Ranking the 5 best hitting first basemen in Cincinnati Reds history

Cincinnati Reds history
Cincinnati Reds history / John Grieshop/GettyImages
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3. Best hitting first baseman in Reds history: Tony Perez (1964-1976 & 1984-1986)

There's sure to be some pushback on this selection with one of the most beloved first basemen in Cincinnati Reds history ranked lower than most fans expect. However, don't forget that Tony Perez did not always play first base.

Following Lee May's departure from Cincinnati after the 1971 season, Perez took over at first base for the next five seasons before being traded to the Montreal Expos. Perez then returned to Cincinnati in 1984 and played a limited role, seeing the field about 70 times per year.

Perez played a total of 16 seasons in the Queen City but for only about five (1972-1976) of those 16 campaigns was Perez the Reds primary first baseman. From 1967-1971, Perez primarily played third base.

But while occupying first base, Tony Perez was one of the team's best hitters and a key cog of the Big Red Machine. Perez received MVP votes in six separate seasons and was named to seven All-Star teams in his time in Cincinnati.

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Perez played a key part in multiple World Series championships as part of the Big Red Machine and tallied at least 100 RBIs six separate times during his Reds career. Perez's dominance in the heart of the Reds batting order during the 1970s helped cement his legacy as one of the biggest run producers in team history.

Perez's 141 home runs as a first baseman ranks him fourth in Cincinnati Reds history, as he was truly an anchor for the Big Red Machine. Perez was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1998. Just two years later, he was enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Perez is a Reds legend and one of the best first basemen in Reds history.