Greatest Reds Sluggers of All Time
The Reds are one of the oldest professional sports franchises, and over the years they have fielded quite a few great power hitters. In particular, the ‘70's teams nicknamed The Big Red Machine were always entertaining and struck fear in opposing pitchers.
Still, it's amazing that not a single Reds' player has ever hit more than 400 home runs while with Cincinnati. Here is a complete list of the Top 10 in that category all-time with career home runs as a Reds player in parentheses:
Johnny Bench (389)-Johnny Bench was one of the greatest offensive catchers of all-time, and in fact one of the best all-around players ever. Bench played his entire career in Cincinnati, from 1967 to 1983, and was a major part of the Big Red Machine that won two championships and challenged for a few more. Bench hit 389 homers in his career, and his best year was in 1970 when he took home the NL MVP by hitting 45 homers with 148 runs batted in.
Frank Robinson (324)-Most people think of Frank Robinson as being associated with the Baltimore Orioles, but he did in fact begin his career with the Reds, and played in Cincinnati from 1956 to 1965. Robinson ranks second all-time with 324 home runs for the Reds, and all told had 586 for his career. He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1956 and NL MVP Award in 1961, but perhaps Robinson's best season overall was 1962 when he batted .342 with 39 home runs and 136 RBI.
Tony Perez (287)-Perez was a prolific hitter, and in fact in the period between 1967 and 1975, he drove in 100 or more runs six times. Perez hit 287 homers while with Cincinnati, and his best season was 1970 when he hit .317 with 40 home runs and 129 RBI.
Adam Dunn (256)-It doesn't matter if you think players of the new millennium have been aided by chemicals or that the baseballs have been "juiced," Adam Dunn has been consistent-hitting 46 home runs in 2004, and then 40 each in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2008 he's already on pace for 39, so you have to think this guy has done it all by the book. Dunn has a career batting average of just .247 but his 256 homers ranks him fourth in Reds' history, and he's only 28. Look out, Mr. Bench.
Ted Kluszewski (251)-First baseman Ted Kluszewski played most of his career with Cincinnati, from 1947 to 1957, and clubbed 251 homers during that time. Kluszewski's best season with the Reds was 1954, when he hit .326 with 49 home runs and 141 runs batted in, all career highs. But Kluszewski came in second that season in the NL MVP voting, to one Willie Mays.
George Foster (244)-George Foster came over to the Reds from the Giants in 1971, and after a few years developing, became a certified slugger in 1977 when he belted 52 homers with 149 RBI and .320 batting average. All of those were career bests, and helped Foster earn the NL MVP Award.
Eric Davis (203)-Eric Davis was a high school teammate of Darryl Strawberry's in Los Angeles, and then they tormented each other when their teams met in the big leagues. Davis had a sweet swing, and in 1990 helped lead the Reds to a World Series championship. He hit 203 homers as a Reds player, and his best season with them was 1987 when he hit .293 with 37 home runs and 100 RBI.
Ken Griffey, Jr. (203)-Griffey, the son of Ken Griffey Sr, who also played for the Reds during the Big Red Machine years, hit his 600th career homer in a Reds' uniform in 2008. But this Griffey played the first eleven years of his career with Seattle, and is ranked only eighth all-time on the Reds' career home run list. Griffey's best year with the team was 2005 when he hit .301 with 35 homers and 92 RBI.
Barry Larkin (198)-Shortstop Barry Larkin is widely recognized as one of the most popular players in Reds' history, manning the Cincinnati infield from 1986 to 2004. Larkin hit 198 homers during his career, and his best offensive season overall was 1996 when he batted .298 with 33 homers and 89 runs batted in. In 1995, Larkin won the NL MVP when he hit .319 with 15 homers, 66 RBI and 51 stolen bases.
Vada Pinson (186)-Outfielder Vada Pinson began his career in Cincinnati and played eleven of his eighteen seasons there. Pinson's best overall season was probably 1963, when he batted .313 with 22 homers and a career-best 106 RBI.