Cincinnati Reds: Top 5 outfielders over the last 50 years

By Mike Neal
1987: Eric Davis of the Cincinnati Reds holds his bat during a MLB game in the 1987 season. ( Photo by: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
1987: Eric Davis of the Cincinnati Reds holds his bat during a MLB game in the 1987 season. ( Photo by: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI – APRIL 21: Ken Griffey Jr. #30 of the Cincinnati Reds warms up during their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 21, 2005 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pirates won 4-2. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Who are the top 5 outfielders to play for the Cincinnati Reds over the last 50 years?

The Cincinnati Reds have a storied legacy. As the first professional sports franchise in the United  States, their history goes back over a century. The Reds have been fortunate enough to maintain the services of some of the baseball’s greats.

Over the last 50 years, Reds fans have been treated to the Big Red Machine of the 1970s, Mr. Perfect in the 1980s, a wire-to-wire World Series Championship in 1990, and a walk-off home run to win the NL Central Division in 2010.

Any time you’re making a list of the “all-time greats”, there is debate, assessment, and opinions that drive the choices. Baseball fans put value on different player attributes such as winning, power, five-tool skill set, and the sabermetrics approach of the 21st century.

As I thought through the great teams and great players of the last 50 years, recognizing that my history with the Cincinnati Reds starts around the early 1980s, I found the first four players on the list to be particularly clear-cut. However, putting those players in order and then choosing No. 5 proved to be a bit more difficult than first expected.

Often with such a list as this, the omissions get the large sum of attention so let’s face those head on first. Dave Parker, despite playing only 4 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, definitely would be highly successful (125 RBI and an MVP runner-up in 1985) but as mentioned his tenure was short.

Paul O’Neill, who is on the long list of former Reds to go on to great careers, was a gamer and a good all-around player and teammate.  There’s also Caesar Geronimo. A fan favorite to many, but while he was a phenomenal center fielder, Geronimo put up offensive numbers closer to Drew Stubbs.

Also, before we get too far into this, please remember that while Frank Robinson may have been the best outfielder to have ever put on a Reds’ uniform, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles before the 1966 season. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are the Top 5 outfielders to have played for the Cincinnati Reds over the past 50 years.