Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #6

G. N. Lowrance

Honorable mention: Billy Hamilton, Jose Guillen, Woody Woodward

5. Bo Diaz (4.9 WAR)

Diaz wore #6 from 1986 to 1989. He played in the bulk of the Reds' games in '86 and '87, posting OPS figures above .700 in both seasons, but injury problems caught up with him in his later years, causing him to lose playing time to Jeff Reed. He retired after the 1989 season, and passed away in 1990.

4. Drew Stubbs (6.4 WAR)

Seriously. Stubbs was about an average contributor here at the plate looking back, but was worth a few wins based on his homers and runs scored numbers. He's now in Colorado.

3. Johnny Edwards (8.7 WAR)

Edwards was a Red from 1961 to 1967, playing in 3 All-Star games as the Reds' catcher. He won two Gold Gloves, and has his best season here with a .827 OPS in 1965. He fell off after that, though, and ended up spending time in Houston after his tenure here.

2. Ed Bailey (18.7 WAR)

Bailey was another catcher from the Redlegs era, but may have been the best so far. He made 4 All-Star teams as a Red, and hit .300/.385/.551 in 1956, earning himself some MVP votes. During his prime, he was Ryan Hanigan with power. I'd have taken that.

1. Ryan Freel (9.1 WAR)

Executive decision for Freely. He was a Red from 2003 to 2008, and epitomized Reds baseball during his entire tenure here. At times, his play bordered on reckless, but his effort never went unnoticed. He could play all over the field, and during his prime, got on base enough to make him a valuable top of the order hitter.

He made the best catch I've ever seen in person, robbing Albert Pujols of a double. If I could find video of it, I'd put it here.

He inspired two of the best articles I've ever seen on this site. He'll be missed.

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