Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #22

#22 ended up being way more of a no-brainer than I thought it would.

Honorable mention: Eric Milton, Benny Frey, Eric Milton, 2 years of Corky Miller, Eric Milton

5. Jimmy Ripple (0.7 WAR)

He was an outfielder who won the 1940 championship with the Reds, and played for them for two seasons until 1941. He was known better as a minor leaguer, playing for 8 years in Montreal and made the International League Hall of Fame. Neat.

4. William Augustus Hatcher (0.4 WAR)

Billy Hatcher had one great year with the Reds, and coincidentally it happened in the year where they won it all in 1990. He ended up playing with 7 teams, but his 1990 will always be what he's best known for. His World Series can't be ignored, as he hit .750/.800/1.250 in the series and carried the offense to the title. Hatch is still around in the same capacity he has been for years now, as the Reds' first base coach.

3. Mel Queen (4.8 WAR)

Queen pitched for the Reds from 1966 to 1969, his best shot coming with his 24 starts in 1967. He pitched 195 innings that year with a 14-8 record and a 2.76 ERA. Injuries derailed the rest of his time in Cincinnati, but he had a few good years in relief with the Angels after his Reds tenure.

2. Johnny Wyrostek (7.1 WAR)

Wyrostek played for the Reds from 1948 to 1952 as an outfielder, and made two All-Star teams. Seems like he was solidly above average. Moving on.

1. Dan Driessen (18.6 WAR)

Who else? Driessen is the one position player that everyone knows who isn't part of the Great Eight lineup, playing a lot of first base (and DH in the postseason). He also played some OF in those WS years, and took over for Tony Perez full-time after he got traded.

His 1973 season was notable, as he finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting (TRIVIA: to who?), but his 1980 season is the one I want to point out. He hit .265/.377/.418 that year, leading the league in walks as the rich man's Ryan Hanigan. He now runs an excavating company on Hilton Head island.

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