Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #28

Second of the day!

Honorable mention: Randy Myers

5. Austin Kearns (9.7 WAR)

Kearns over Myers might end up being one of the definitive calls on this list, but I'm sticking with it. Austin Kearns started his career with the team in 2002, where he finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year race. (Trivia: who finished above him?) Hard to believe that's what you get from a .315/.407/.500 season nowadays, but that's where he finished. That was his best season with us, though, and he would go on to be in The Trade before playing for a bunch of teams after us.

4. Wally Post (10.2 WAR)

Post had a whole mess of numbers with the Reds, but wore #28 the longest, from 1952 to 1957. 1955 was probably his best year, as he put up a .309/.372/.574 line in a league leading 154 games played.

3. Kalvoski "Kal" Daniels (12.5 WAR)

Kal Daniels came into the league as a Red in 1986 and absolutely mashed. In his first full year in '87, he hit .334/.429/.617, and led the league in OBP in '88. He was traded in 1989 in the Mariano Duncan deal, but represents one of the better players the Reds produced during the 1980s.

2. Bobby Tolan (13.7 WAR)

Tolan played for the Reds between 1969 and 1973, spending most of his time in CF. His best years were 1970 and 1972, where he finished in the top 20 in the MVP voting both times. Oddly enough, he was traded for the top guy on this list.

1. Vada Pinson (47.8 WAR)

Nope, that bWAR number isn't a typo. That's how great Vada Pinson was.

He made his debut as a 19-year-old in 1958 after only two full seasons in the minor leagues. He made his only two All-Star teams right off the bat (in '59 and '60), and finished 3rd in the MVP race in 1961, a year where his teammate Frank Robinson won. He had a .343/.379/.504 line that year, and just goes to show how dominant that '61 team was.

Vada is longtime Red Reporter Caleb's favorite player, so he's been a regular topic of conversation around these parts since 2005 or so. We spent all that time hearing about how great and underrated Vada was, it's amazing to see numbers bear that out.

Vada Pinson passed away in 1995 of a heart attack in his native California. He was only 57 years old.

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