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Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #15

Good morning!

5. Ray Kolp (2.1 WAR)

Kolp amassed 2.1 WAR with the #15, but had 11.1 overall with the Reds, as most of his tenure was pre-numbers. He played for the team from 1927 to 1934. A pitcher, Kolp was a swingman with only 107 of his 255 appearances with the Reds coming from the rotation. From New Berlin, OH, he stayed in the Cincinnati area until his death in 1967.

4. Glenn Braggs (3.3 WAR)

Braggs only played for the team from 1990 to 1992, but amassed an impressive WAR number in his time here. His postseason wasn't so great, but he helped get us there with a .828 OPS after being traded from Milwaukee. You can still see him around the city at 1990 reunion events, and in this video.

3. Denny Neagle (4.2 WAR)

Denny Neagle spent two years with the Reds, in 1999 and 2000. He went 17-7 in his Reds tenure, with a respectable 3.89 ERA. Trivia: Who did the Reds trade to get Neagle, and who did they trade him for?

2. Grady Hatton (14.3 WAR)

Must be something in the water in Beaumont. Hatton broke in with the Reds in 1946 and played with them until 1954. A third baseman, Hatton made most of his impact early in his career, but made an All-Star team in 1952. He managed in the minors and coached and scouted at the big league level after his playing career.

1. George Foster (39.4 WAR)

Foster is a no-brainer. Traded from the Giants, Foster played all over the outfield before assuming the LF spot for a decade. Foster's prime was as good as few other Reds, as he had a 4-year All-Star game streak and finished 2nd in the MVP voting in 1976 before winning the award in 1977. That season was special, as he hit .320/.382/.631 that year with 52 homers and 149 RBI. Foster's 52 dingers that year remain the most in a season by a Red. Trivia: Can you name the rest of the top 5 seasons? (One player had two, but there are two tied for 5th, so we'll need 4 names.)

You can now hear him on garage door commercials on the radio.