Cincinnati Reds: Top 10 all-time leaders in WAR in team history

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Cincinnati Reds

Cuban-born Tony Perez of the Cincinnati Reds holds out his gloves for the ball, Chicago, Illinois, mid 1970s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

9. Tony Perez, First baseman (1964-76, 1984-86)

Tony Perez, the Cincinnati Reds first baseman throughout the era of the Big Red Machine, finished his Reds’ career in 1986 after a second stint with the team following his departure after the 1976 World Championship season. Perez’s 45.6 WAR ranks No. 9 all-time in franchise history.

The Big Dog spent the majority of the early part of his career as a third baseman. It wasn’t until 1972 that Perez became a fixture at first base for the Reds. From 1967-70, Perez went to four straight All-Star Games and racked up over 90 RBIs each season. Perez’s WAR during that four year stretch was 22.3.

Perez averaged 24 homers and 94 RBIs over the next three seasons, but didn’t receive an invite the Midsummer Classic. Perez still had a very respectable 14.2 WAR from 1971-73. Perez concluded his first stint with the Cincinnati Reds with three consecutive All-Star appearances and a WAR of 8.2 from 19784-76.

After playing for the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies, Perez returned to the Queen City to close out his career. He played three more seasons in Cincinnati and never played more than 80 games in a season. His WAR over his final three seasons was just 1.0.

Perez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the year 2000, his ninth time on the ballot. His 16-year stint with the Reds is fondly remembered by fans of the Big Red Machine. His No. 24 jersey was retired by the team and Perez was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1998.

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