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Best Reds Pitchers from Cincinnati (basically)

Top five Metro Reds.

Baseball Digest, back cover, June 1957 issue.
Baseball Digest, back cover, June 1957 issue.
Wikimedia Commons

Every few years, the Reds will draft, sign or trade for an area man Even though they passed on Kevin Youkilis, they signed Moeller graduate Andrew Brackman last season and may be mulling a minor league deal for Springboro,OH native and UC Bearcat Tony Campana.

But few Queen City boys actually reach the big leagues with the Reds, let alone string together multiple good seasons.

Using the metro area as a rough boundary, I found the best Reds' homegrown pitchers.

Honorable mention/ineligible:

Jeff Shaw
Shaw went to high school in Cleveland and was born in Washington Court House, which is closer to Columbus than Cincinnati. If we counted him as a native son, his 249 innings of 2.31 ERA ball (and 69 saves) would put him in the Top Five. Shaw pitched for the Reds for 2 1/2 seasons at his peak, before being shipped to the Dodgers in 1998.

5. Gene Schott

Born: July 14, 1913, Batavia, OH
Seasons as a Red: 1935 - 1938
Stat line (as Red): 3.9 WAR, 103 ERA+, 575.1 IP

A Schott that didn't make any racist comments - at least not ones that were widely reported in the press - Gene was a depression era pitcher who split time starting and relieving. While Schott's 2.9 K/9 rate seems laughable by today's standards, he was arguably the best pitcher on a '37 team that featured Paul Derringer and Johnny Vander Meer.

4. Tommy Hume

Born: March 29, 1953, Cincinnati, OH
Seasons as a Red: 1977 - 1985, '87
Stat line (as Red): 5.2 WAR, 97 ERA+, 92 saves, 921.0 IP

The 16th overall pick in the '72 amateur draft, Hume made his major league debut as the Big Red Machine was on the wane. Pitching in relief, except for a handful of start in '84, he was a steady presence on the best Reds team of the '80s (the '81 strike squad) and one of the franchise's worst in history (the very next season). Hume was an All Star on that miserable '82 team, weathering the only season the Reds have ever lost 100+ games. Hume is also a member of an elite group (which includes Chuck McElroy) of Sally Jessie Rafael-size-glasses-wearing-Reds pitchers.

3. Billy McCool

Born: July 14, 1944, Batesville, IN
Seasons as a Red: 1964 - 1968
Stat line (as Red): 5.5 WAR, 110 ERA+, 50 saves, 448.0 IP

Alternately erratic and overpowering, McCool's best season came in '66, in which he was named an All Star en route to over 100 innings and a 2.48 ERA. He wrote a, the probably not "the," book on pitching and was made a charter member of the Padres in the '68 expansion draft.

2. Jim Brosnan

Born: October 24, 1929, Cincinnati, OH
Seasons as a Red: 1959 - 1963
Stat line (as Red): 6.1 WAR, 131 ERA+, 43 saves, 331.2 IP

There's a debate to be had over frame sizes and lens-to-face ratios, but Brosnan edges out Hume both as a Big Glasses wearing pitcher and a Cincinnatian. The Elder High School alum pitched mostly in relief while back home, showcasing exquisite control out of the pen in early 60s. As "closer" for the 1961 NL Champs, he even garnered a few MVP votes, behind Jim O'Toole, Joey Jay, Vada Pinson and that year's winner, Frank Robinson,

1. Joe Nuxhall

Born: July 30, 1928, Hamilton, OH
Seasons as a Red: 1944, 1952 - 1960, '62 - '66
Stat line (as Red): 24.4 WAR, 104 ERA+, 2169.1 IP

Nuxy is one of my favorite things about Southwestern Ohio, let alone the Reds. He needs no introduction, only a reminder that, though he might be remembered as a beloved broadcaster and the Youngest Player in History, he compiled a very good major league resume. "Hamilton Joe" pitched 2/3 of an inning as a 15 year old as a wartime stunt in 1944. But he came back for good in 1952. His stint as a Red was interrupted by a detour through the Athletics' (of KC), Orioles' and Angels' organizations - which, unfortunately, forced him to spend the 1961 season abroad.