Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Joe Morgan v. John Franco

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Second Round Matchup No. 2 Joe Morgan v. No. 10 John Franco

The next second round matchup in our “Best Red Ever” tournament features the Cincinnati Reds’ best second baseman ever battling one of baseball’s best relievers.


Joe Morgan’s first round win over Jack Billingham in our Best Cincinnati Reds Ever tournament — along with a detailed write-up — can be found here.

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"Arguably the best second baseman of all-time, Morgan was a mainstay of the Big Red Machine and helped lead the Cincinnati Reds to a pair of World Series titles in 1975 and ’76. During his 22-year career, he was a 10-time all-star, a five-time Gold Glove winner and was the National League Most Valuable Player in both of the Reds’ championship seasons — one of just 30 players to ever win an MVP award multiple times. He ranks second in team history in on-base percentage and stolen bases, while ranking sixth in WAR."


— ranks second in career OBP (.415) with the Reds behind only Joey Votto who is still active

— ranks fourth in career OPS (.885) with the Reds

— ranks fifth in career walks (881) with the Reds

— ranks 11th in career runs scored (816) for the Reds

— Two-time World Series winner

— 10-time All-Star

— Two-time MVP award winner

— Five-time Gold Glove award winner

— First ballot Hall of Fame inductee

— His No. 8 jersey number has been retired by the team


John Franco’s upset win in the first round (58 percent) over Bucky Walters — along with a detailed write-up — can be found here.

"Only his final season with the Reds — in 1989 — did he produce an ERA above 3.00, a season where still saved 32 games. But the season prior Franco had saved a league-best 39 games, had a 1.57 ERA and received MVP votes … more than teammate Eric Davis. He won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. The two years prior Franco won the Johnny Vander Meer Award for Reds Outstanding Pitcher each season.In his six-year stint with the Reds Franco saved 148 games and was the organization’s leader at the end of his career. He ranks third now behind Danny Graves and Francisco Cordero. But Franco ultimately saved 484 games in his career which placed him second all-time when he retired and now fourth behind Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith — but is the most for a lefty.Franco saved at least 29 games in four consecutive seasons in Cincinnati, and despite underwhelming strikeout numbers, did manage to make the All-Star team thrice in four years."


— ranks third in career saves (148) for the Reds

— ranks tied for ninth in career appearances (393) with the Reds

— Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award winner

— Two-time All-Star with the Reds

— Reds Hall of Fame inductee

Next: Find the tournament breakdown here!

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