Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cincinnati Reds All-Time Home Run Leaders

The Cincinnati Reds baseball club originated in 1882 as the Cincinnati Red Stockings In 1890 they settled on the “Reds”, though they used the name "Redlegs" for part of the 1950s to avoid any perceived association with Communism. The Reds have a long successful history and many of the games best hitters have worn the uniform including Pete Rose, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, and Ken Griffey Jr. The most famous era of Cincinnati Reds baseball would have to be the years of the “Big Red Machine” which lasted from 1970 to 1976. The years of the “Big Red Machine” also produced two of the top five all time home runs leaders in Reds history.

Ted Kluszewski is number five on the list with 251 home runs. Kluszewski was born in Argo, Illinois in 1924. "Big Klu"was a career .298 hitter with 279 home runs and 1028 RBI in 1718 games. In ten of his fifteen seasons, Kluszewski walked (492) more often than he struck out (365). In 1955, he hit 47 homers while striking out only 40 times. No player since him has hit 40 homers and struck out 40 or fewer times in the same season.

Coming in at number 4 and the only active player on this list is Adam Dunn with 270 home runs hit while playing for the Reds. Despite a high strike out rate, “The Big Donkey” is one of the most consitant power hitters in the game today. On July 4, 2009 Dunn became the 123 player to hit 300 home runs for his career.

Tony Perez and his 287 home runs are number three on the list. Perez was a key member of the “Big Red Machine” in the 1970's and after his playing days ended he went on to manage the Reds in 1993. In 1998 Perez was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, but the greatest honor would come in 2000 when The MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown opened its doors to him.

In at number two is possibly one of the top players in Major League history. Frank Robinson hit 324 home runs as a member of the Reds between 1956 and 1965. Robinson is the only player in history to win the MVP award in both the National Leage (Reds in 1961) and American League (Orioles in 1966). He also voted Rookie of The Year in 1956 and won a triple crown in 1966. In 1975, Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League history. In 1978 Frank Robinson was elected into both the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame. Then in 1982 he was elected into The Major league Baseball Hall of Fame.

Johnny Bench, arguably one of the best catchers to ever play the game, comes in at number one with 389 career home runs as a Red. Bench was another member of the feared “Big Red Machine”, who played with the Reds from 1967 to 1983. He won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1968, and was voted NL MVP in 1970 and 1972. In 1986 Bench was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, followed three years later by his induction into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1989.

The Cincinnati Reds have had many great hitters over the years and with the likes of Joey Votto and Jay Bruce currently playing for the team, the future looks as bright as the past.

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