We all have our favorites. Ask any Reds fan about their favorite player, and you’ll get a bunch of different answers, for a bunch of different reasons. Here at the Nation, I’ve written about my favorite current Reds a number of times. At the top of that list is probably Bronson Arroyo, because it’s just fun to watch him throw those frisbees up there and confound hitters. Also, Paul Janish, because he’s fun to watch defensively (and perhaps a little because I feel he hasn’t been given a fair shot).

Some people pick the team’s best player as their favorite; Joey Votto would probably top a public poll of favorite current Reds. We’re all familiar, as well, with Cincinnati’s legendary fondness for a certain type of player: the scrappy, hustle-all-the-time, get-the-most-out-of-your-talent guy (see Freel, Ryan).

A more interesting question to me is about our all-time favorite Reds. In a blatant attempt to ignore certain recent events, I thought I would list my five favorite Reds (plus one):

5. (tie) Chris Sabo: Originally, I guess I was guilty of liking Sabo because of the scrappy factor mentioned above. His rookie year was a sensation, and I fell under his spell at that time like everyone else. His brilliant performance in the 1990 World Series — and especially in the celebration downtown afterward — cemented Sabo’s place on this list.

5. (tie) Tom Browning: As members of the Reds Listserv will attest, I’ve long been a fan of TB. I liked the way he worked fast, changed speeds, and threw strikes. I still love the story about the birth of Browning’s child during Game 2 of the World Series, when Marty Brennaman had to issue the call for TB to come back to the ballpark because he might have to pitch.

4. Johnny Bench: I was too young to enjoy much of the Big Red Machine dominance, but when I first became enamored with baseball, Johnny Bench was my guy. Not only was he the Baseball Bunch guy, but he was a giant figure in Cincinnati. In Little League, I wore #5 and played catcher.

I will never forget the disappointment of going to Riverfront Stadium in 1983 — the only game we attended in that, Bench’s final season — when I looked up at the scoreboard and saw Wayne Krenchicki’s name in the lineup instead of Bench’s. I’m still heartbroken over that.

3. Mario Soto: A guy I felt never got his due, thanks to playing on some horrific Reds teams in the early eighties. I liked everything about Soto: his demeanor on the field, that wicked circle change. Mostly, I think I liked that our Reds — who were so bad at the time — had a stud pitcher who was worthy of The Sporting News’ cover. That was a big deal to young Chad.

2. Adam Dunn: One of the greatest Reds in history, and the most unfairly-maligned player I’ve ever seen. Dunn ranks 3rd on the Reds all-time OPS list (behind Frank Robinson, who is number two…and I’ll let you guess who is number one*). He’s 3rd in SLG (ahead of George Foster and Ted Kluszewski and Eric Davis, who almost made this top five list), 7th in OBP (ahead of Pete Rose), 4th in homers (behind Bench, Robinson, and Tony Perez), 6th in BBs. He’s all over the Reds all-time leaderboards.

Unfortunately, Marty didn’t like all the strikeouts, or the fact that Dunn couldn’t hit a sacrifice fly, so he led the charge to have Dunn run out of town on a rail. (Marty loved Ryan Freel, though.) Admittedly, Dunn’s defense was bad, especially at the end, but he played every single day and produced like few Reds in history. It’s a shame that people in Cincinnati wanted to focus on what he couldn’t do, rather than focus on the brilliant things he could do. I’m glad he’s appreciated by the fans of his current team.

1. Barry Larkin: I can’t imagine anyone coming along and knocking Barry Larkin from his perch at the top of this list. Larkin was the best Red on some good teams, and he was the best player during my teenage years and beyond, when I really, truly became obsessed with this ballclub.

I had never seen anyone combine excellence at shortstop and at the plate like Larkin. He was robbed of at least two — and maybe more — Gold Gloves by a declining Ozzie Smith, but there’s no doubting that Larkin was one of the best around. At the plate, he was dynamic. Bill James rates Larkin as the sixth best shortstop of all-time, and also singled him out as one of the more complete players in baseball history.

Larkin is a legend. It is a crime that he wasn’t inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. My fingers are crossed that next year will be his time.

*Joey Votto is number one on the Reds all-time OPS list. Crazy.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 68 Comments

  1. My jaw actually dropped when I read that stat about Votto. That’s insane.

  2. Amazing list. Mine would be.

    1. Larkin
    2. Bench
    3. Morgan
    4. Sabo
    5. Dunn

  3. Growing up, I liked a lot of players there just was no excuse for liking—-Duane Walker, Gary Redus, Ben Hayes and Alan Knicely spring to mind.

    But probably, if we’re talking about players no one can argue with and if we’re building my all-time team, I would have to start with …

    TONY PEREZ ❗

  4. Just limiting it to guys in my lifetime I actually remember watching play.

    1. Dunn
    2. (Tie) Hal Morris, Reggie Sanders
    4. Ken Griffey Jr.
    5. Aaron Harang

  5. 1. Larkin
    2. Concepcion
    3. Moskau
    4. Rijo
    5. Franco

  6. @Python Curtus: You rule! Alan Knicely. I like it. Not many people remember Knicely.

  7. Not gonna lie, never really felt it with Larkin. No idea why, just was never on that list of guys I really liked. A lot like Jeter now, I guess. Maybe I just have a thing about shortstops.

    • Not gonna lie, never really felt it with Larkin. No idea why, just was never on that list of guys I really liked.

      Brien has been banned after this comment, by the way.

    • Not gonna lie, never really felt it with Larkin. No idea why, just was never on that list of guys I really liked. A lot like Jeter now, I guess. Maybe I just have a thing about shortstops.

      Brien Jackson: Larkin and Jeter ARE a lot alike. Remarkably similar skill sets. Of course, Jeter is more durable.

      So why is Larkin one of my favorite players and Jeter one of my least favorite ? An obvious Reds/Yankees bias. Actually, if Jeter wasn’t such a favorite of the media, I’d probably like him.

  8. Without question, my favorite thing about this topic is the names that pop up out of nowhere: Alan Knicely, Paul Moskau, Duane Walker. Forgettable players who were memorable for some people. I like that.

  9. @Brien Jackson: Ex-friend of mine.

  10. @Chad Dotson: Now I hate you. “Forgettable”? πŸ™‚ Moskau was the MVP of the Eugene Ems when I was growing up following them.

  11. @Dave Lowenthal: Oh yeah! I must have forgotten about that.

    :mrgreen:

  12. Chad that’s pretty close to my list, except I would replace the Sabo/Browning tie with Eric Davis/Jose Rijo. Browning would still be close but Sabo wouldn’t sniff my list. I, also, love Bench for the same reason (the Baseball Bunch).

  13. The Baseball Bunch was such a great show. Somebody should make Drew Stubbs watch the “Bunting for Bananas” clip from one episode.

  14. 1. Larkin
    2. Dunn
    3. Casey
    4. Rijo
    5. Davis/Griffey Jr

  15. 1. Eric Davis
    2. Larkin
    3. Rose
    4. Bench
    5. Oester

    –I always had a chip on my shoulder about Oester because people (I live in Chicago area) made Sandberg out to be sooo much better.
    –I always admired Bench more than liked him as a kid because because I thought he was the epitome of manliness.
    –One of my first memories of baseball as a kid was coming home from a trip to Cincy in ’75 w/ my Reds plastic helmet. The helmet broke after 2 days cuz I kept flipping it off my head when running the bases.
    –Larkin was the most complete player I’ve ever seen. Just the best at hitting behind the runner.
    –What can I say, I’m a center fielder, Davis was THE man.

  16. This is a great topic! I’ll take heat for this, but my all-time favorite Red is Paul Householder. I know it’s an odd choice, but I’ll explain. At age 10, I saw him play for Indianapolis and hit a home run and a double. He became my favorite. My grandfather, a part-time scout in Connecticut, where Paul is also from, knew of him. I wrote to Paul a few times in 1982 and 1983 and twice he sent me signed pictures. After the 83 season my grandfather met him, and Paul remembered my name. When he ended up in Milwaukee, he sent another autographed picture and a typed/signed letter. Later, as an Astro, he sent another picture and a hand-written letter. I recently tracked him down and thanked him, telling him that I hope when I have a child that my child has a hero who is as generous as he was with me. He thanked me and asked for my address, promptly sending two more pictures to his “number one fan”, as I referred to myself. That, to me, makes him my favorite Red, more than Bench, Concepcion, Rose, or any other Red. It’s not just about stats; we love players for where they fit in our lives. That’s why we love our teams so much.

    • I’ll take heat for this, but my all-time favorite Red is Paul Householder.

      Nah, no one should take heat for any of their favorites. There are no wrong answers.

      Besides, your reason for being a Householder fan is a great one.

    • , but my all-time favorite Red is Paul Householder.

      I met his ex-wife, working as a nursing home administrator about 15 years ago in Louisville. She said that Householder was one of the top selling Porsche sales reps in Florida at the time (hope my memory’s not failing me). Said he always blamed his lack of major league success on Vern Rapp.

      • I met his ex-wife, working as a nursing home administrator about 15 years ago in Louisville. She said that Householder was one of the top selling Porsche sales reps in Florida at the time (hope my memory’s not failing me). Said he always blamed his lack of major league success on Vern Rapp.

        I know he’s still in Florida, but not sure about the Porsche thing. He told me he was having his knee replaced and had hip replacement surgery, too. I agree that the hepatitis had a huge effect on him. He was never the same. He was supposed to play every day for the Brewers in 85, but something happened with Robin Yount and he couldn’t play infield anymore, so they stuck him in Paul’s spot. When Paul finally got to play every day, in September, I think he hit about .321 and hit a bunch of homers. Needless to say, he was in Houston the next year and was only in the majors for a weekend!

  17. @Chad Dotson:

    Haha. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I disliked him or anything, and I was probably among the most vocal of his Hall of Fame supporters last year, and will be again this year. I guess maybe I have a tendency to go emotionally for the guys I think are unfairly maligned, like Dunn, and don’t connect as much with the guys who get the universal love (even if it’s deserved).

    I guess to put it in context, Ryan Freel might be my least favorite player of my lifetime. On any team.

  18. Can you enlighten me on Sabo’s part in the 1990 World Series’ celebration? I don’t recall that.

    5. Paul Janish
    4. Scott Sullivan
    3. Adam Dunn
    2. Peter Edward Rose
    1. Chris Sabo

    — Spot #5 is reserved for a current Red. I love watching top-notch defense at shortstop, and Janish worked really hard on his hitting and strength over the winter to prepare himself to start. He talked about how important it was to live up to the grand tradition of Cincinnati shortstops, and I was sold. I really like when players demonstrate knowledge and respect of franchise history.
    — The middle reliever role is yeoman’s work. I want to give rubber-armed Scott Sullivan his due; he absolutely anchored that fantastic-yet-volatile 1999 bullpen. And submariners are cool.
    — Dunn was rock steady on the field, and a fantastic sense of humor off the field…which we needed during some dark years. “Marty? Marty? Do you think Scott Hatteberg’s a good player?”
    — My dad taught me at a very very young age: “Chris, who’s the greatest player in the world?” “Peeeeet-ah Wose!”
    — Chris Sabo was a Pete Rose for my time. I was nicknamed Spuds in high school athletics because I too wore the goggles.

  19. 1. Johnny Bench. My idol while growing up and will never leave this spot, unless my son grows up and plays for the Reds, in which case it will be 1 and 1a

    2. Barry Larkin. Great player, but I’ll never forget when I went to Montreal to see the Reds play, and after autographing a ball for me, he turned around and tossed the ball to Reggie Sanders to sign as well. The pen was officially retired after that.

    3. Pete Rose. I don’t care about the gambling. The man gave his heart and soul to every team he played for every night, and he did it the best while playing for the good guys. F*** Bart Giamatti and Bud Selig.

    4. Joe Morgan. His book, “Baseball My Way” remains to the best book about playing baseball I ever read.

    5. Eric Davis. He literally almost died playing for this team. What’s not to love?

    Honorable mention- Wayne Granger. I never saw him play, but I have to love his name!

  20. My favorites when they were playing and I was watching:

    1. Eric Davis
    2. Pete
    3. Dave Parker
    4. Chris Sabo
    5. Hal Morris
    6. Paul O’Neill

    I guess I should make another list for Pete, though, of guys who were past their prime when I really started paying attention as a little kid, around 1984:

    1. Pete
    2. Tony Perez
    3. Dave Concepcion
    4. Johnny Bench (though all he was good for were Baseball Bunch episodes on TV, as he’d retired by the time I started REALLY following the Reds)

    But other guys I enjoyed, often for reasons other than their ability (or lack thereof):

    1. Max Venable
    2. Jack Armstrong
    3. Nick Esasky
    4. Kal Daniels
    5. Tom Hume

  21. @DevilsAdvocate: In the locker room after game 4, Sabo said “we won it fair and square, if they don’t agree, they’re just a bunch of sore losers”. It was pretty funny, sounded like an 8 year old. Not sure about downtown.

  22. @Dave Lowenthal: That’s actually what I was talking about. You are right; that was in the locker room.

    He said something else in the downtown celebration that sounded goofy, but I can’t remember what. I am pretty sure it’s on the 90 Reds video.

  23. 5. Eric Davis
    4. Sean Casey
    3. Nick Esasky
    2. Tom Browning
    1. Barry Larkin

  24. 1. Eric Davis
    2. Chris Sabo
    3. Paul O’Neill
    4. Adam Dunn
    5. Reggie Sanders / Glenn Braggs / Ron Gant

    Have to agree with Brien to a degree. Larkin was never my favorite Red at any point. Not that I didn’t like him, but maybe it’s a shortstop thing for me too.

    My favorite Red was Eric Davis. My brother and I would play 1 on 1 baseball in the backyard and I’d always wag my bat around like Davis. Had a million of his cards too.

    I remember going down to Ray’s Barber Shop (may have still been Clyde’s then) and telling him to give me a haircut like Chris Sabo. How can a guy that inspired me to cut my hair like him not be in the top 5?

    I hated when O’Neill was traded. Somewhere I still have a blue index card that he signed when he was at the Towne Mall.

    I think I’m more a fan of Dunn now than when he was with the Reds. It amazes me how people talk about him. The dude crushes the ball and gets on base. Imagine for a moment a lineup with BP, Votto, Rolen, Dunn, and Hamilton.

    I’ve always wanted to be in decent shape and strong. Sanders seemed like he was always in really good shape, Braggs could break a bat on his back, and Gant had some serious guns.

  25. @DevilsAdvocate: Dunn’s call in on the banana phone is probably my single favorite thing on RN – http://redlegnation.com/adamfrommilwaukee.mp3.

  26. 1. Chris Sabo
    2. Joey Votto
    3. Eric Davis
    4. Rob Dibble
    5. Adam Dunn

  27. “Imagine for a moment a lineup with BP, Votto, Rolen, Dunn, and Hamilton.”

    I’ve had that thought more than a few times, but didn’t want to bring it up because I’m nice like that. πŸ˜€

  28. @Brien Jackson: I couldn’t help myself this time. Glad I’m not the only one.

  29. I started following the Reds in 2000:

    1. Barry Larkin
    I know how you feel about the Johnny Bench thing in ’83. My 1st Reds game was Larkin’s last year. I’ll never forget seeing Felipe Lopez’s name instead of Larkins at SS that day. Larkin ended up getting a PH walk.

    2. Aaron Harang

    3. Joey Votto

    4. Sean Casey

    5. Paul Wilson
    I dont understand it either

    I also like Pedro Borbon (mostly for the crazy Borbon stories from The Machine and other sources)

  30. Slightly off topic, but with so many members of the 1990 team being mentioned, I think maybe we should remember they weren’t great at EVERYTHING they did…

    We’re the Reds. Red Hot. We’re the Reds. Red Hot….

    Say no to drugs. Say no to crack. Just hit the books and the ball with the bat. And you can win the World Series of life, not by doing what’s wrong, just do what’s right.

    We’re the Reds. Red Hot….

    I still have the video, and it’s hilarious how Sabo CAN’T rap, watching Larkin try to teach him. “Go Sabo, go Sabo, go, go, go Sabo!”

  31. I’ll make this easy by cheating and listing the pitchers separately.

    1. Vada Pinson
    2. Frank Robinson
    3. Barry Larkin
    4. Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. (cheating again)
    5. Dave Concepcion

    Favorite pithcers:
    1. Mario Soto
    2, Bob Purkey
    3. Rob Dibble (!)

    We’re all allowed to have one quirky favorite.

    Soto BTW in 1982 was the most dominating Reds pitcher I’ve ever seen (more than Jim Maloney) on the worst Reds team I’ve ever seen.

  32. @RobD:
    A couple things that people forget about Householder. First, he had the top fielding percentage for outfielders in ’82. At the time I thought he deserved more credit for that, but I guess looking back now, I realize there were several outfielders who had a .997 field at the time. (Coincidentally, Dan Driessen had the top field for 1B)
    Second, Householder came down with hepatitis just at the start of the ’83 season. That can be a seriously debilitating disease. I believe this more than anything might have derailed his career.
    But all the same, I liked him, too.

  33. This list may start out as old school, but been a Reds fan since 1956!! 1 Big Klu, 2 Vada Pinson, 3 Pete Rose, 4 Johnny Bench, 5 Barry Larkin.Got to see Vada when he was a 19 year old, playing centerfield for Seattle. Speed to burn, awesome ballplayer, pure raw talent!!

    • This list may start out as old school, but been a Reds fan since 1956!!1 Big Klu, 2 Vada Pinson, 3 Pete Rose, 4 Johnny Bench, 5 Barry Larkin.Got to see Vada when he was a 19 year old, playing centerfield for Seattle. Speed to burn, awesome ballplayer, pure raw talent!!

      Jimredsfan: Right on !

      I like all 5 of your choices, all of them would be in my top 10. I might as well round out my top 10:

      1. Vada Pinson
      2. Frank Robinson
      3. Barry Larkin
      4. Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. (cheating)
      5. Dave Concepcion
      6. Joe Morgan
      7. Johnny Bench
      8. Eric Davis
      9. Pete Rose
      10. Big Klu

      Favorite pitchers: Soto, Purkey, Dibble

  34. Actually, good fielding often is what made me like a player. Probably the big reason I liked Duane Walker (and in the future, Tracy Jones and a few others) was the way he charged the wall to make an out. I remember a game I went to where he was playing in left, I guess it was ’82, maybe ’83. Long fly, he’s running back, he jumps backwards, slams his back into the wall and makes the catch. You could hear the echo of him hitting the wall. Someone sitting in front of me says, “Foster wouldn’t have done that, he’d of messed up his afro.”

  35. 1. Eric Davis
    2. Adam Dunn
    3. Johnny Bench
    4. Dmitri Young/Kal Daniels
    5. Ken Griffey Jr.

    I knew some guys who hung out with some of the 1999 Reds, and they had some pretty crazy, unprintable stories about those guys, and Da Meat Hook became my favorite from that bunch. I also loved a bunch of the players on those Pete Rose-managed teams, when I first started paying attention. I probably liked Kal Daniels the most, because he hit the way I wished I could.

    The other guys are pretty self-explanatory.

  36. 1. Eric Davis
    2. Joe Morgan
    3. Mario Soto
    4. Tony Perez
    5. Johnny Bench

    Honorable mention – Dave Collins, Glenn Braggs and Paul O’Neill

    Favorite ‘What ever Happened to’ Reds Player – Billy Bates.

    Votto didn’t make the list, but it’s only his third year. He could end up on top of my list when it’s all said and done.

  37. OK, favorite GOOD players:

    1 Perez
    2 Rose
    3 Dunn
    4 Reggie Sanders
    5 Morris
    (Close but just short to Larkin, Sabo, Seaver, O’neill and Bench)

    Favorite OK players

    1 Kearns
    2 Esasky
    3 Power
    4 Sullivan
    5 Driessen

    Favorite HARD players
    1 Stynes
    2 Freel
    3 Miller
    4 Milner (No one I’d rather have on base to start a game)
    5 Tracy Jones

    Favorite WTF players

    1 Kelly Paris (the first true utility infielder I paid close attention to. I’ve been a fan of UT guys ever since)
    2 Mike Vail (Started more games in LF than anyone else for the Reds in the ’82 season)
    3 Wade Rowdon (lead gloved UT who managed to get 5 hits in a game before fading into obscurity)
    4 Kip Gross (Did a surprisingly decent job as a starter in ’91. Called up to the Dodgers in ’92, he spent a week trapped in his hotel room during the LA riots. He was then sent down again without appearing in a game)
    5 Alan Knicely (Journeyman third-string catcher who almost made it to the big time in ’85 but lost out when the Reds needed another pitcher and Knicely was the only one they could send down to make room.)

    I also have a special place in my heart for all the guys who have given me autographs, from my first ones from Sal Butera and John Franco when I was a teenager to the ones who have made my current collection (started in ’02), including:
    Aaron Boone, Reggie Taylor, Sean Casey, Ryan Dempster, Wily Pena, Eric Valent, Scott Williamson, Felipe Lopez, the late Dernell Stenson, Ryan Wagner, Juan Castro, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood and Jerry Narron, who made a special detour to sign for me at Shea Stadium because I was the only person wearing a Reds cap at that particular moment πŸ˜‰

  38. @Furniture City Red:
    Damn! Almost forgot about Collins!

    @Travis G.:
    Oh, go ahead! Print some unprinatable stories!

    • Oh, go ahead!Print some unprinatable stories!

      This is probably the most printable one (this is a family blog, after all): I ran into one of those guys I know one Sunday around noon at the gas station, and he said he was on his way to the Reds game. “I don’t know how the hell Dmitri’s gonna play at 1,” he laughed, “because he stayed up all night and didn’t even leave my house until a couple hours ago.” (These guys had a sweet view of downtown and knew lots good-looking girls.)

      So I’m listening to the game a little while later, and Marty’s describing a lazy pop fly to left field, and apparently Young just absolutely butchered it. The ball dropped a couple feet in front of him and rolled right past him, as he turns around and tries to give chase. I didn’t have cable back then, so I didn’t see it, but Marty sounded disgusted. I thought it was pretty hilarious, if pretty unprofessional. But I was going to work on very little sleep back in those days, too, so I could sort of relate. Except my job pretty lousy back then.

  39. 1. Pete Rose
    2. Joe Morgan
    3. Joey Votto
    4. Sean Casey
    5. Eric Davis

    This year’s Reds:

    1. Joey Votto
    2. Jay Bruce
    3. Scott Rolen
    4. Paul Janish
    5. Brandon Phillips

  40. Okay, I was old enough to be aware by the late 80s…

    1. Larkin
    2. Sabo
    3. Rijo
    4. Harang
    5. Votto (he may well move up on this list)

    I’m sure that’s a pretty predictable list, but when he retired, Larkin had been the starting shortstop for what felt like my entire life (I was born in 80). Sabo was every awkward kids favorite player at some point. Rijo was just so much fun. Harang and Votto helped make baseball fun again.

  41. @nick in va: Did Marty ever find out that was Dunn?

  42. My favorites of my age of understanding:

    1) Pete Rose
    2) Tony Perez
    3) Johnny Bench
    4) Barry Larkin
    5) Johnny Bench

  43. We all have our favorites for various reasons:

    1. Concepcion (awsome SS, astroturf bounce throw changed SS play)
    2. Griffey Jr. (favorite all time player, but second Red–He was a better Mariner)
    3. Doran (I thought underrated. Could play several positions. Got the best out him)
    4. Benzinger (dunno.)
    5. Soto (Best Reds pitcher on worst Reds team I personnally witnessed)
    6. Morgan (He’s Morgan)
    7. Spilner (gave me an autograph as a kid)
    8. Bench (Baseball Bunch does play into this)
    9. Weathers (seriously, not a powerhouse, but was a solid closer, good set up, good guy, and always did what was asked)
    10. Larkin (best all around player of his era)

    I have always had a soft spot for middle relievers and utility guys. I like fringe guys who just play the game and do whatever they can to get on the field. The unsung heros. Guys that if you don’t have, all your superstars will not get their rings either. Look at this year’s Reds bench and bullpen. Perfect example of the difference between first place and 8 games out.

    I hope I’m not banned for putting David Weathers on my list…..

  44. My favorite Reds:

    1) Pete Rose
    2) Johnny Bench
    3) Randy Myers
    4) Joey Votto
    5) Dave Concepcion

  45. 1) Peter Edward Rose – No one ever played the game harder or wanted to win more…
    2) Johnny Bench – I started following baseball in ’68, when JB was coming up
    3) Tony Perez – Seemed like he homered every time I went to the yard…should have paid my way in.
    4) Adam Dunn – Great hitter and what a sense of humor.
    5) Barry Larkin – Great player and a hometown boy on top of it.

    My WTF guy….Ted Savage. Not sure why he was my guy, but he was…others I liked were Wayne Simpson, Kal Daniels, and Ron Oester.

  46. 1) Morgan
    2) Bench
    3) Rose
    4) Larkin
    5) Votto

    What can I say – I graduated from high school in ’76.

    Noted with amusement that Dunn was listed on MLB Trade Rumors as one of the available 1B/DH in the off-season. I’ll say it for the oomptymillionth time – Dunn should have been handed a 1B mitt when he was a Dayton Dragon. His whole career might have played out very differently…

  47. My list:

    1. Davis
    2. Larkin
    3. Dunn
    4. Votto
    5. Dibble

  48. Current Reds:

    1. Votto
    2. Heisey
    3. Bruce
    4. Valaika
    5. Ondrusek

  49. Tonights Lineup

    Phillips 2B
    Heisey RF
    Votto 1B
    Rolen 3B
    Gomes LF
    Stubbs CF
    Janish SS
    Hanigan C
    Homer Bailey P

  50. Also, Mike Leake and Jim Edmonds have been activated from the disabled list.

  51. http://ramsey.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/09/george-grande-returns-saturday-2.html

    Don’t know if anyone has seen this, but good old George Grande is going to be calling a few games this month. While I’m not a huge fan of Grande, I’m a HUGE fan of not having to listen to Paul Keels!

  52. I will also leave this as players I’ve seen play:

    5. Adam Dunn
    4. Tom Browning – I used to practice pitching in my backyard and I was always him (although I’m right handed)
    3. Barry Larkin
    2. Joey Votto – I remember seeing him hit a HR when he was with the Dragons and I thought, “I’m going to keep an eye on this guy”. Well…here he is.
    1. Eric Davis – My favorite player growing up. I love power/speed guys.

  53. 1. Johnny Bench – When I came home from junior high school at the start of the 1970 baseball season and turned on the TV, I became transformed into a Cincinnati Reds fan because No. 5. He was bigger than life and still is. My 9th grade English teacher remembers to this day when she asked the question of the class on December 7th, “Does anyone know what today is?’ I meekly raised by hand and said, “I don’t think this is the answer you were looking for but it is Johnny Bench’s birthday.” πŸ˜€ My favorite Bench moment was a game against the Cubs where the Chicago lead-off hitter led off the game with a triple. Moments later, Bench whips a throw down to 3B and picks the runner off.

    2. Frank Robinson – Never saw him play as a Reds but looking back, I feel cheated that I never did.

    3. Jim Maloney – Again never saw him pitch due to that turn of the base paths that tore his Achilles tendon but he was absolutely overpowering.

    4. Ewell Blackwell – Way before my time but the stories of how he terrified RH hitters with “The Whip” make me wish I had a highlight tape of his performances.

    5. Ted Kluszewski – Never saw him play but what a combination of power and contact. He was also the best hitting instructor ever! What he could do with Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey.

  54. Where’s the love for Joe Oliver…I know, I forgot about him too. Not sure how I forgot him – I had Bates on there, Oliver’s the one that drove Bates in to win game 2 in ’90.

  55. @jdarts: Great. Now we have 3 1/2 outfielders. πŸ™„

  56. @Y-City Jim: 5 great players on that list, but can they(4of5) really be your favorite if you never saw them play?

  57. Fun to read the lists.

    Without too much thought:
    1. George Foster
    2. Brad Gulden
    3. Eddie Milner
    4. Johnny Bench
    5. Bip Roberts

    I also might say I think these are the five greatest Reds, in order.

  58. @Furniture City Red: Good question. I guess I would justify it by saying that those are the top four that I would love to have seen play. I was also a discipline of all those Reds Yearbooks of the 70s and any baseball books I could get back then. They were filled with the rich history of the franchise. Reading about those guys and seeing their stats really make me feel that I was somehow cheated in not ever seeing them. (though Robinson I saw as an Oriole and Indian).

  59. @preach:
    “Spilner”?

    I think you mean Spilman, right?
    The Indians had a decent midreliever called Dan Spilner around that time.

    @vermilion red:
    Brad Gulden?

    I may have made some questionable choices here myself, but…wow

  60. @Y-City Jim: Good answer. You don’t have to justify your list…Hell, I managed to mention Billy Bates in my post πŸ™„ . Just thought it interesting most of the guys you named were before your time.

  61. I’m late to the party, but…

    Hal Morris
    Barry Larkin
    Eric Davis
    Jose Rijo
    Joey Votto

    Honorable Mention: Josh Hamilton

    What can I say? I was 15 when the 1990 team won and I’ll never forget it.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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1990 Reds, 2010 Reds, Barry Larkin: Hall of Famer, Big Red Machine, Bring Barry Back!, Defending Adam Dunn, Reds - General

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