Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #25

Good morning, jerks! #25 was technically yesterday!

Honorable mention: Buddy Bell, Todd Benzinger

5. Bernie Carbo (5.7 WAR)

Much better list than #26, isn't it? Carbo broke in with the team in 1969, getting a cup of coffee as a 21-year-old before establishing himself as the Reds starting LF. He had his best season in 1970, amassing 4.5 bWAR and putting up a .310/.454/.551 line in 467 PA. I have no idea why he didn't win Rookie of the Year that year, but he did finish second. Trivia: who did he finish 2nd to? Carbo would go on to play against the Reds in the 1976 WS, and spend 4 years with the Cardinals too.

4. Dmitri Young (5.6 WAR)

Da Meat Hook played for the Reds from 1998 to 2001, and was a solidly great hitter for his entire tenure in Cincinnati. He had an OPS above .830 for all 4 of his Reds seasons, and was a fan favorite while he was here. He went on to have a couple of All-Star appearances in Detroit and Washington.

3. Ray Knight (6.1 WAR)

Ray Knight spent 6 seasons with the Reds, mostly at the hot corner. He had a cup of coffee in '74, but spent the two WS years in the minors, which was probably rough. He played for the team from 1977 to 1981, making the All-Star team in 1980. He actually finished 5th in the MVP in '79 with an .814 OPS, which was probably his best season with the Reds. He'd go on to be a coach with the team for a long time, and even managed the Reds for parts of 3 seasons.

2. David Weathers (6.4 WAR)

Weathers came back to the Reds at age 35, but actually had his best seasons with the team from 2005 to 2009. He spent three of those seasons as the Reds' closer, and moved to a setup role when Coco Cordero came to town. He played for 9 teams in his career, which is a lot.

1. Gus Bell (13.0 WAR)

Gus Bell is the obvious choice today. He played for the Reds for 9 seasons, from 1953 to 1961, and played all around the OF during that time. He made 4 All-Star teams with the Reds, and was finally rewarded with a pennant in 1961. He went on to play for the Mets and Braves after the Reds, but established a tradition with the Bell family and Cincinnati, as his son and two of his grandsons would end up in the Reds organization.

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