Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #20

Andy Lyons

No-brainer today.

Honorable mention: Gene Schott, Jeff Branson

5. Mike McCormick (3.0 WAR)

McCormick broke in with the Reds in 1940, becoming the Reds starting LF to start the year in his rookie season. He hit .300/.326/.355 in his rookie season in 453 PAs. His Reds tenure spanned until 1946, with two years spent overseas fighting for your freedom, sonny boy.

4. Eddie Milner (12.1 WAR)

Milner had 6 years wearing the number, from 1981 to 1986. He spent 8 years here total, and was one of the most memorable Reds of the 80s. He tends to pop up from time to time around Redsfest, and is well represented at Reds alumni events.

3. Danny Jackson (5.5 WAR)

Jackson came to the Reds in 1988, where he had an immediate impact. He went 23-8 with a 2.73 ERA that year and finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting. Trivia: Jackson led the league in complete games that year. How many did he have?

He'd go on to win a ring with the '90 team, and move to the Chubs in free agency. Can't win 'em all.

2. Cesar Geronimo (13.4 WAR)

Geronimo played for the Reds from 1972 to 1980, and won 2 rings as the starting CF in the Reds' outfield. Known primarily as a defensive specialist, he won 4 Gold Gloves total and put up a career-high .795 OPS in 1976, right when it counted. He's also one that you'll see from time to time at events around the city, and is a Redsfest regular.

1. Frank Robinson (63.9 WAR)

Words can't describe how great Frank Robinson was, but I'm going to try. Let's just start with the basics. 13 All-Star teams (6 with CIN). Two MVP awards, including one in each league, the first to do it. 1956 Rookie of the Year.

His MVP season with the Reds was special, because it coincided with the Reds' WS appearance in '61. He his .323/.404/.611 that year, with 37 home runs and 124 RBI. It's not an exaggeration to say that he's in the conversation for best Red ever.

The Reds retired his number in 1998, which took far too long. Good on you, Frank Robinson, for ensuring that no matter what Jay Bruce does, he'll never be the best Reds hitter from Beaumont, TX.

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