Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Ken Griffey Jr. v. Jonny Gomes

Photo via Fox Sports
Photo via Fox Sports /

First Round Matchup No. 2 Ken Griffey Jr. v. No. 15 Jonny Gomes

Griffey Jr.:

Ken Griffey Jr. was maybe the best player in baseball with the Seattle Mariners for the first decade of his Hall of Fame career. But he wasn’t too bad with the Cincinnati Reds in the next 8 1/2 years either. In his first season with the club as a 30-year-old in 2000 all Junior did was hit 40 home runs with 118 RBIs — both team highs that season by a wide margin.

He was an All-Star in that first season while playing 145 games. It was downhill from there as Griffey’s knees were shredded from his time on Seattle’s turf and his no-regard-for-his-body style of defense. However, for as much flak as Griffey caught from Reds fans at the time — largely due to signing the largest contract in team history and producing mixed results — he did hit 20+ home runs in six of his seasons in Cincinnati including two additional 30-homer seasons after his inaugural 40-HR campaign.

In 2005 Griffey hit 35 home runs with 92 RBIs all while hitting .301 as he garnered MVP votes for the first time since 1999 — his last season in Seattle.

More from Blog Red Machine

Ultimately, Junior hit 210 of his 630 career home runs while with the Reds with a .270 average just few ticks below his .284 career mark. Speed was obviously no longer part of his game as he played with the Reds on the wrong side of 30, and his defense was no longer Gold Glove-caliber, but his impact at the plate was still among the best on the team.

Reds fans had hoped Griffey would choose to go into the Hall of Fame as a Cincinnati Red after growing up in the city and attending high school at local Cincinnati Moeller, but as Griffey eluded to, the prime of his career was spent with Seattle as he correctly chose to go in as a Mariner.

Regardless, that doesn’t diminish the impact he had on the city of Cincinnati both as a Red and otherwise. He is one of the greatest players the game has ever seen — arguably the best as he earned the highest percentage of Hall of Fame votes ever — and it’s safe to say Reds fans have come around to agree.


Jonny Gomes only played 2 1/2 seasons and 323 games with the Cincinnati Reds, but it was still his second longest tenure with an organization. Gomes hit 49 home runs (162 career) during his time in Cincinnati including a 20-homer, 51 RBI season in just 98 games in 2009.

The following season Gomes hit 18 home runs, but produced 86 RBIs for the first-place Reds as they finished with 91 wins.

Gomes, despite his short stint with the club, quickly became a fan-favorite on and off the field. His all-out style of play on the field paired with his quirky habits at the plate. Off the field Gomes was very active in charitable events including the Extra Innings Foundation.

He has since went to play in Japan, then let go, but is vying for another chance at a Major League roster spot. Until then, Reds fans can remember the fun, controversial but not really, player that was Jonny Gomes.

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!