Who is the all-time favorite of Cincinnati Reds’ fans and why?
Hmmm, all-time is always hard for the Cincinnati Reds. It would be easy to say Joey Votto or Adam Dunn because they are the two most likely Reds to be voted to the MLB Hall of Fame next. Neither of them is an all-time favorite, yet.
My all-time favorite is Ken Griffey, Sr., because he lived across the street from me when I was young. People forget that Senior came back to Cincinnati during the off-season even when he played for the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. He was my first exposure to the MLB.
It was also a blast to be able to watch him play on TBS. He was a back-up outfielder/first baseman by this time in his career, but not enough players have position flexibility anymore. His ability to change positions, even just left to first, was something has stayed with me to this day.
He also had a good eye the entire time that I watched him played. Even though he wasn’t as fast as he was in his prime, he was always a good base runner too. Watching him play was a pleasure. He also seemed a proud papa from day one.
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Of course watching his son was fun too. By the time Junior was a Red he was on his way down. He still had an irrepressible smile.
The Cincinnati Reds have other players that are the favorites of the rest of the fans.
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For the enjoyment of watching a player because of his skill is another story. The favorite Red that played recently was Eric Davis. He was the definitive superstar of the Reds’ 1990 World Series team. He also had 40-40 in his sights until an injury knocked him off.
That was 1987. He hit 37 home runs in 129 games. If he had played 140, he would have been the first 40-40 player.
Much like the Reds current centerfielder, Billy Hamilton. Davis repeatedly injured himself playing an elite center field. He won the award three times in a row beginning in 1987.
If we’re going to the legends, only one player resonates with fans more than Frank Robinson may be Ted Kluszewski. The Big Klu as he is fondly known to Reds’ fans, was the Reds’ first true slugging first baseman. He was a four time All-Star from 1953 through 1956.
He was the National League MVP runner up in 1954 when he led the league in home runs, RBI, and fielding percentage. The Big Klu retired following the 1961 baseball season after bouncing around a bit following his Reds career. He was a member of the Big Red Machine as a coach, though.
So there are four or five favorite Reds excluding local boys Pete Rose and Dave Parker, but the team has been around over 125 years. One per 25 isn’t bad. In the end the Cincinnati Reds are our favorites, not the individuals, right?