Who was the Reds best player 100 years ago?

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Dolf Luque
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Dolf Luque / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds franchise has been around for a long time. The Red Stockings debuted in 1869 and there's been baseball in the city of Cincinnati ever since.

A few years ago, the Reds organization celebrated the team's 150th season, and 2023 will mark the club's 154th year playing professional baseball.

While Joey Votto, Jonathan India, and Hunter Greene are the talk of the town these days, there were others a century ago who made the headlines in the Queen City. So who was the Cincinnati Reds best player back in 1923?

Pitcher Dolf Luque was the Reds best player in 1923?

While fans of Taylor Sheridan think of 1923 as a western TV drama starring Harrison and Helen Mirren, there was a lot going on in the world of baseball as well. The original Yankee Stadium opened in April that season and the hated Boston Red Sox were the Bronx Bombers first opponent.

Led by Babe Ruth, the Yankees won the World Series that year with a 4-2 victory over the New York Giants. The Cincinnati Reds didn't have a bad season of their own. Finishing second in the National League with a win-loss recor of 91-63, the Reds were led by Adolfo Domingo de Guzman Luque. But he went by Dolf Luque.

The Pride of Havana as he was known, Luque was the most dominant pitcher in 1923. Luque, who stood just 5-foot-7, led the league with 27 wins after leading the league in losses (22) just one year prior.

Dolf Luque also posted the lowest earned run average in the league that season with 1.93 ERA over 322 innings of work. Luque went the distance 28 times in 1923 and recorded a league-high six complete game shutouts.

Luque was joined in the starting rotation by future Hall of Fame left-hander Eppa Rixey. The 1-2 punch atop Cincinnati's rotation offered manager Pat Moran stellar duo, but Luque and Rixey weren't enough to overcome the New York Giants who won the National League pennant that season with 95 wins.

The Reds best hitter that season was a named Bubble Hargave. The Cincinnati backstop slugged 10 home runs in 1923 while hitting .333 and racking up 78 runs batted in.

Dolf Luque enjoyed what, by today's standards, would be considered a Cy Young season. The right-hander took hom the ERA title once again two years later. Luque would finish his Reds career in 1929 but still played six more season while suiting up for Brooklyn Robins and the New York Giants.

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