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Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #29


Good morning!

5. Herm Winningham (1.1 WAR)

Winningham is right in the sweet spot for those Larkin/Davis teams, playing for the Reds from 1988 to 1991. An outfielder by trade, he started his career in New York before moving to Montreal, where he was a starter most of the time, but was on to reserve outfielder duty by the time he made it to Cincinnati.

4. Hank Sauer (4.4 WAR)

The earliest addition to our list, Sauer played for the Reds between 1941 and 1949, but only played in 6 seasons due to his service in the war. His last two were his best in Cincinnati, but he'd go on to make his mark in Chicago, where he won the MVP in 1952 as a Cub.

3. Alex Johnson (6.5 WAR)

Johnson played for the Reds for 2 years, but played more games with Cincinnati than any of the other 4 teams he played for. He played LF mostly, and played in 1968 and 1969. He'd go on to play for the Angels the next year, and won the batting title hitting .329 that year. This list is heavy with guys who played better for other teams.

2. Dave Collins (6.5 WAR)

Collins had two stints with the Reds, but wore #29 for his better one from 1978 to 1981. He was an everyday outfielder for that span of time, notably stealing 79 bases in 1980. I think we'd be happy with that from this year's center fielder.

1. Ryan Hanigan (6.9 WAR)

Slight edge to Hanny, but he was good and deserves this nod for me. Hanigan ended up with 7 seasons with the Reds under his belt, his best being 2010 where he hit .300/.405/.429 in an everyday role. He's a Ray now, as we've been expecting for the last few years, but we can honor him with putting him at the top of this list.