Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Adam Dunn v. Paul O’Neill

Photo via Cincinnati Enquirer
Photo via Cincinnati Enquirer /

First Round Matchup No. 2 Adam Dunn v. No. 15 Paul O’Neill


You, I and the Cincinnati Reds knew what we were going to get from Adam Dunn — it was sometimes spectacular, but other times it, well, wasn’t. For five straight seasons Dunn topped 40 home runs, had at least 100 walks, struck out at least 164 times (leading the league thrice) while driving in 100 RBIs in four of those five seasons. He was the truest three-outcome hitter.

Here is some of the spectacular:

And again here … where’d the ball go?

He earned MVP votes in two of those seasons, was an All-Star in his sophomore season and finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2001 — while setting a National League rookie record with 12 home runs in a month (August) —  behind a trio you may have heard of: Albert Pujols, Roy Oswalt and Jimmy Rollins.

In 1,087 games with the Reds, Dunn hit 270 home runs — fourth most in Reds history — (462 for his career), walked 755 times and struck out more than once per game with 1,212 K’s. He had a slash line of .247/.380/.520 with a .900 OPS — he really did prove to be a premiere hitter despite the oh-so-often swing-and-miss aspect present in his game. His .520 SLG is third highest in Reds history behind Frank Robinson and Joey Votto.

More from Blog Red Machine

Dunn was reluctant to settle into a role at first base with the Reds despite routine horrendous defense. This prompted a midseason trade to Arizona in 2008, playing some first base before settling into a full-time role at the corner in 2010 with the Nationals.

He retired after the 2014 season and has a chance to be Reds Hall of Fame inductee at some point in the future.


As reliable as Paul O’Neill was for the Cincinnati Reds for 5 1/2 seasons, he was even better for the Yankees. Actually, he was great in the Bronx. But that doesn’t take away what he meant to Cincinnati.

He grabbed a full-time role as a 25-year-old in 1988 hitting 16 home runs, 73 RBIs with a .252 average. Two years later he was receiving MVP votes and a year after that he made his first and only All-Star appearance with the Reds. That 1991 All-Star season was his best in Cincinnati as he belted a career-high 28 home runs, 91 RBIs and an .827 OPS — his highest with the Reds.

O’Neill was a World Series winner with the Reds in 1990 in what was an up-and-down postseason for him. He hit .471 in five NLCS games including a home run, four RBIs and three doubles. In the four World Series games O’Neill did walk five times to just two strikeouts, with an RBI and a stolen base in his only attempt, but he only went 1 for 12 swinging the bat.

Still, O’Neill was a productive hitter on the Reds’ title-winning team after being drafted in the fourth round of the 1981 draft by the organization.

He was a candidate for the Reds’ managerial job following Dusty Baker’s departure before Cincinnati hired current manager Bryan Price.

Next: Find the full bracket here!

You can find the Twitter poll at @blogredmachine. Sign up for Twitter and give us a follow if you have yet to do so!