All-Time Cincinnati Reds Team
The Cincinnati Reds are one of the oldest teams in the MLB. They have a great history and a very supportive following.
There have been many players that have come and gone over the years, and they have left their mark. Compiling a list of All-Time Great teams is more of something fun to do, rather than making a bold statement.
I realize there are many different players that could fill these positions, but this is just my opinion, and there will certainly be debating which makes it even more fun.
Just like in football, the positions in the game are drastically different than others, which showcases each player's amazing skills.
The All-Time Reds team would definitely be something to watch if they could have ever taken the field together.
SP: Jim Maloney
Maloney was one of the hardest throwing pitchers of his era. He boasted a fastball that was clocked at 99 miles per hour, threw two no hitters, won ten or more games from 1963 to 1969, and struck out more than 200 batters for four consecutive seasons. He won 23 games in 1963 and 20 in 1966, all with the Reds. In 1973, he was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.
Catcher: Johnny Bench
Come on. Probably one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. Enough said.
1B: Ted Kluszewski
Ted Kluszewski was selected as an All-Star in four seasons, and was a career .298 hitter with 279 home runs and 1028 RBI. In ten of his fifteen seasons, Kluszewski walked more often than he struck out. In 1955, he hit 47 homers while striking out only 40 times. No player since then has hit 40 homers and struck out 40 or fewer times in the same season. "Big Klu" enjoyed his most productive years from 1953 through 1956, with home run totals of 40, 49, 47 and 35.
2B: Joe Morgan
In 1971 Morgan was traded to the Reds for Lee May, and is considered one of the most one sided trades in baseball history. To this day it is considered an epoch-making deal for Cincinnati. After joining the Big Red Machine, he became an eight time All-Star. He drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 1975 World Series. Morgan was also the National League MVP in 1975 and 1976, the first second baseman to win the award in back to back years.
3B: Tony Perez
During the 1970s, Perez was second among all major leaguers in RBI, with 954, behind only his teammate Johnny Bench. Perez was one of the premier RBI men of his generation, driving in 100 plus runs seven times in his 23 year career. After Perez was traded to Montreal, the "Big Red Machine" sputtered and never again got into the World Series. Sparky Anderson has stated many times that Perez was the leader, and heart and soul of those historic teams.
SS: Barry Larkin
Larkin batted .353 in the 1990 World Series to help the Reds win the title. In 1995, Larkin was sixth in batting (.319) and second in stolen bases (51) to win the National League's MVP award. In 1996, Larkin hit a career high 33 home runs.
He was named the Reds captain before the 1997 season and was the first player to hold such honor since Concepción's retirement. In his 19 years with the Reds, he batted .295, with 2340 hits, 198 home runs, 960 RBI, and 379 stolen bases. Baseball historian Bill James has called Larkin one of the greatest shortstops of all time.
LF: Pete Rose
He still may not be in the Hall of Fame, but he is the easiest pick for this list. No need to even write about his famous storied career.
CF: Frank Robinson
Robinson is the only player to be named MVP in both leagues (1961 with the Reds and 1966 with the Orioles).As a Red in 1956, he tied the record of 38 home runs by a rookie, which earned him Rookie of The Year honors. This twelve time All-Star was an easy pick for this team.
Robinson's career totals include a .294 batting average, 586 home runs, 1812 RBI, and 2,943 hits in 2808 games played. When he retired, his 586 career home runs were the fourth best in history. He is second on Cincinnati's all time home run leaders list (324) behind Johnny Bench and is the Red's all time leader in slugging percentage.
RF: Vada Pinson
Pinson was primarily a center fielder, but he would play RF on this team. He appeared in 2,469 games and had 2,757 hits, finishing with a career batting average of .286, 256 home runs, and 305 stolen bases. He also has the most hits of any eligible player not inducted into the Hall of Fame. After his days as a player, he coached the Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins.