Reds HOF to Induct Griffey Jr., Oester, Parker, and Beckley

Celebrate. - Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

A "homegrown" trio and a turn-of-the-century star round out this year's induction class.

It's a homecoming of sorts for three of the newest inductees into the Reds Hall of Fame. Ken Griffey Jr. (Moeller HS) famously arrived in the winter of 2000 in Jim Bowden's signature deal. I still remember going to a Mets ticket office that day so that I could watch Griffey the first chance I could. So things didn't work out exactly as planned. Griffey, who gains induction as the top vote-getter selected by fans, still knocked 210 home runs (7th in franchise history) and 602 RBIs (20th).

Dave Parker (Courier Tech HS) also arrived with great fanfare before the 1984 season as the team's first prominent free agent signing. Though past his MVP prime and dogged by the Pittsburgh cocaine scandal, Cobra enjoyed four healthy, productive seasons for the perennial NL West bridesmaids. He slashed .281/.334/.469, drove in 432 runs, and finished twice in the top five in MVP voting. He continued to pay dividends as the trade bait for Jose Rijo following the 1987 season.

Ron Oester (Withrow HS) was Parker's teammate and spent his entire 13-year career as a Red. He retired after the 1990 championship, then coached for six seasons. He turned down Jim Bowden's low-ball offer to manage in 2001, giving us the Bob Boone years. He later called Bowden "one of the worst people in the world." The Secondbaseman didn't make any All-Star teams but was a steady defender and acceptable hitter for the position, tallying 11 WAR and slashing .265/.323/.356 for his career.

Jake Beckley was the third player selected by the Veterans Committee, made up of Reds Hall of Fame members and executives, historians, and members of the media. He wasn't from Cincinnati but was born in Hannibal, Missouri, and Mark Twain said something once about Cincinnati, so that counts for something. Beckley is the only one of the four inductees enshrined in Cooperstown (though Griffey will surely be joining him soon). The Firstbaseman starred for the Reds from 1897-1903, slashing .325/.375/.443 and putting up 24 WAR. He heckled opposing hurlers by yelling "chickazoola!" and was not above cutting a corner on the basepaths if the umpire's back was turned. He was the game's all-time leader in triples when he retired, and is tenth on the Reds' all-time list.

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