The Cincinnati Reds became an organization in 1881 as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. In the long history of this organization, the Reds have won five World Series titles with the most recent one coming in 1990. The club has 11 retired numbers, including Jackie Robinson‘s number 42. Here is a potential all-time starting lineup for the Cincinnati Reds including a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher.
1.) Joe Morgan, Second Base (1972-1979)
Uniform number eight was retired by the Reds in 1984
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1990
In Joe Morgan’s eight seasons with the Reds, he won two MVP awards. They came in back-to-back years in 1975 and 1976. In 1975, Morgan had a .466 OBP with 163 hits and 132 walks. The next year, he had a 1.020 OPS. He had single-season bests in homers (27) and RBIs (111) that season. Morgan also won all five of his Gold Glove awards with the Reds in consecutive seasons from 1973-1977.
2.) Joey Votto, First Base (2007-Present)
Joey Votto’s current .419 OBP is the highest among active qualified players according to Baseball Reference as of the start of the 2021 season. His OBP was .414 or higher in nine of his first 14 big league seasons. Votto has also had an OPS of 1.000 or better in four seasons, including his MVP season in 2010. That year, Votto slashed .324/.424/.600. He also had single-season highs in home runs (37) and RBIs (113) that year.
3.) Frank Robinson, Right Field (1956-1965)
Uniform number 20 was retired by the Reds in 1998.
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1982
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson started his 21-year career with the Reds in 1956. Robinson won Rookie of the Year that season, hitting 38 long balls and scoring 122 times. Robinson had a career slash line of .303/.389/.554 in 1,502 regular season games played with the Reds. He also won an MVP in his time there in 1961. Robinson had 76 extra-base hits, 124 RBIs and a 1.015 OPS in 153 games that season.
4.) George Foster, Left Field (1971-1981)
George Foster played in just 54 big league games with San Francisco before joining the Reds. He spent parts of 11 seasons with Cincinnati, and hit 244 home runs and 207 two-baggers with the team. Foster was voted MVP in the 1977 season. He slashed .320/.382/.631 that year. The outfielder had 52 homers, 149 RBIs and 197 hits that season. Foster’s career slash line with Cincinnati is .286/.356/.514. He is also a two-time World Series champion with the Reds.
5.) Pete Rose, Third Base (1963-1978, 1984-1986)
Uniform number 14 was retired by the Reds in 2016.
If just Pete Rose’s 3,358 hits as a Cincinnati Red were recorded, he would still be in eighth place on the all-time list. Rose played in parts of 19 seasons with the Reds. He racked up accolades, including Rookie of the Year, MVP, World Series MVP and 17 All-Star appearances. The year Rose won MVP, he had 230 hits, 115 runs scored and a .401 OBP. Rose had a career .307 batting average with the Reds.
6.) Johnny Bench, Catcher (1967-1983)
Uniform number 5 was retired by the Reds in 1984.
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1989
Like many other players on this list, Johnny Bench won an MVP award and was Rookie of the Year in his time with Cincinnati. He won two MVP awards in 1970 and 1972. In 1970, Bench hit 45 homers and had 148 RBIs. Then in 1972, Bench hit 40 dingers and had 125 RBIs. His career slash line is .267/.342/.476. Bench is also a 14-time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glove winner.
7.) Barry Larkin, Shortstop (1986-2004)
Uniform number 11 was retired by the Reds in 2012.
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2012
Like Bench, Barry Larking spent his whole career with Cincinnati. From 1988-2000, he made the All-Star game in all but two years. Larkin is also a nine time Silver Slugger winner and a three time Gold Glove winner. The shortstop won MVP in 1995. That year, he had 98 runs scored, 158 hits and a slash line of .319/.394/.492. Larkin also had a career .397 OBP in 17 career playoff games.
8.) Vada Pinson, Center Field (1958-1968)
Vada Pinson debuted with Cincinnati in 1958 and remained with the team through the 1968 season. In 1,565 regular season games there, Pinson slashed .297/.341/.469 with 1,881 hits and 814 RBIs. Some of his best offensive years came from 1959-1961. Pinson scored over 100 runs and had at least 34 doubles in each of those seasons. He also finished in third for NL MVP in 1961.
9.) Bucky Walters, Starting Pitcher (1938-1948)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1958
Bucky Walters joined the Reds in 1938. His first full season with the team was in 1939. That year, Walters won MVP while having a 2.29 ERA in 319 innings pitched. The following season, Walters pitched 305 regular season innings with a 2.48 ERA. The Reds also won the World Series that year. Walters had a 1.50 ERA in the series. He pitched 18 innings and both of his starts were complete games in that World Series.
Relief Pitcher- Aroldis Chapman (2010-2015)
Aroldis Chapman debuted in 2010, and got some pretty quick attention due to his ability to throw triple-digits. In his first big league season, a fastball he threw got recorded at 105.1 MPH. Chapman went on to throw 319 innings with the Reds where he racked up 546 strikeouts and had a 2.17 ERA. The southpaw made the All-Star game in his last four seasons with Cincy, including in 2012 when he threw a single-season high 71 2/3 innings pitched and struck out 122 hitters.
Featured Image Courtesy of TSN.ca.