All-time best Reds starting lineup based on WAR

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin / Ron Vesely/GettyImages
3 of 9

3. All-time best Reds starting lineup: Johnny Bench, C

The catcher position belongs to none other than the greatest to ever don the mask, Hall of Famer Johnny Bench. Bench spent his entire career in Cincinnati, and is widely regarded as the best catcher in the history of the game.

Bench trails only the aforementioned Pete Rose in bWAR (75.1), but is the Cincinnati Reds all-time leads in home runs with 389. Bench was not only great with the bat, but great with the glove as well.

During his illustrious career, Bench accumulated 10 Gold Gloves and 14 All-Star appearances while also being part of the greatest team ever assembled. The starting backstop for the Big Red Machine, Bench was part of two World Series Championships and won the World Series MVP in 1976.

Johnny Bench also won two NL MVPs during his career and was named Rookie of the Year in 1968. It's possible that Bench's 10 Gold Glove Awards as a catcher in the National League is a record that may never be broken. Ivan Rodriguez holds the major league record with 13.

Ernie Lombardi was another Hall of Fame catcher who suited up for the Cincinnati Reds. However, Lombardi's 26.0 bWAR isn't in the same ballpark as the legendary Johnny Bench.