Over at ESPN’s Page 2, they’ve got an interesting project going. They started with Pittsburgh:

Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in 2009, a sports fan can purchase the replica jersey of virtually any player from any of our beloved professional sports … including semidefunct ones such as the Arena Football League. If you want the jersey of your team’s punter, backup goalie or long reliever from 1982, you can find it. But like watching “Gary Unmarried,” just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The market is officially oversaturated; there are too many jersey options, and given our economic climate when many of us are stretching to afford even a foam finger, an unwise jersey investment can haunt a fan for countless years (as I’m sure anyone wearing his Cardinals’ Matt Leinart jersey can attest). These mistakes can be avoided, though, with a little guidance, gumption and good, old-fashioned grit. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work — starting with the fan base that’ll be playing a football contest of some sort in Tampa this weekend.

Here it is: the definitive list of jerseys for a die-hard black-and-gold sports fan to sport (and not to sport) around “tahn.” Before we begin, remember that this is not simply a ranking of Pittsburgh’s greatest legends, although the player’s on-the-field deeds figure prominently into the calculation. Other considerations include the aesthetic quality of the uniform’s color scheme and individual number choice, the era the jersey evokes for local fans and — maybe most importantly — how that player’s style, attitude and success personify the history of Burgh sports.

As I’m sure you can imagine, Mario Lemieux and Jack Lambert were at the top of the “best” list; Cliff Stoudt and Barry Bonds were on the “worst” list. They’ve also done one for Los Angeles; Magic Johnson (best) and OJ Simpson (worst) topped the list.

I thought it would be interesting to see your list of the best and worst uniforms a Cincinnati sports fan could sport at a Queen City sporting event. If you follow the links above, they not only name the player, but also the actual jersey.

I have my thoughts on who should be at the top of both lists, but I thought I’d hold off on my opinion until I see what you guys think. I’ll chip in below after you’ve had your chance to sound off.

So, what do you think?

36 Responses

  1. doug

    Worst –
    Pete Rose. Save your arguments because I don’t want to hear them. The dude broke the golden rule of baseball.
    Art Long – He punched a police horse. Seriously, can’t make that up.

    Best –
    Oscar Robertson – A legend not just in Cincinnati, but everywhere.
    Barry Larkin – It wasn’t the best ending ever, but he spent his life in Cincinnati and his entire professional playing career.
    Johnny Bench – Arguably the best catcher of all time (I will argue that Josh Gibson is at least in this conversation…. no one else is though).

    Those are my 5 guys.

  2. BiggDugg

    I am in agreement with doug on Pete Rose. It’s way past time for this fanbase to stop idolizing that POS.

    Best: To be honest, you could put just about anyone from the Big Red Machine (except Rose) on this list. Morgan, Perez, Bench and Foster are all excellent choices IMO.

    Eric Davis or Barry Larkin’s uni’s from the 1980’s. I much prefer the old white uniforms to the uniforms we had in the 90’s and to what we currently have. And Davis and Larkin were my favorite players growing up.

    Tim Krumrie should also get a mention. I pick his home jersey (all black instead of white). Probably the best defensive player the Bengals ever had (not that that’s saying much). I still believe that we win SB XXIII if Krumrie doesn’t break his leg. Just like they would have beaten Pittsburgh in the ’05 playoff game if Palmer doesn’t go down. And just like UC walks into the Final Four back in ’00 if Kenyon Martin doesn’t break his leg a week before the tournament.

    For that matter, Martin’s jersey should also be considered. Dude played basketball like a linebacker. And for the most part he kept his nose clean. Which, considering he played during the Huggin’s era, should count double.

  3. Travis G.

    Which Robertson jersey is the one to have? Bearcats or Royals?

    If I were buying a Reds replica jersey, which I want but can’t justify the cost, it’d be a 1990 Larkin. I’d actually prefer to have an Eric Davis jersey, but the one you always see has the American flag and All-Star game patches on it. I’ve got nothing against the flag or the event, but that’s a little too much flair for my taste.

  4. nick in va

    Any worst list would have to include Bengals.

    David Klingler
    Akili Smith
    Ki-Jana Carter
    Peter Warrick
    Dan Wilkinson

    And those are just some of the bad first round draft picks. Not that they were necessarily terrible players, but they are symbols of management failure. If Mike Brown had a jersey he would be #0 (or maybe 1, as in 1 winning season in 18 years).

    Can’t argue with Doug’s best. I’d add Anthony Munoz to the list. And maybe Boomer?

  5. Mike

    I’d think a Milton jersey would have to be the worst.

    A 1995 Larkin road jersey would be my personal favorite. I’m probably the only person who liked the gray pinstripe jerseys. The jersey has sleeves, a must for replica jerseys.

  6. John

    Really hard to top Milton for sheer awfulness without going with some short-timer like Jimmy Anderson or Dan Serafini.

    Of course, Ryan Dempster comes to mind.

    Top 5? Sabo’s 1988 would be great. O’Neill’s from 1990. I’m not sure I can think of 3 more without repeating the above.

  7. Travis G.

    You see a lot of faded Ki-Jana Carter jerseys on homeless guys around town.

    I’d really like a Ken Riley #13 road jersey, if we’re talking Bengals. I got my brother an Isaac Curtis #85 jersey on eBay, but I can’t find the seller anymore. I don’t think he was properly licensed with the NFL. I wish the Bengals would keep the striped helmets but go back to the 1970s-style jerseys.

    You can’t go wrong with Corey Patterson for worst Reds jersey, but a Tony Womack jersey would combine suckiness with poor uniform design (sleeveless, pinstripes, black accents – yuck).

  8. Aaron B.

    I proudly wear my 1985 Pete Rose throwback jersey, I don’t care what you guys say. I live in Las Vegas so maybe I am more tolerant of wagering than you guys are, and I am convinced he never bet AGAINST the Reds. Did he have a problem? Yea. Did he break the rules? Yea. Did he come clean? Not really not willingly, no. Was he a great player for the Reds? Hell yea!

  9. Chris

    I love this topic. I collect NFL bust jerseys (only if purchased cheap on eBay). I still want to find a Ki-Jana one and a Curtis Enis.

    I own:
    Wilkinson, Bengals
    Rahsaan Salaam, Bears
    Jim Druckenmiller, 49ers
    Tim Couch, Browns
    Rick Mirer, Seahawks
    Tommy Maddox, Steelers
    and a few others I can’t remember right now.

    My pride and joy: Ryan Leaf, Chargers

  10. KY Chip

    I’m just here for the baseball, so…

    My Top 5:

    1) Pete Rose, 1963 Home — say what you want, Peter Edward Rose is Cincinnati Baseball. I’d prefer the Rose ROY jersey when he was a scrappy young player with a lifetime of records (and other things) ahead of him.

    2) Johnny Bench, 1983 Home — to commemorate JB’s final season and perhaps the only thing about 1983 worth remembering. I’d like it for no other reason than it’s what he was wearing when he hit his final Home Run. And I was there to see it.

    3) Joe Morgan, 1975 Home — for the first of two straight MVPs and the great win in the Series over my most hated team. A nice remembrance for the Big Red Machine.

    4) Frank Robinson, 1956 Home — the greatest rookie season of any Red. Frank should’ve been in a Reds uni a lot longer than he was.

    5) Tony Perez, 1976 Home — Doggie’s last BRM uni, before he was unceremoniously shipped off to Montreal for next to nothing. His leaving taught this young baseball fan that sometimes your heroes put on other uniforms.

    My Bottom 5:

    1) Milt Pappas, 1966 — see “Frank Robinson” above
    2) Paul Householder, 1982 — the worst starter on the worst Reds team in history
    3) Trevor Hoffman, 1993 rookie year jersey — that’s right – it doesn’t exist because the Reds didn’t bother to protect this future HOFer in the 1992 expansion draft.
    4) Chris Gruler, 2002 First-Round draft pick commemorative jersey — with the #3 selection, the Reds gave their largest ever signing bonus to a pitcher who would never make it above A-ball due to injuries and passed on Prince Fielder, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, and Scott Kazmir among others.
    5) Eric Milton, 2007 — 0-4 in 6 games with only 31.3 IP, all for the bargain price of $10.3m.

  11. Matt W

    I have an Odell Thurman jersey that is now a dust rag

  12. Steve

    Whoever thinks a Pete jersey is at the bottom is an idiot.

    Top 3 for me:
    70’s era Pete Rose pullover home jersey.

    Chris Sabo’s #17 home pullover.

    My Boomer Esiason white road jersey.

    Bottom feeders:
    Chad “Ocho Cinco” jerseys – come on. seriously?

    I’m pretty sure they still sell Homer Bailey jersey’s at the pro shop in GABP. Not sure if this one’s ready for the bottom yet or not. I do feel for whoever shelled out the cash for one of em though.

    During Cubs-Reds game 2 years ago, I sat close to a Cubs fan in a Mark Prior jersey. I wanted to make fun of him so bad.

  13. Chris

    For a while, the Bengals offical store was selling Takeo Spikes #51 jerseys with someone else’s name pasted over his – Kevin Hardy, maybe?

  14. David

    Chris – you have to add Tony Mandarich to that list.

  15. KY Chip

    Jim — Corey Outterson was just too obvious.

    Besides, if the way Dusty stuck with CP last year in some small way assists Dusty’s early exit as the Reds skipper, then maybe… just maybe… it would have all been worth it in the end.

  16. KY Chip

    Chris – don’t forget Todd Marinovich’s Raiders jersey.

  17. CeeKeR

    You’ve gotta have a Danny Graves jersey too on that “worst of” list.

  18. Steve Price

    Here’s an odd one…

    Jerry Reuss, 1987 Reds.

    Somehow, Reuss went 0-5 in 7 starts with a 7.79 ERA, allowing 52 hits in 34 innings, walking 12 and strking out 10.

    He bounced back to win 13 games for the White Sox the next year with a 3.44 ERA…but, he couldn’t get anybody out in Cincinnati.

  19. Steve Price

    Paul Householder was mentioned earlier…I think a far odder one was Jeff Jones, who somehow became the Reds opening day right fielder in 1993, batting .227 in 16 games.

    He was in A the year before and never saw the show again.

  20. Steve

    Who even has a Corey Patterson jersey?

  21. preach

    Dusty Baker’s daughter?

    Rumor has it that she has instructed Dusty to quit referring to Taveras as ‘Slick Willie’ and call him ‘Sweet Willie’ instead….wonder what’s that about?

  22. Chad

    Most of the jerseys I had in mind have been mentioned by you guys.

    On the best list, I’d say a 1975 Bench is tops. I like 1990 Larkin, too (though I agree with the comment above about the mid-90s grey pinstripe road jerseys; I loved those unis).

    Anthony Munoz seems obvious. What about early 80s Ken Anderson? Or Ickey? 🙂

    On the worst list, my first thought was Akili Smith, but I had forgotten about Kijana Carter.

    Eric Milton is the worst recent Reds jersey, although personally, you wouldn’t catch me wearing a Pokey Reese jersey.

  23. Aaron B.

    Yea we are just being silly here with some of these mentions. I don’t believe for a second anyone every sewed a Milton or Reuss or Corey Patterson jersey. I did get a Felipe Lopez jersey sewn the year he made the all-star game. I guess I feel pretty dumb on that one, and I didn’t see anyone else wearing one even though he had a good year.

  24. preach

    And, for the record, I have a Pokey Reese jersey…and I’d still wear it if I didn’t gain so much weight after I bought it (yes, i bought it, but at a DEEP discount…).

  25. CG Hudson

    Best: George Foster (road grey 70s model) – Bench, Morgan and Perez get the HOF but Foster is the outsider’s pick for the best of the BRM; he hit HRs when they were relatively rare and he had the sideburns

    Worst: Ryan Freel (any version) – This glorified supersub (and repeat drunk driver) was briefly the idol of thousands in love with the mythology of Pete Rose all because he managed to soil his togs on the way to racking up concussions. Lame.

  26. Iowa's Only Reds Fan

    Good Lord, Jeff Jones??? Didn’t he play for the Cedar Rapids Reds?

  27. John

    How about Ken Anderson or Boomer Esiason. They took the Bengals to the SB didn’t they?

    How about Edd Roush or Slim Sallee of the 1919 Reds? You would have some people scratching their heads with those names on your back.

    Don Gullett anyone?

    How about Nuxy? Soto?

    Elmer Riddle or Dibbs out of the pen?

    Lots of interesting choices

  28. StillMadAbout1981

    In shame, I confess that I actually have a Todd Walker jersey!

  29. Steve Price

    I don’t know about the Todd Walker jersey, but I love the screen name.

    Most don’t realize this, but the 81 season may have hurt Concepcion’s HOF chances. It was Concepcion’s best offensive season, with a 116 OPS+, and out of the shadow of the Big Red Machine. He was on pace for 100 rbi that season, having 67 rbi through 108 games.

    That personal milestone may have helped his offensive standing in baseball history, and would have gotten him very close to 1000 rbi, and definitely would have put him over 1000 runs scored for his career.

  30. per14

    I’m a big Reds fan but I’d take the Oscar O. Royals jersey.

    ’88 Bengals Ickey Woods jersey.

    Of the Reds, a ’63 Rose is a great choice as would be a 1944 Joe Nuxhall home jersey.

    And why the dig at Danny Graves? He was a wonderful closer and did good things for the team and the city. Sure, the end was ugly but he doesn’t belong in a “worse-of” conversation.

  31. per14

    Obviously I meant Oscar R. Royals jersey. I need coffee.

  32. Gary

    Best
    – Ted Kluszewski – 1957 (White) Reds
    – Anthony Munoz – 1989 (Black) Bengals
    – Kenyon Martin – 2000 (White) Bearcats
    – Pete Rose- 1963 (Grey) Reds
    – Bob Huggins – with his suit & tie or in the NIKE warm ups
    – Oscar Robertson- Royals
    – Jason Maxiell- 2002 (Black) Bearcats
    – Carson Palmer- 2005 (Black) Playoff year, returned the hope

    Bottom 5
    – Donald Little – Bearcats
    – Akili Smith- Bengals
    – Eddie Milner- Reds
    – Pete Rose- 1989 Mngr
    – Ki Jana Carter- Bengals
    – Chris Henry – Bengals

  33. tim adkins

    Best: the ones I own – 1954 Nuxhall home, 1963 Rose rookie vest, 1969 & 1975 Bench home, 1976 Rose road, 1993 Larkin autographed home. Ones that I’m adding 1956 Wally Post road, 1956 Kluszewski home & a 1959 Robinson home

    Worst: Doug Bair, Corey Patterson, Ray Knight, Danny Graves, Clint Hurdle, Ken Henderson & Jerry Narron