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Mainspark
07-11-2008, 04:01 PM
As noted in the story below, the Yankees have a long-standing tradition of introducing a "greatest living Yankee" at Old-Timers events.
Who would be the greatest living Red? Rose? Bench? Morgan?

Yogi, Whitey, Reggie ... Who’s the ’greatest living Yankee?’

By PAUL WHITE
USA TODAY

NEW YORK — It became yet another Yankee Stadium tradition, one that lasted for more than four decades. On a summer Saturday afternoon, public-address announcer Bob Sheppard would introduce the last man to come out of the dugout for the annual Old-Timers Day:
“The greatest living Yankees player, Joe DiMaggio.”
DiMaggio, the Hall of Famer who attended 47 of those showcases of Yankees tradition, insisted on that introduction whenever he appeared at Yankee Stadium after his playing career.
“Joltin’ Joe” has been gone for nearly a decade now, but Yankees tradition continues. It’s a tradition passed along through Whitey Ford, Don Mattingly, Ron Guidry and others who never wore another uniform as players. Also through Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Paul O’Neill and more who came to New York and embraced the significance of who came before them in the Bronx.
The 62nd and final Old-Timers Day in the current Yankee Stadium will be held Aug. 2, but a generation of present-day Yankees led by Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will respectfully carry that history across the street to a new ballpark next year.
That’s important to the Yankees family.
“People around the world live and die with what this team does on a daily basis,” says current general manager Brian Cashman of the franchise that has won 26 World Series championships.
Wondering who is the current “greatest living Yankee” is more than just another of those scores of questions baseball fans love to debate.
Yogi Berra is the choice of Joe Torre, who can claim outside-observer status now that he’s the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers but whose 12 seasons as Yankees manager and his New York City upbringing give him plenty of insight. “Don’t ask Reggie the question. And I say that tongue-in-cheek because Reggie’s a good friend of mine.”
Is it Berra, with his 10 World Series rings, three American League MVPs and iconic status that comes as much from bemusement over his public persona as reverence for his playing ability, or Jackson, who can’t match Berra’s consistency on the field but wins in the areas of power and drama?
Or is it Ford, with his catcher a Hall of Fame link to the franchise’s golden period of five World Series wins in a row (1949-53) and 10 in 16 seasons (1947-62)?
Or Jeter, Rivera and other modern architects of the return to glory that has resulted in playoff appearances the past 13 seasons, including four more World Series victories?
Despite Torre’s advice, how about asking Jackson?
Jackson was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch this opening day, the last one at the current Yankee Stadium. He insisted Berra accompany him and also size up the “greatest living Yankee” contenders.
“I see Yogi and Whitey as tied,” Jackson said that day. “And there’s Don Mattingly, and now (relief pitcher) Goose (Gossage) is in the Hall of Fame. I’m in that group.”
There’s little debate over Jackson’s impact. Forget his celebrated clashes with manager Billy Martin or the controversial quotes attributed to him such as “I’m the straw that stirs the drink.” His mark on Yankees lore was as indelible as his timing was impeccable on Oct. 18, 1977. That’s the night Jackson hit three home runs against three Dodgers pitchers to drive in five runs in an 8-4 Game 6 victory that gave the Yankees their first World Series championship in 15 years and their first under George Steinbrenner’s ownership.
That winning is important under Steinbrenner is an understatement, but just as significant to his legacy is the emphasis on Yankees history. The Reggie Jackson days predate Cashman, but he grasps the significance of one of Steinbrenner’s visions: inclusion of the franchise’s most significant players beyond a tip of the cap and maybe a swing of a bat on Old-Timers Day.
“George recognized the value of these guys,” Cashman says. “He went to them and said, ’I want you to come to spring training. You’re going to tell them what it’s like to be a Yankee.’ He understood it better than anyone.”
That’s what Jeter discovered in 1995 when, as a 20-year-old, he went to his first Yankees spring training. He thought he understood.
“I was a Yankee fan all my life,” he says. “I knew all about the history.”
Living it, though, is something quite different, he admits. It took some getting used to. The awe took some getting over.
Jeter has built a bond over the years with Berra, who still puts on uniform No. 8 in the coaches’ room every spring in Tampa. But the current team captain falls short of endorsing Berra as “greatest living Yankee.”
“Well, you have to think about Yogi,” Jeter says. “But wait, don’t put me down for that. There are so many great Yankees.”
But teammate Rivera, who could make his own interesting case as he solidifies his status as arguably the game’s top all-time closer, has no doubt.
“Definitely Yogi,” Rivera says. “Ten World Series wins. He’s seen a lot, and the way he treats the game, the way he respects the game, the way he went through his business is amazing. He’s done everything, and the most important thing that he has — what a person, what a person. That’s all I have to say about him — beautiful man.”
Jeter also could include himself, especially with the emphasis put on a full career in pinstripes.
“The only thing Jeter falls short on,” Torre says, “is if you look at stats and the numbers he’s put up, they sort of pale in comparison to a lot of the production numbers other people put up. But when you watch him on an everyday basis and take in everything he means to the ballclub, you can’t ignore it.”
Jeter’s in a category with Mattingly, the captain who preceded him, though with a nearly eight-year gap because the captaincy is earned rather than handed down. Mattingly likely won’t join so many of his Yankees predecessors in the Hall of Fame — injuries shortened his career by enough to short-circuit any debate there — but his “Donnie Baseball” nickname is as memorable to modern Yankees fans as Jackson’s “Mr. October” or DiMaggio’s “Joltin’ Joe.”
Regardless of the direction of the debate, the current Yankees leadership is intent on creating more candidates.
“These guys grew up together,” Cashman says of Jeter, Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada, core members of the current run of success. “They challenge each other in the clubhouse. They got to this level together. They learned to win together.”
The unassuming Berra, who’s heard the description before but never has become comfortable with it, probably can safely claim the “greatest living Yankee” title. But he’s also 83 and eventually will need a successor.
Making sure there are plenty of candidates remains another Yankees tradition.

Wheelhouse
07-11-2008, 04:04 PM
Rose

OnBaseMachine
07-11-2008, 04:05 PM
Don't forget Frank Robinson.

But I'll go with Johnny Bench.

Joseph
07-11-2008, 04:25 PM
Bench, Robinson, Rose, Morgan.....so many choices...

Cyclone792
07-11-2008, 04:26 PM
Joe Morgan is the greatest player to ever put on a Reds uniform. Next is Frank Robinson, then Johnny Bench.

If you're talking about production strictly in a Reds uniform, then it's Johnny Bench.

dougdirt
07-11-2008, 04:27 PM
Johnny Bench over Frank Robinson only because he was a Red longer.

princeton
07-11-2008, 04:29 PM
Fidel Castro

westofyou
07-11-2008, 04:29 PM
Great as in stats or great as in legendary?

I always thought Pedro Borbon was great... I'm going with him.

klw
07-11-2008, 04:29 PM
I would likely say Bench but don't forget Larkin.

RichRed
07-11-2008, 04:45 PM
Auerbach by a nose over Ruffing and Grange.

Actually, off the top of my head, I'd say:

1A. Bench
1B. Robinson
1C. Morgan

Followed closely by Larkin, then Rose.

wolfboy
07-11-2008, 04:45 PM
Joe Morgan is the greatest player to ever put on a Reds uniform. Next is Frank Robinson, then Johnny Bench.

If you're talking about production strictly in a Reds uniform, then it's Johnny Bench.

How heavily are you weighing things like defense and value at the position? I'm curious as to why you'd pick Morgan over Robinson. I think Robinson was a much better offensive player, especially when you consider the era when they were putting up their peak numbers and the bats they were surrounded by in the lineup.

top6
07-11-2008, 04:47 PM
If I could pick living players with very significant connections to the Reds to be on my team in their prime, I would pick the following in this order:

(1) Bench
(2) Morgan
(3) Griffey Jr.
(4) Robinson
(5) Rose
(6) Larkin

Including Griffey seems weird, but he does have a real connection to Cincinnati, so I'll include him as a possibility even though I'm excluding Tom Seaver as one (as he only played here a few years).

wolfboy
07-11-2008, 04:51 PM
If I could pick living players with very significant connections to the Reds to be on my team in their prime, I would pick the following in this order:

(1) Bench
(2) Morgan
(3) Griffey Jr.
(4) Robinson
(5) Rose
(6) Larkin

Including Griffey seems weird, but he does have a real connection to Cincinnati, so I'll include him as a possibility even though I'm excluding Tom Seaver as one (as he only played here a few years).

It's kind of sad that Griffey had slipped my mind, but I think he'd top my list. If I could take one career, it would have to be his. I say this even though he's tailed off so much during his years here.

Falls City Beer
07-11-2008, 04:52 PM
Bench

The discussion begins and ends there.

reds44
07-11-2008, 04:54 PM
Among players who have ever played for the Reds, Griffey had the best career followed by Robinson. As a Red, I'd go with Bench.

top6
07-11-2008, 04:57 PM
How heavily are you weighing things like defense and value at the position? I'm curious as to why you'd pick Morgan over Robinson. I think Robinson was a much better offensive player, especially when you consider the era when they were putting up their peak numbers and the bats they were surrounded by in the lineup.

When I did mine, I admit I was going by gut. So after I read your post, I just went back and looked at Frank Robinson's numbers. My response is: "holy crap, look at Frank Robinson's numbers."

http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/robinfr02.shtml

Especially 1966 and 1967 (of course, those were not with the Reds).

Still, Joe Morgan's numbers in his best years may be better than you remember. And his best year was 1976 - when he won his second consecutive MVP, his second consecutive World Series and he was the best player on one of the 2 or 3 best teams ever.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/morgajo02.shtml

And he did all that as a middle infielder.

So I would still put Joe above Frank, but it is much closer than my initial gut reaction. And I put Bench above both of them - because he was also putting up amazing numbers, and catching. That is amazing to me.

I was certainly very foolish to put Frank Robinson behind Griffey, though.

Cyclone792
07-11-2008, 05:00 PM
How heavily are you weighing things like defense and value at the position? I'm curious as to why you'd pick Morgan over Robinson. I think Robinson was a much better offensive player, especially when you consider the era when they were putting up their peak numbers and the bats they were surrounded by in the lineup.

I'm giving some credit to positional advantage, though not that much to any player (exception being Hans Wagner). This will probably shock people, but I actually think Morgan was a greater player than Robinson even without any positional adjustment.

Here's a look with win shares:

Morgan career: 519* (his actual total was 512; I adjusted for the strike-shortened 1981 season)
Robinson career: 519

Morgan WS/162 games: 31.31 (no adjustment for the strike-shortened season)
Robinson WS/162 games: 29.94

Morgan's Top season: 44
Robinson's Top season: 41

Morgan Top 3 seasons: 123
Robinson Top 3 seasons: 116

Morgan Top 5 seasons: 197
Robinson Top 5 seasons: 181

Morgan Top 7 seasons: 257
Robinson Top 7 seasons: 238

Morgan Top 10 seasons: 341
Robinson Top 10 seasons: 316

This is just one tool to use of many, but it's interesting. Win shares gives the edge to Morgan with a stronger peak and a slightly better rate.

While I don't rank Joe Morgan as the greatest second baseman in the game's history, he certainly has an outstanding argument ... and he ranks no lower than 3rd all-time at second base, IMO. Frank Robinson is neither close to being the game's greatest right fielder (Ruth) or second greatest right fielder (Aaron). He's in the 3/4 slots neck-and-neck with Mel Ott, IMO.

I happen to think both Joe Morgan and Frank Robinson are two of the most underrated players in baseball history, and that starts even with Reds fans themselves. Excluding pitchers, I have Morgan ranked around 15th all-time with Robinson in the top 20-25. Bench is around 30th, and Rose is probably around 40th.

top6
07-11-2008, 05:01 PM
It's kind of sad that Griffey had slipped my mind, but I think he'd top my list. If I could take one career, it would have to be his. I say this even though he's tailed off so much during his years here.
It was somewhat arbitrary of me to include him. If he had just been traded to the Reds, with no other connection, then I probably wouldn't have included him. But the fact that he was born here and that his Dad was such a key part of the Big Red Machine sort of pushes him over the edge as someone who can really be considered a Red, IMO.

Again, if the standard is just "who was good who also played for the Reds", then Tom Seaver has to be included.

redsmetz
07-11-2008, 05:01 PM
You know, I read this article when Sports Weekly came this week, but overlooked this bit:


“George recognized the value of these guys,” Cashman says. “He went to them and said, ’I want you to come to spring training. You’re going to tell them what it’s like to be a Yankee.’ He understood it better than anyone.”
That’s what Jeter discovered in 1995 when, as a 20-year-old, he went to his first Yankees spring training.

This is what I think Castellini is aiming at when he invites Reds veterans to come down to Spring Training.

AmarilloRed
07-11-2008, 05:04 PM
Pete Rose.

RedsManRick
07-11-2008, 05:06 PM
I really can't decide between Bench and Morgan. I don't think we've fully appreciated the value of Bench's offensive production paired with his defense at the toughest position on the field. How many players are legitimately top 5 offense and defense all-time at their position?

Robinson and Larkin are the 2nd tier, followed by one with Rose, Perez, and Concepcion.

What does the top 5 for pitchers look like?

Strikes Out Looking
07-11-2008, 05:06 PM
Johnny Bench.

The others mentioned might be the greatest living Phillies or Expos or A's or Astros, but JB is the greatest living Red.

top6
07-11-2008, 05:06 PM
Morgan career: 519* (his actual total was 512; I adjusted for the strike-shortened 1981 season)
Since the margin is so close, are you factoring in for the 6 years Robinson played 154 game schedules?

flyer85
07-11-2008, 05:09 PM
Bench ... played his entire career as a Red and is generally regarded as the best to ever play his position.

Cyclone792
07-11-2008, 05:09 PM
Since the margin is so close, are you factoring in for the 6 years Robinson played 154 game schedules?

Nope, though I suppose one could do that. Even with that adjustment, it doesn't change much as it adds only one-third of a season on. The career value between the two is pretty much a wash; it's Morgan's clear edge in peak value that separates the two for me.

Joseph
07-11-2008, 05:16 PM
Greatest living player who was once a Red, or greatest living Red?IE greatest overall, or greatest while with the Reds.

oneupper
07-11-2008, 05:19 PM
Bench

The discussion begins and ends there.

Agreed.

MVP-caliber bat and Gold Glove at the most challenging position on the field.

The BRM wasn't built around Bench, it was built on his shoulders. And he carried it well.

Broke in as a RED, retired as a RED. 6 division championships, 4 NL, 2 WS.

RFS62
07-11-2008, 05:22 PM
.

klw
07-11-2008, 05:30 PM
Among players who have ever played for the Reds, Griffey had the best career followed by Robinson. As a Red, I'd go with Bench.

I really would only look at this who was the greatest as a Red. Otherwise if it is someone who played as a Red and had a great career, Christy Mathewson would have to be considered and that would be somewhat absurd. Though his one game with the Reds appears to be a complete game 15 hitter for the win, I think time away from the Reds is what lead to his HOF induction. http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mathech01.shtml

Big Klu
07-11-2008, 05:30 PM
Agreed.

MVP-caliber bat and Gold Glove at the most challenging position on the field.

The BRM wasn't built around Bench, it was built on his shoulders. And he carried it well.

Broke in as a RED, retired as a RED. 6 division championships, 4 NL, 2 WS.

Bench is the greatest living Red. (For the same reason that Yogi is the greatest living Yankee--you just can't overestimate having that kind of production and leadership from the catching position.)

Cyclone792
07-11-2008, 05:33 PM
What does the top 5 for pitchers look like?

Top 5 living pitchers ... heck, Aaron Harang might be on that list. The top 2 living pitchers are probably Rijo and Maloney. While they were pretty good pitchers, they're nowhere near Cooperstown bound.

The next group of guys might be your top 3 picks of Gary Nolan, Mario Soto, Jim O'Toole, Don Gullett, maybe Harang himself, probably one or two other guys I'm forgetting. FWIW, I associate Seaver as a New York Met, not a Red.

redsmetz
07-11-2008, 05:37 PM
I really would only look at this who was the greatest as a Red. Otherwise if it is someone who played as a Red and had a great career, Christy Mathewson would have to be considered and that would be somewhat absurd. Though his one game with the Reds appears to be a complete game 15 hitter for the win, I think time away from the Reds is what lead to his HOF induction. http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mathech01.shtml

Since Mathewson died an untimely death quite a while ago, I think he wouldn't be eligible for "greatest living". :D

klw
07-11-2008, 05:39 PM
Since Mathewson died an untimely death quite a while ago, I think he wouldn't be eligible for "greatest living". :D You know I just really feel silly right about now. Is there an embarrassed emoticon?

RedsManRick
07-11-2008, 05:39 PM
Top 5 living pitchers ... heck, Aaron Harang might be on that list. The top 2 living pitchers are probably Rijo and Maloney. While they were pretty good pitchers, they're nowhere near Cooperstown bound.

The next group of guys might be your top 3 picks of Gary Nolan, Mario Soto, Jim O'Toole, Don Gullett, maybe Harang himself, probably one or two other guys I'm forgetting. FWIW, I associate Seaver as a New York Met, not a Red.

Where does Dibble rank? Certainly not the career value, but man what a 5 year run he had. Best living Reds reliever?

klw
07-11-2008, 05:42 PM
Where does Dibble rank? Certainly not the career value, but man what a 5 year run he had. Best living Reds reliever?

Would you rank him better than Franco? Is Franco more of a met? Neither of them are dead, right?

Big Klu
07-11-2008, 05:42 PM
Top 5 living pitchers ... heck, Aaron Harang might be on that list. The top 2 living pitchers are probably Rijo and Maloney. While they were pretty good pitchers, they're nowhere near Cooperstown bound.

The next group of guys might be your top 3 picks of Gary Nolan, Mario Soto, Jim O'Toole, Don Gullett, maybe Harang himself, probably one or two other guys I'm forgetting. FWIW, I associate Seaver as a New York Met, not a Red.

Seaver's six years in a Reds uniform might be enough to get him in that second tier--maybe. I would be tempted to put Soto in the same group with Rijo.

What about Tom Browning? Are there any relievers worth mentioning? Maybe Pedro Borbon or Clay Carroll?

Strikes Out Looking
07-11-2008, 05:43 PM
Top 5 pitchers: You have to consider Pedro Borbon. He was in the bullpen basically during the entire '70s setting up for whomever trotted out to get the save (and he got plenty of saves himself).

MrCinatit
07-11-2008, 05:50 PM
Robinson
Bench
Morgan
Rose
Perez
Junior
Eric Davis

off the top of my head, in order.

Cyclone792
07-11-2008, 05:52 PM
Where does Dibble rank? Certainly not the career value, but man what a 5 year run he had. Best living Reds reliever?

I might pick Carroll, but Dibble's certainly up there. Borbon's up there, along with (gasp!) Danny Graves, probably Scott Williamson and Scott Sullivan too. John Franco probably deserves consideration even though I'd associate him with the Mets.

wolfboy
07-11-2008, 05:54 PM
I'm giving some credit to positional advantage, though not that much to any player (exception being Hans Wagner). This will probably shock people, but I actually think Morgan was a greater player than Robinson even without any positional adjustment.

Here's a look with win shares:

Morgan career: 519* (his actual total was 512; I adjusted for the strike-shortened 1981 season)
Robinson career: 519

Morgan WS/162 games: 31.31 (no adjustment for the strike-shortened season)
Robinson WS/162 games: 29.94

Morgan's Top season: 44
Robinson's Top season: 41

Morgan Top 3 seasons: 123
Robinson Top 3 seasons: 116

Morgan Top 5 seasons: 197
Robinson Top 5 seasons: 181

Morgan Top 7 seasons: 257
Robinson Top 7 seasons: 238

Morgan Top 10 seasons: 341
Robinson Top 10 seasons: 316

This is just one tool to use of many, but it's interesting. Win shares gives the edge to Morgan with a stronger peak and a slightly better rate.

While I don't rank Joe Morgan as the greatest second baseman in the game's history, he certainly has an outstanding argument ... and he ranks no lower than 3rd all-time at second base, IMO. Frank Robinson is neither close to being the game's greatest right fielder (Ruth) or second greatest right fielder (Aaron). He's in the 3/4 slots neck-and-neck with Mel Ott, IMO.

I happen to think both Joe Morgan and Frank Robinson are two of the most underrated players in baseball history, and that starts even with Reds fans themselves. Excluding pitchers, I have Morgan ranked around 15th all-time with Robinson in the top 20-25. Bench is around 30th, and Rose is probably around 40th.

IMHO, it's really close between Morgan and Robinson. If you adjust for position, I think Morgan is the clear winner. I can't argue with the case you make as to peak years. Yet, I really wonder what Robinson's numbers would have looked like had he hit his peak years during the BRM. It's an impossible 'if' to address, but I think it's compelling.

westofyou
07-11-2008, 05:59 PM
Where does Dibble rank? Certainly not the career value, but man what a 5 year run he had. Best living Reds reliever?
Runs Saved Above Average


RSAA RSAA GS G IP
1 John Franco 80 0 393 528
2 Jeff Shaw 55 0 195 249
3 Rob Dibble 52 0 354 450.2
4 Scott Sullivan 43 0 494 662.2
5 Jeff Brantley 38 0 185 218.1
6 Rawly Eastwick 37 0 160 258.2
7 Rob Murphy 36 0 199 238.2
8 Hersh Freeman 29 0 171 292.2
T9 Pedro Borbon 27 4 531 920.2
T9 Wayne Granger 27 0 227 330

redsmetz
07-11-2008, 06:01 PM
Seaver's six years in a Reds uniform might be enough to get him in that second tier--maybe. I would be tempted to put Soto in the same group with Rijo.

What about Tom Browning? Are there any relievers worth mentioning? Maybe Pedro Borbon or Clay Carroll?

The sad thing is that if Mario Soto had played ten years earlier or 25 years earlier for any other Reds team, he'd probably be considered the best. Playing for some of the worst Reds teams in history, he was unbelievable. In 1983 and 1984, he had almost a quarter of the team's wins.

Cyclone792
07-11-2008, 06:04 PM
IMHO, it's really close between Morgan and Robinson. If you adjust for position, I think Morgan is the clear winner. I can't argue with the case you make as to peak years. Yet, I really wonder what Robinson's numbers would have looked like had he hit his peak years during the BRM. It's an impossible 'if' to address, but I think it's compelling.

I read an article recently - and I wish I could find it, but unfortunately I can't even remember who wrote it - that made a very compelling argument and one that I doubt many people have thought of. It essentially stated that, depending on how one feels about Barry Bonds, Joe Morgan during his peak years in the 1970s may be the greatest player the game has seen since the Mantle/Mays/Aaron era.

That is impressive when you really think about it.

Unfortunately, I think Joe Morgan's said so many stupid things on ESPN in recent years that some people may have forgotten just how legendary he was on the field.

Jpup
07-11-2008, 08:09 PM
The great living Red is Pete Rose until he dies.

Rose
Bench
Morgan
Robinson
Larkin
Davis
Dunn
Perez

Honestly, when I think of greatest Red of all time, I can't get by Rose and Bench. They are the Reds, especially Johnny Bench. He is still around all the time and Pete would be too, if he could.

The great living Yankee is Yogi probably, but I think most Yankee fans would go with Jeter, honestly.

savafan
07-11-2008, 08:16 PM
I can't believe no one has mentioned Tracy Jones.

That said, I have to go with Rose. All-time hit leader. Played in the most winning ballgames. All-time singles leader. Played all out all the time. The player every little leaguer patterned his game after in my youth.

GAC
07-11-2008, 09:36 PM
http://apudgeisasandwich.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/pete-rose.jpg

mth123
07-11-2008, 11:02 PM
Looking at the stat book like many of the younger posters here, it would probably have to be Bench for a career with Morgan maybe with a better 5 year run. But being an older guy who watched day in and day out, Pete Rose is the greatest living Red IMO. Rose longevity enabled him to accumulate counting stats that are beyond comprehension, but it also had the effect of dragging down some of his other stats. For an awful lot of years before the BRM, as Pete Rose went so went the Reds. Frank Robinson is ahead of Morgan IMO and would be number one had he stayed a Red longer. I could see the argument for any of the top 6 in my top 10:

1. Rose
2. Bench
3. Robinson
4. Larkin
5. Morgan (not around long enough)
6. Perez (My personal favorite)
7. Maloney
8. Davis
9. Dunn
10. Concepcion

HokieRed
07-11-2008, 11:22 PM
From somebody old enough to have seen all the guys mentioned so far: Robinson.

Mainspark
07-12-2008, 03:54 AM
First of all, this almost certainly won't happen so long as Pete Rose is alive.
The Yankees designated DiMaggio as their "greatest living player" for introduction as such at pre-game ceremonies like Old-Timers Day. They're apparently considering passing that honor onto Yogi Berra.
Rose, as things stand now, is forbidden to take the field for such events (although Major League Baseball has allowed him to be introduced from his $250 Diamond seat a couple of times in recent years).
In my opinion, under present circumstances, Bench is the choice, but if he were introduced as the "greatest living Red," there would be a considerable amount of booing from Rose fans. Should he outlive Pete, I think they could pull off giving Bench the honorary title.
Bench is, I think, the only first-ballot Hall of Famer who spent his entire career with the Reds.
Joe Morgan over a four or five-year period was the best player I ever saw, but he, Robinson, Griffey, etc., spent a substantial portion of their careers with other teams.
(If you compile a list of the greatest living players who spent at least a portion of their careers with the Reds, Dave Parker has to be in the Top 10.)
Tom Seaver, I believe, is the greatest living pitcher who spent a portion of his career in Cincinnati. People (including Marty) for some reason tend to recall that he was only here for a season or two. It was actually five-and-a-half seasons.
Something else to ponder: Neither DiMaggio nor Berra were first-ballot Hall of Famers.

Ron Madden
07-12-2008, 04:03 AM
I haven't read this whole thread yet but I have to say this...

I Loved Rose, Morgan, Perez and Bench but the best all around ballplayer I've ever seen in a Reds uniform was Frank Robinson.

Ron Madden
07-12-2008, 04:41 AM
OK. I've now read all post in this thread. I agree with the following.

Pete Rose has more hits than any player in the history of the game.

Johnny Bench is the best catcher who ever lived.

Joe Morgan was named the best 2b of all time.

Frank Robinson is still the best all around baseball player to wear a Reds uniform that I've ever seen.

(JMHO)

MWM
07-12-2008, 12:07 PM
Wow, Pete was a great player, but I'm REALLY surprised so many people would put him above Morgan, Bench, and Robinson. I don't even think there's an argument there.

westofyou
07-12-2008, 12:09 PM
I don't even think there's an argument there.

Pete winning best Reds player (living) is like Cincinnati Chili winning a best Chili in the world award after winning a poll in a Cincinnati newspaper.

RFS62
07-12-2008, 01:11 PM
Pete winning best Reds player (living) is like Cincinnati Chili winning a best Chili in the world award after winning a poll in a Cincinnati newspaper.


Cincinnati Chili is a great poster, though.

When he gets his nose out of those law textbooks.

RedsBaron
07-12-2008, 01:20 PM
I would vote for Johnny Bench. Without question Joe Morgan was a greater player at his peak, but Joe had six great seasons as a Red and two more decent seasons, while playing the rest of his career elsewhere. Bench spent his entire major league career in a Reds uniform.
Frank Robinson may have been a greater player at his peak than Bench, but, again, half of Robby's career was spent on non-Reds teams. As someone pointed out earlier in this thread, while Robinson has been terribly underrated, it also cannot be argued that he redefined his position or that he was the greatest rightfielder of all time.
Johnny Bench did redefine his position, he never dishonored his uniform (unlike my boyhood hero), and he arguably is the greatest catcher of all time.
By the way, Yogi Berra would get my vote as the Greatest Living Yankee. He is Bench's primary rival as the greatest catcher in major league history (although Josh Gibson would probably be the pick but for the color line). I also think that, up until his death, Mickey Mantle was more deserving of that title than Joe DiMaggio.

Always Red
07-12-2008, 08:34 PM
My head says:

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/frank-robinson-hof.jpg

http://fullcountpitch.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/johnny-bench.jpg

http://gocubsgo.com/images/Morgan.jpg

But my heart says:

http://www.seth.com/images/collection_pages/photographs/27.jpg

Pete Rose was born to play baseball, too. I will always love his passion for the game!

macro
07-13-2008, 10:55 AM
Bench

The discussion begins and ends there.

I could not agree more. Bench was and still is the greatest catcher to ever squat behind a plate. His offense was just icing on the cake. For the other guys that have been mentioned in this thread, their offense was their "cake". Griffey was great in CF, but he didn't revolutionize his defensive position the way Bench did his, nor did Robinson, Rose, Morgan...


You know I just really feel silly right about now. Is there an embarrassed emoticon?

Here ya go: :redface:

:D

cumberlandreds
07-13-2008, 11:33 AM
Bench for me. He revolutinized the catching position.For people who actually so him play there is no doubt he is best defensive catcher of all time. Like others have said his hitting was icing on the cake.
Frank Robinson would have to be 2nd followed by Morgan and then Rose.

Degenerate39
07-13-2008, 12:28 PM
http://l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/mlb/players_l/20080319/5944.jpg?x=65&y=85&xc=1&yc=1&wc=164&hc=215&q=100&sig=UxX3iZL_4oKr4K_d7JEFLg--

But in all seriousness. Johnny Bench is the greatest catcher of all time, Pete Rose is the greatest utility man of all time, Griffey dominted the sport when the sport was dominated by steroids and he's one of the best of all time IMO.

I'll have to go with Bench. A baseball fan today has to really appreciate Bench. Catching is so weak right now in the sport and Bench was just a dominate force back when it was a strong position with Yaz, Thurmond, Yogi, etc.

membengal
07-13-2008, 01:17 PM
Jerry. Hairston. Jr.

KoryMac5
07-13-2008, 01:25 PM
Bench

Spending your entire career with one team is simply a thing of the past. To have a player of his stature here for that long was a true joy.

Big Klu
07-13-2008, 02:03 PM
http://l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/mlb/players_l/20080319/5944.jpg?x=65&y=85&xc=1&yc=1&wc=164&hc=215&q=100&sig=UxX3iZL_4oKr4K_d7JEFLg--

But in all seriousness. Johnny Bench is the greatest catcher of all time, Pete Rose is the greatest utility man of all time, Griffey dominted the sport when the sport was dominated by steroids and he's one of the best of all time IMO.

I'll have to go with Bench. A baseball fan today has to really appreciate Bench. Catching is so weak right now in the sport and Bench was just a dominate force back when it was a strong position with Yaz, Thurmond, Yogi, etc.

I think you meant Fisk. Yastrzemski was a LF/1B.

George Anderson
07-13-2008, 04:25 PM
It is no doubt Johnny Lee Bench. People can argue that Robinson including his Oriole years was better than Bench, but as far as years in a Reds uniform it is JB.

westofyou
07-13-2008, 04:31 PM
RCAP--Runs created above average at his position. the difference between a player's RC total and the total for an average player who used the same amount of his team's outs.


CINCINNATI REDS
CAREER
OWP displayed only--not a sorting criteria
RUNS CREATED/GAME vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
AT BATS displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RCAP RCAP OWP RC/G AB
1 Barry Larkin 488 .593 1.32 7937
2 Joe Morgan 485 .753 3.69 4008
3 Pete Rose 412 .631 1.71 10934
4 Johnny Bench 338 .595 1.12 7658
5 Frank Robinson 337 .702 3.22 5527
6 Bid McPhee 230 .540 0.65 8291
7 Edd Roush 222 .655 1.67 5384
8 Heine Groh 199 .643 1.47 4439
9 Eric Davis 189 .668 2.48 3272
10 Ernie Lombardi 176 .583 0.82 3980

Degenerate39
07-13-2008, 04:36 PM
I think you meant Fisk. Yastrzemski was a LF/1B.

Yeah I always get them mixed up. My mistake

Cyclone792
07-13-2008, 04:38 PM
RCAP--Runs created above average at his position. the difference between a player's RC total and the total for an average player who used the same amount of his team's outs.


CINCINNATI REDS
CAREER
OWP displayed only--not a sorting criteria
RUNS CREATED/GAME vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
AT BATS displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RCAP RCAP OWP RC/G AB
1 Barry Larkin 488 .593 1.32 7937
2 Joe Morgan 485 .753 3.69 4008
3 Pete Rose 412 .631 1.71 10934
4 Johnny Bench 338 .595 1.12 7658
5 Frank Robinson 337 .702 3.22 5527
6 Bid McPhee 230 .540 0.65 8291
7 Edd Roush 222 .655 1.67 5384
8 Heine Groh 199 .643 1.47 4439
9 Eric Davis 189 .668 2.48 3272
10 Ernie Lombardi 176 .583 0.82 3980

That clearly illustrates just how dominant Joe Morgan was in a Reds uniform.

I don't think there's any question about it, Morgan was the BRM's greatest player. He's also the Reds' greatest player in franchise history.

RedlegJake
07-14-2008, 02:28 AM
I'd go with Morgan, too, but I'm partial to career guys recognized as "Reds". For me that's Johnny Bench. I'm old enough to remember Morgan with Houston, Robby with the O's. Those two were the best players to wear the uniform for an appreciable length of time but Bench simply says Reds to me.

BCubb2003
07-14-2008, 02:40 AM
It's likely to end soon, but the Reds have had a string of at least one star player who spent his whole career with the Reds -- an unbroken line going back to 1967.

VR
07-14-2008, 02:49 AM
George Foster. Duh.

gonelong
07-14-2008, 11:35 AM
1. Morgan
2. Robinson
3. Bench
4. Rose
5. Larkin

Davis, Franco, Rijo, Soto, Perez, Concepcion ...

Cyclone792
07-14-2008, 01:12 PM
1. Morgan
2. Robinson
3. Bench
4. Rose
5. Larkin

Agreed - that is my top 5 in precisely that order.

Actually, even if we extended it to Greatest Reds of All-Time, I'm fairly certain that would be my top 5 in precisely that order. Edd Roush would probably come in at 6th for me.

HokieRed
07-14-2008, 01:19 PM
Those of us who remember Robinson as a Red are still in pain over the fact he didn't play out his whole career here. That had nothing to do with any decision on his part--as this phenomenon does today--but was strictly the result of stupid management. If you'd seen Robinson as a Red--particularly as he broke on the scene with 38 HRs in his rookie year--you'd always think of Robinson as a Red.

RedsManRick
07-14-2008, 01:24 PM
It's likely to end soon, but the Reds have had a string of at least one star player who spent his whole career with the Reds -- an unbroken line going back to 1967.

Maybe Dunn can pass the torch to Votto, Bruce, or Cueto...

Roy Tucker
07-14-2008, 02:46 PM
It was a toss-up between Bench and Robinson for me. I finally decided on Bench since he spent his entire career here and was more pure "Red" than the others. Very subjective, I know.

Though no fault of his, Robinson was traded at the height of his career and his relationship with the Reds has never really thawed since. I still think of Bench as a Red, Robby not so much. The sting of his '66 Triple Crown MVP season still goads me.

Morgan had a brilliant 6 year run. Rose was a good-to-very-good player on good teams for an extraordinarily long time. Larkin was under-appreciated his whole tenure here. If Eric Davis could have stayed healthy, he might have been up there with Robby.

princeton
07-14-2008, 03:31 PM
It's likely to end soon, but the Reds have had a string of at least one star player who spent his whole career with the Reds -- an unbroken line going back to 1967.


it already ended. Dunn doesn't look likely to become a player like the others.

had Robby not been dealt, though, that line would have gone on a lot longer.

OnBaseMachine
07-14-2008, 03:38 PM
it already ended. Dunn doesn't look likely to become a player like the others.

had Robby not been dealt, though, that line would have gone on a lot longer.

No Dunn isn't the same player that Frank Robinson was, or Johnny Bench, or Barry Larkin, but he is still a great hitter and one of the better hitters in Reds history. He'll probably finish his career with 500+ career homeruns and 1,500 career walks, something only nine other plays have accomplished.

princeton
07-14-2008, 03:45 PM
No Dunn isn't the same player that Frank Robinson was, or Johnny Bench, or Barry Larkin, but he is still a great hitter and one of the better hitters in Reds history. He'll probably finish his career with 500+ career homeruns and 1,500 career walks, something only nine other plays have did.

he's one of the better hitters in Reds history, but not a great hitter.

if Dunn stays here, those will be 500+ meaningless HRs. Like Ernie Banks' 500+ HRs.

OnBaseMachine
07-14-2008, 03:56 PM
he's one of the better hitters in Reds history, but not a great hitter.

if Dunn stays here, those will be 500+ meaningless HRs. Like Ernie Banks' 500+ HRs.

There is no such thing as 500+ meaningless homeruns to me. It's not Dunn's fault the Reds have stunk since he's been here. Plus things are starting to turn around in Cincy and those additional 200+ homeruns won't be "meaningless" in the comings year.

princeton
07-14-2008, 04:01 PM
It's not Dunn's fault the Reds have stunk since he's been here.


he has blame coming.

he has good numbers, but it's always been clear that Dunn is less than the sum of his numbers.

Vada Pinson Fan
07-14-2008, 06:26 PM
I'd go with Morgan, too, but I'm partial to career guys recognized as "Reds". For me that's Johnny Bench. I'm old enough to remember Morgan with Houston, Robby with the O's. Those two were the best players to wear the uniform for an appreciable length of time but Bench simply says Reds to me.


I can't agree with Bench. He had some inconsistent years and while Morgan was great as a Red his overall numbers before and after take a bit of the luster off as far as I'm concerned.

For me and this is just my opinion, it's between Frank Robinson(close to 10 years as a Cincinnati Red) and Pete Rose as the greatest living Red ever. The thing that clinches the "glR" is my belief that Pete Rose would have been named on 100% of the Hall of Fame ballots had it not been for his gambling on baseball and subsequent lifetime ban. Add to that the bonus of Pete being a born and raised Cincinnatian and the fact that he is/was number one on several Major League offensive and defensive categories and so Pete Rose is the Greatest Living Red.