Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #18

Good day. Heck of a list we have today.

5. Bert Haas (4.1 WAR)

Haas played for the Reds from 1942 to 1947, with a two year gap at the end of WW2. Haas was an infielder, who started most of the year at 2B in his first year with the team, but could play everywhere, eventually settling at 1B in his later years. His best season here was in 1947, when he made the All-Star team.

4. Gordy Coleman (7.3 WAR)

Coleman played for the Reds from 1960 to 1967 as a first baseman. Most of his impact came in the early 60's, his best season coming (unsurprisingly) in 1961, where he hit .287/.341/.504 with 26 homers and 87 RBI.

3. Billy Werber (9.5 WAR)

Werber amassed 9.5 WAR in 3 seasons with the Reds, his middle season resulting in the 1940 championship. A third baseman by trade, Werber made the MVP balloting all three years in Cincy, finishing in the top 10 in 1940. Trivia: How many Reds finished in the top 10 MVP voting in 1940?

2. Eppa Rixey (1.8 WAR)

Let me explain. Rixey's 1.8 WAR came in 1932 and 1933, the only two years he wore a number on his jersey and the last two years of his career... his age 41 and 42 seasons. He amassed 40.1 WAR with the Reds total, from when he was traded to Cincinnati in 1922. He started in the league in 1912, and to my knowledge, is the only one on any of these lists to have missed time fighting in World War I.

Rixey was a workhorse, leading the league in 1922 with 313.1 innings. He won 20 games with the Reds 3 times, and threw 23 shutouts in his 13 seasons in Cincinnati.

1. Ted Kluszewski (30.7 WAR)

The man they call Big Klu came up in 1947 and played 11 seasons with the Reds. He made 4 All-Star teams and finished 2nd in the MVP voting in 1954. That was his best year, with a .326/.407/.642 line, and he led the league that year in home runs (49) and RBI (141).

Klu stuck around and went into coaching after his career ended, working under Sparky Anderson as a hitting coach during the BRM years and becoming the Reds minor league hitting coordinator for much of the 1980's. He passed away in 1988 at age 63.

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