The Cincinnati Reds have a rich history that has seen the franchise capture 12 MVP awards over the years. But, who had the best season in Reds history?
With Major League Baseball passing out its yearly awards, such as Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Gold Gloves, we’d thought we’d take a look back at some of the Cincinnati Reds greatest individual accomplishments.
With so many great players throughout the Cincinnati Reds history, it’s no wonder that the team has seen 10 of its all-time greats take home the National League Most Valuable Player Award. But, who’s MVP season reigns supreme? Let the countdown and debate begin.
5. Johnny Bench – 1970
Who was Johnny Bench before 1970? All Bench did before his first MVP winning season was win the Rookie of the Year in 1968, collect Gold Glove Awards in both 1968 and 1969 while earning trips to the All-Star Game in each campaign.
So what happened during Bench’s magical run in 1970? Bench set career highs in both home runs with 45 and RBI’s totaling 148. At the time, he was the youngest player to ever win the MVP. The 22-year-old backstop also captured his third Gold Glove Award and led the Cincinnati Reds to their first National League pennant in nine years before eventually falling to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.
Where did Bench’s career go following the hi MVP season in 1970? Bench cemented his place as the greatest catcher in baseball history. Bench won the MVP award for a second time following the 1972 season. He also collected 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1968-1977 and had 13 straight All-Star team appearances between 1968-1980.
Bench retired following the 1983 season after spending his entire 17-year career in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. His number “5” was retired by the club in 1984. Johnny Bench, born and raised in Oklahoma and valedictorian of his high school will forever be fondly remembered by everyone in Reds Country.