Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #49

Under 50 days left. And more and more choices every day. This one was actually a bit closer than I figured it would be. Let's go.

5. Dennys Reyes (0.3 WAR)

I remember the Dennys Reyes era well, and he's really the last player of note to wear the number. He pitched for the Reds from 1998 to 2001, with a 4.39 ERA in 170 total appearances. 1999 was his best here, as an anchor of the bullpen with his 3.79 ERA in 65 games.

4. Corky Valentine (1.4 WAR)

Any Red named Corky is probably making this list, but Valentine actually deserves it. He was a starter for the Reds from 1954 to 1955, and started 28 games in 1954 and put up a 12-11 record in his rookie season. He even had 3 shutouts that year. That was really his only full season, as he went to Havana the next year and toiled in the minors for the rest of his career.

3. Rawly Eastwick (5.8 WAR)

I'll admit, I figured he would be higher, but he's the first guy on the list to have two rings. Eastwick was an absolutely spectacular pitcher in 1975 and 1976, both years where the Reds won rings. In those years, he put up a 2.32 ERA in 197.2 innings, with 48 saves to lead the league. He didn't leave on the best terms with the front office, but is remembered as a key part of those Big Red Pitching Machines.

2. Joe Price (8.2 WAR)

Price played for the Reds for 7 years, from 1980 to 1986. He went between starting and relief, with 84 of his 372 appearances coming in the rotation, but his best season came as a 24-year-old reliever, where he put up a 2.52 ERA. He made stops in San Francisco and Boston before ending his career in Baltimore in 1990.

1. Rob Dibble (10.2 WAR)

Officer Dibs was one of the best relievers in baseball for a good portion of his career, and isn't a bad choice for this list. He was an all-star in 1990 and 1991, and like Eastwick, has a ring of his own. How good was he in 1990? His 229 ERA+ was good for best on the Reds' staff, and despite fellow Nasty Boy Randy Myers getting the save numbers, Dibble was as feared out of that pen as much as anyone.

He's the first Nasty Boy to make our list, but I bet he won't be the last. Happy 49 days, everyone.

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