Any attempt at creating a list of "the best" anything is very difficult. The good part is that no matter who you pick (most of the time), some will like it and some will think it sucks. That, my friend, is the nature of the beast.
I have picked a starter and reserve at each position, and for the pitchers, I chose two right-handers and two southpaws, starters, and relievers.
To be considered a player, one had to be in Cincinnati for a minimum of five years.
That being said, let us look at my choices for the Cincinnati Reds All-Franchise Team.
Bucky Walters is one of the best pitchers not in the Hall of Fame. In six of his 11 years at Cincinnati, Bucky averaged 20 wins, 26 CG, and 4 SHO with an ERA of 2.67.
He won 20 games three times and his ERA was under 3 in seven of his seasons with the Reds.
Reserve: Paul Derringer
Honorable Mentions: Tom Seaver, Jim Maloney, Dolph Luque, Tony Mullane, Mario Soto, Jose Rijo, Will White and Bob Purkey.
Eppa Rixey is in the Hall of Fame.
In his first five years with the Reds, Rixey averaged 19 wins and an ERA of 2.69. He is the Reds' all-time leader in wins with 179, in games started with 357, and IP with 2,890.
Reserve: Noodles Hahn
Honorable Mentions: Joe Nuxhall, Don Gullett, Jim O'Toole, Tom Browning, and Johnny Vander Meer
Danny Graves is the career leader in saves for the Reds with 182. He has an ERA of 3.94 and had over 25 saves in five of his nine seasons at Cincinnati.
Reserve: Clay Carroll
Honorable Mentions: Jeff Brantley and Rob Dibble
John Franco is second on the Reds' all-time save list with 148. He was 42-30 with a 2.49 ERA in his six years with Cincinnati. He averaged 26 saves each season with the Reds.
Reserve: Bill Henry
Honorable Mention: Billy McCool
C Johnny Bench
Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is arguably the best catcher in baseball history—certainly in the National League.
He was the playcaller of the Big Red Machine. He won two MVP awards and a Rookie of the Year award.
He is the Reds career leader in HR, RBI, and Total Bases. He hit over 20 HR 11 times and won two HR titles. He knocked in over 100 runs six times and led the league three times.
Reserve: Ernie Lombardi
Honorable Mention: Johnny Edwards, Ed Bailey, and Joe Oliver
1B Ted Kluszewski
Big "Klu" was a power hitter with a good average—a rare breed.
He hit .302 for his career in Cincinnati, and still leads the Reds in HR and RBI for a first baseman.
In his 11 years at Cincinnati, he averaged 31 HR, 108 RBI, and only 36 strikeouts.
Reserve: Sean Casey
Honorable Mention: Frank McCormick, Gordy Coleman, Dan Driessen, and Lee Maye
2B Joe Morgan
Hall of Famer Joe Morgan had a great OBP with the Reds at .415, which makes him the career leader in that category.
He had a .288 average with 152 HR and 612 RBI to go along with it. Joe won two MVP awards and had over 100 walks in six of his eight years here.
Reserve: Bid McPhee
Honor Mention: Johnny Temple, Ron Oester, and Tommy Helms
3B Tony Perez
Another Hall of Famer, Tony Perez played both first base and the hot corner for the Reds during his 16 years with the Reds.
Tony hit 146 HR while playing 3B and knocked in 536.
Reserve: Heinie Groh
Honorable Mention: Chris Sabo and Ray Knight
SS Barry Larkin
Barry Larkin has just been placed on the Hall of Fame ballot this season. He fell short, but many think he will one day grace those halls.
Barry holds nearly every offensive career record for the Reds at SS. He played all 19 seasons with Cincinnati and was the NL MVP in 1995.
He was an All-Star 13 times and he won three Gold Gloves and nine Silver Sluggers. His career batting average is .295 with 198 HR and 960 RBI.
Reserve: Dave Concepcion
Honorable Mention: Chico Cardenas and Billy Myers
LF Pete Rose
Pete did everything but catch and play SS, so it was tough finding the right place to stick him.
He is the MLB career hits leader, yet you won't see him in the Hall of Fame. His great career was besmirched in a gambling scandal.
Rose batted .317 while playing the outfield. He also had 1641 of his 4256 career hits while playing the outfield for the Reds.
He is the Reds' career hit and runs scored leader. He won one MVP award and a Rookie of the Year award as well. He was a 17 time All-Star, and won two Gold Gloves.
Reserve: George Foster
Honorable Mention: Wally Post, Adam Dunn, Tommy Harper and Jerry Lynch (I know he mostly pinch hit, but I had to put him in.)
CF Vada Pinson
Vada Pinson has more hits than anyone not in the Hall of Fame, eligible for it, or named Baines.
Vada played the first 11 of his 18 seasons with the Reds. He led the league in hits twice, in runs once, doubles twice, and triples twice.
He hit over 200 hits on four occasions and scored 100 runs four different times. Twice he knocked in over 100 runs. In my opinion, Vada is the most disrespected man in baseball history. Where is the love?
Reserve: Gus Bell
Honorable Mention: Bobby Tolan and Cesar Geronimo
RF - Frank Robinson
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is one of the most beloved Reds in history. He is the only man in MLB history to win MVP awards in both leagues. He also has a Triple Crown under his belt while a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
He played in Cincinnati the first 10 of his 21 season, also winning a Rookie of the Year award in 1956.
His 10 years averages with the Reds are: R=113, H=181, 2B=35, HR=35, RBI=109 with a .303 BA.
Reserve: Eric Davis
Honorable Mention: Ken Griffey Sr., Reggie Sanders
View the other All-Franchise teams that I have already completed: