With the Major League Baseball season now underway, I thought I would celebrate each of the franchise’s and their storied pasts by selecting an All-Time Team for every club.
The teams consist of one player per infield position (1B, 2B, SS, 3B, C), three outfielders, three starting pitchers, and two relief pitchers. Each American League squad also consists of a designated hitter.
So without further ado, here is part 17 of a 30-part series documenting each franchise’s all-time greats.
First Base: Joey Votto 2007-present
A six-time All-Star and the 2010 NL MVP, Votto has played his entire 16-year career in Cincinnati.
One of the greatest hitters of his era, Votto also received the 2010 NL Hank Aaron Award and a Gold Glove in 2011 and has guided the Reds to the postseason four times.
Second Base: Joe Morgan 1972-79
A key member of the “Big Red Machine” of the 1970s, Morgan was named to eight All-Star teams and was twice named NL MVP (1975-76).
A five-time Gold Glove recipient who racked up 689 career stolen bases, Morgan led Cincinnati to five NL West titles, three NL pennants, and back-to-back World Series championships from 1975-76.
An inductee of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Morgan’s No. 8 jersey is retired by the Reds and he is a member of the Reds Hall of Fame.
Shortstop: Barry Larkin 1986-04
Playing his entire 19-year career in Cincinnati, Larkin was one of the game’s best shortstops, being named to 12 All-Star teams and winning the 1995 NL MVP Award.
A nine-time Silver Slugger winner and three-time Gold Glove recipient, Larkin helped the Reds win a pair of division titles during his tenure, highlighted by the 1990 NL and World Series titles.
After his career his No. 11 jersey was retired, and he was inducted into both the Reds Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame (2012).
Third Base: Todd Frazier 2011-15
A two-time All-Star (2014-15), Frazier helped the Reds reach the playoffs twice in his five seasons before being traded following the 2015 campaign.
Catcher: Johnny Bench 1967-83
Perhaps baseball’s greatest ever catcher, Johnny Bench was the soul of the 1970s “Big Red Machine”, making 14 All-Star teams and taking home NL MVP honors twice (1970, 1972).
The 1968 NL Rookie of the Year and 1976 World Series MVP twice led the NL in home runs and three times in RBI, while also receiving 10 straight Gold Gloves from 1968-77.
A member of both the MLB All-Century and All-Time Teams, Bench guided the Reds to six NL West titles, four NL pennants, and a pair of World Series championships (1975-76) in his 17 seasons.
After his career, his No. 5 was retired by the Reds and he was inducted into both the Reds Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame (1989).
Outfield: Frank Robinson 1956-65
Playing his first 10 seasons in Cincinnati, Robinson was named to eight All-Star teams and received the 1956 NL Rookie of the Year award.
The 1961 NL MVP and a 1958 Gold Glove recipient, Robinson is a member of 500 home run club (586) and helped the Reds claim the 1961 NL pennant.
A member of both the Reds Hall of Fame and Baseball Hall of Fame, Robinson’s No. 20 was retired by Cincinnati in 1998.
Outfield: Pete Rose 1963-78, ’84-86
Baseball’s hit king (4,256 career hits) Pete Rose starred for 19 years across two stints in Cincinnati, racking up 13 All-Star selections while winning three NL batting titles and a pair of Gold Gloves (1968-69).
The 1963 NL Rookie of the Year and 1973 NL MVP, Rose helped the Reds win five NL West titles and four NL pennants during his tenure, capturing a pair of World Series championships from 1975-76 and taking home World Series MVP during the first title run.
A member of the MLB All-Century Team and Reds Hall of Fame, Rose’s No. 14 is retired in Cincinnati, but he has yet to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989.
Outfield: George Foster 1971-81
Playing 11 years in Cincinnati as a member of the “Big Red Machine”, Foster was named to five All-Star teams and was chosen as the NL MVP in 1977 after clobbering 52 home runs.
The 1976 MLB All-Star Game MVP and 1981 Silver Slugger winner, he twice led the NL in home runs (1977-78), also leading the league in RBI in three straight seasons from 1976-78.
A member of the Reds Hall of Fame, Foster helped the franchise win five NL West titles, three NL pennants, and two World Series titles (1975-76) during his career.
Starting pitcher: Bucky Walters 1938-48
A five-time All-Star, Walters led the NL in wins three times, also leading the league in ERA twice and strikeouts in 1939.
The 1939 Triple Crown winner and NL MVP, Walters helped the Reds win consecutive NL pennants from 1939-40, highlighted by winning the 1940 World Series.
After his career, he was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame.
Starting pitcher: Noodles Hahn 1899-05
Playing seven years in Cincinnati, Hahn led the NL in strikeouts for three straight seasons from 1899 to 1901 before arm troubles forced him into an early retirement.
A member of the Reds Hall of Fame, the highlight of his career came on July 12, 1900, when he tossed a no-hitter against the Phillies.
Starting pitcher: Tom Seaver 1977-82
A three-time All-Star who led the NL in wins during the 1981 season, Seaver is a member of both the 300 wins (311) and 3,000 strikeout (3,640) clubs.
A member of both the Reds Hall of Fame and Baseball Hall of Fame (1992), Seaver threw a no-hitter in a Reds uniform during the 1978 season and helped the team win the NL West in 1979.
Relief pitcher: John Franco 1984-89
Pitching six seasons in Cincinnati, Franco became one of the game’s best relief pitchers, leading the NL in saves in 1988.
A three-time All-Star and the 1988 NL Rolaids Relief Man Award recipient, Franco ranks fifth all-time in saves (424) in MLB history.
Relief pitcher: Aroldis Chapman 2010-15
Known as a flamethrower closer whose fastball was nearly always clocked above triple digits, Chapman became one of the best relievers of his era during his tenure in a Reds uniform.
He was named an All-Star four years in a row from 2012-15, helping Cincinnati reach the postseason three times and is now a member of the 300 save club.