cincinnati winning 7-5.
Ironically, Prince interviewed for the Reds’ managerial position last fall before Bell was hired. Prince has said managing in the Major Leagues is a personal goal.
He now is in his third season as the Pirates’ bench coach. After starring at both BBCHS and Kankakee Community College, Prince was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1984. A catcher, Prince played 17 big league seasons with Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Kansas City.
After his playing days were complete, Prince enjoyed considerable success as a minor league manager before rejoining Pittsburgh in 2017.