Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #16

Another day, another countdown.

5. John Vukovich (0.0 WAR)

Vukovich played for the Reds for one year, but couldn't have timed it better. He was a no-hit, all-field bench player for the 1975 Reds, mostly playing at 3B. He put up a .575 OPS that year, which was his 2nd best in his 10 year career.

4. Ron Oester (10.9 WAR)

I'm going to catch some flack for this one, aren't I? Oester is by far the longest tenured Red with this number, but was an average hitter for most of his career. By the time the Reds got good, he was mostly a bench player, but went out on top in 1990. His best years came in the early 80's, when he finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1980. Trivia: Who did he lose out to that year?

3. Leo Cardenas (14.9 WAR)

Maybe one of my favorite guys in this countdown, Cardenas broke into the Reds roster in 1960 and played for the team until 1968. He started at SS for most of that time, making 4 All-Star teams in his Reds tenure. Although being known mostly as a defensive shortstop, he had plenty of seasons where he held his own with the bat, his best here being one where he put up a .287/.355/.431 line. He was also the first Reds shortstop to hit 20 homers, which he accomplished in 1966.

Cardenas still lives in the city and comes to stuff like RedsFest most years.

2. Johnny Temple (15.1 WAR)

Temple made his mark with the Reds in the 1950s, spending the 1952 to 1959 seasons here. He made 3 All-Star appearances in that time. I think RR would like Temple, as he led the league in walks in 1957. Trivia: How many did he have?

1. Reggie Sanders (21.4 WAR)

As far as contributions go, it's tough to find someone who made more of a mark than Sanders. He had his first full season in 1992, where he finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting. Trivia: To who?

His best season by far was his 1995 year, where he accumulated 6.6 bWAR. He hit .306/.397/.579 that year with 28 homers and a career high 99 RBI. He'd go on to play a number of years after he left the Reds, with his last season coming in 2007 with the Royals.

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