Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Sean Casey v. Scott Rolen

Photo via / USA Today Network
Photo via / USA Today Network /

First Round Matchup No. 4 Sean Casey v. No. 13 Scott Rolen


One of the most likable figures in Cincinnati Reds history, Sean Casey’s eight-year stint with Cincinnati featured tumultuous season after another. Outside of an All-Star season, including some MVP votes, in 1999 where he hit .332 with 25 HR, 99 RBI — all career highs — when the Reds finished 96-67, there weren’t many seasons to write home about.

The Reds finished above .500 just one other time during the Mayor’s tenure while suffering through two sub 70-win seasons. But Sean Casey was a routine bright spot during the dismal half-decade. His career .305 AVG with the Reds is 12th all-time in the organization — and fifth all-time of players with at least 1,000 at-bats with the team. He carried a batting average north of .300 in five of his eight seasons with Cincinnati and touched 99 RBIs twice. His 256 doubles with the Reds ranks him 13th on the all-time Reds list, yet he has fewer at-bats than anyone in the top 20.

Casey made two additional All-Star teams with the Reds and walked nearly the same amount of times as he struck out. Subsequently, he was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2012.

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But as valuable as Casey was on the field — despite his joke-inducing speed or lack thereof — Casey had just as much value as a teammate and off the field. In 1999 Casey won the Hutch Award which is awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire,” of former MLB player and manager Fred Hutchinson. In 2007 he was voted — in a poll via Sports Illustrated — by his peers as the friendliest player in baseball.

Casey has worked with Big Brothers of America, a youth mentoring program, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as starting his own Casey’s Crew initiative that helped give tickets to underprivileged children.


Generally tabbed as the best defensive third baseman during his prime, Scott Rolen dominated the hot corner — when healthy — for the Phillies and rival Cardinals. After a quick stint in Toronto, Rolen wrapped up his career with four years in Cincinnati. Again, injuries did not do Rolen well and listed him to just 330 games in four seasons — missing on average about half a season.

But Rolen peaked with the Reds in his second year when he played 133 games, the Reds at 91-71 had their first winning record in a decade, and he belted 20 HR with 85 RBI. He slashed .285/.358/.497, made the All-Star roster, won his eighth career Gold Glove and earned a handful of MVP votes. He did earn another trip to the All-Star game the following season — i’m not entirely sure how — but he played in just 65 games after a season-ending injury on July 20.

In the 2011 season, with the Reds, Rolen became just the third third baseman to have 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs, and 1,200 RBIs — joining George Brett and Chipper Jones.

Rolen finished with a .263 AVG with the Reds, while hitting 36 HR, 182 RBI and 78 doubles. Unfortunately for the Cincinnati, they didn’t witness Rolen in a Reds jersey until the end of his career, but his 2010 season was the first season of a four-year run where the Reds won 90+ game thrice.

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