This week, Chris Garber, Nate Dotson, and I pick our top five favorite Reds of all time, and try to justify the picks. There is at least one who will surprise you (and maybe you’ll learn something).

We also discuss the news of the week, take an entertaining look back at this week in Reds history, and answer some Viewer Mail. It’s the World’s Most Dangerous Podcast, delivered in the middle of the World’s Dumbest Baseball Lockout. Enjoy!

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56 Responses

  1. Tom Reeved

    Joey Votto
    Kevin Mitchell
    Lenny Harris
    Pete Rose
    Eric Davis

  2. Alan Horn

    My top or favorite 5 are Ted kluzewski, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez. Tom Seaver would be next or 6th and my favorite pitcher. Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin would be next followed by Eric Davis and Mario Soto.

    • Alan Horn

      I forgot Frank Robinson. He probably replaces Perez in my top 5.

      • Alan Horn

        Votto probably replaces big Klu also.

  3. Tomn

    Morgan, Bench, Votto, Rose, Perez

    Hard to stray from the BRM

  4. SultanOfSwaff

    Larkin, Rose, Davis, Cueto, Votto

  5. DL Reddick

    1. Bench (aka the GOAT)
    2. Eric the Red
    3. Smokin’ Joe
    4. Charlie Hustle
    5. Joey

  6. Rudeolph ONEderful

    Eric Davis
    Mario Soto
    Dave Parker
    Dave Concepcion
    Joey Votto

    shoutout to Keefe Cato, Fred Toliver + Kal Daniels though!

  7. Mossy

    Gary Redus
    Eric the Red
    Jose Rijo

    Climbing fast: India!

  8. LDS

    Tough choices but Eric Davis, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and George Foster. Leaves out too many like Larkin, Junior, etc. And all of the pitchers. Frank Robinson was before my time but a singularly great player. And having seen Eric Davis play multiple times, when he was healthy, he was probably a once in a generation player.

  9. Jerry Tracey

    Ted Kluzewski, Pete Rose, Eric Davis,Dave Parker, Joe Morgan.

  10. George

    Johnny Bench has been my favorite since I saw him play in Buffalo. Eric Davis was electrifying to watch. Junior because his skill level was off the charts. Sean Casey and Brandon Phillips because they were so personable besides being talented.

  11. burtgummer01


  12. Rut

    1. Bench
    2. Eric the Red
    3. Rijo
    4. Spuds
    5. Votto

    I am 46, so had Bench as a childhood deity. Saw him play after his prime, but his legacy and fact that “The Baseball Bunch” was appointment viewing when I was a little kid (and was so proud a Red was the lead guy, heck, even made me not hate Lasorda 100%) makes Bench a clear #1.

    The 1990 team was right in my time when I was most obsessed with baseball, so those 3 were my favorites when having favorites really mattered.

    And Joey Votto has been the face of the Reds for the entirety of my 14 and 10yr old kids lives, and we have enjoyed rooting for him as a family. His constant presence gives the Reds some continuity for my kids and does it with class. And he is a great, great player.

  13. Rednat

    old guy here so i am going by decades

    1. 50’s- Big Klu
    2. 60’s – Frank Robinson
    3. 70’s- Joe Morgan
    4. 80s- Dave Parker
    5. 90s- Barry Larkin
    6. 2000’s- Griffey Jr.
    7.20100s- Michael Lorenzen
    8.2020’s- India

    by the way i like these topics better than the cba discussions. lol

    • BK

      Lorenzen was my favorite player over the last several years, too. While he didn’t generate the same amount of WAR as others on your list, he was the consummate team player and one of the best all-round baseball players the Reds have had in my lifetime.

  14. shaggy

    really liking India
    and Reggie Sanders

  15. Jonathan Linn


    (in no order)

  16. steve

    Bench, Morgan, Concepcion, Ryan Freel, Corky Miller

  17. TR

    Ted Kluszewski, Ewell Blackwell, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez.

  18. MK

    Pete Rose, Gene Freeze, Mel Queen, Amir Garrett, Deron Johnson

  19. Tar Heel Red

    For me it would have to be Bench, Rose, Larkin, Perez and Casey

  20. Klugo

    In no particular order:
    Concepcion, Votto, Mike Leake, Pete Rose, Chris Sabo.

  21. LuciusRuber


  22. Bill J

    To many to name but, Temple, Rose, Morgan, Phillips & Post.

    • west larry

      I don’t know if they would make my top five, but i really liked Johnny Temple and Wally Post. They played when i was ten, but i idolized them, and Frank Robinson as well.

  23. redsfan4040

    Votto, Scooter, Cueto, Junior, Bruce

    Honorable mention to Dunn, Leake, Geno

  24. donny

    Top 5
    1. Johnny Bench
    2. Eric Davis
    3. Rob Dibble
    4. Norm Charlton
    5.Chris Sabo

    Next 5
    1. George Foster
    2. Berry Larkin
    3. Randy Myers
    4. Pete Rose
    5. Jose Rijo

    • donny

      Best Reds Manager or Favorite . No Surprise here .
      One and only Lou Piniella
      Took a team that wasn’t favored in the division and led from start to finish.
      Won the World Series as a heavy underdog .
      Swept the A’s in 4 .

      • donny

        Championships create memories .
        What can I say
        I have a little more gratitude toward players who gave back to the fans in terms of a championship.

      • Mark Moore

        Unmatched accomplishment in 1990. Perhaps our best ever WS win.

      • TR

        I’ve always wished Paul O’Neil had been a Redleg for more years. A great right fielder and hitter.

  25. whosurred

    Favorite, not best in no particulate order: Spuds Mckenzie, Adam Duvall, Pedro Bourbon, Joe Nuxhall, Barry Larkin (post playing days). non players: Sparky & Derek Johnson

  26. Mark Moore

    Hard to narrow it down to just five, but here goes …

    Bench (absolutely my #1, hands down)

    The others in no particular order:

    Larkin and Concepcion (got a thing for those slick shortstops)
    The Nasty Boys (they get a 3-for-1 in my book)
    Seaver (a holdover from my childhood in Northern NJ and the Miracle Mets days)

    Honorable mentions would include Rose, Junior, Votto, Spuds, Freel, and Foster.

    For manager, it’s Sweet Lou all the way and then Sparky and Jack McKeon

  27. Jerry

    Revised list of favorite “Cincinnati Reds”. Pete Rose, Ron Oester,DaveParker, Barry Larkin, Ken Griffey Jr.

  28. Private Gripweed

    In no particular order:

  29. Votto4life

    1. Votto
    2. Sparky
    3. Bench
    4. Perez
    5. Eric Davis

  30. David

    I could list my favorite Reds, or who were the 5 “greatest” Reds. And there is some overlap
    Well, obviously Johnny Lee Bench. I saw him play…a lot. He could sometimes be an asshole with fans, but also could be very friendly, depending on his mood for the day. The fans expected SO MUCH from him ( a home run every at bat!), and after all he was only human. Two time NL MVP
    Tony Perez. Maybe one of the nicest guys to ever play for the team who was also a real star. Eduardo, who played for the Reds in the late ’90’s for a year, always looked up to Tony as his Dad. Says a lot that a grown man respected and loved his Dad so much.
    Joe Morgan. Also saw him play a lot. A great guy. A distant aquaintance that knew him after his baseball days said he was very friendly, personable and genuine guy. Two time NL MVP
    Barry Larkin. Actually, one of the smartest guys to every play for the Reds (along with Bench and Morgan). I respect Barry because at times he was baited into saying bad things about Marge Schott (because of race), and resisted the urge. He said he didn’t like some of the things she said, but liked her personally. One time NL MVP.
    Fifth spot is kind of hard, because there are frankly so many.
    But going sentimental, I think Lee May was one of my favorites. Really sad day when he was traded to Houston for Joe Morgan, but he was a great guy. He, like Joe, is gone on now the Field of Dreams.

  31. David

    Greatest Reds? (not necessarily my favorites)
    Pete Rose
    Frank Robinson
    Johnny Bench
    Joe Morgan
    Joey Votto

  32. SOQ

    Pete Rose-Most exciting player in my lifetime, Frank Robinson-the Greatest Red ever, Joe Morgan- the Sparkplug of the BRM, Tony Perez- Best Reds Clutch Hitter, Johnny Bench- Greatest Catcher in MLB history.
    I would put pitchers in a separate class: Jim Maloney, Bucky Walters, Ewell Blackwell, Tom Seaver and Jose Rijo

  33. Donny Balser

    Mario Soto
    Paul O’Neil
    Brandon Phillips
    Billy Hatcher
    Bobby Tolin

  34. gusnwally

    big klu, johnny temple, jerry lynch, jay bruce gary nolan

    • Bill J

      Gusnwally, do you remember when Jerry Lynch was the catcher for a inning, I believe.

      • gusnwally

        I have a vague remembrance of something like that. Jerry was such a horrible defensive player and I remember that he had a fly hit him in the head long before Canseco. But watching him swing so hard he would fall down is etched in my memory forever. He was also a very handsome guy who did numerous commercial. I specifically remember camel cigarettes.

  35. Gary

    Pete Rose –should have played entire career in Cincinnati–thanks Dick Wagner
    Tony Perez–the beginning of the end of the Big Red Machine–thanks Bob Howsam
    Lee May–the big man from Birmingham, the Big Bopper, always high on my list
    Cesar Geronimo–you didn’t run on him, made LF and RF easy for Foster & Griffey
    Johnny Bench–the man who wore number 5 maybe the greatest catcher ever alive

    Honorable Mentions– Vada Pinson, Frank Robinson, Clay Carroll, Don Gullett

  36. Jim t

    Had something very special happen to me this last week. I thought I would share it here because it is red related.

    I am 68 years old and a lifetime reds fan. I also served in military for 20 years. Serving my country was life changing for me mostly because of the tremendous people I was fortunate to meet. One such person was our senior enlisted chief. When I enlisted I was wild enough to shoot at but my association with him changed my life. He pushed me to be the best I could be and demanded I do the right things while showing a genuine interest in me as a person. He was also a huge baseball fan and coached our squadron team. He was a yankee fan and his Dad took him to yankee stadium for Babe Ruth’s funeral. He is now in his mid 80’s and while I haven’t seen him in many years he still remembered our time together, especially how much I followed the reds. On Wednesday I got a package in the mail and he sent me a baseball he had gotten years ago that was signed by Johnny Vandermeer. The only pitcher to ever pitch two consecutive no hitters. This occurred in 1938.while it was nice getting the ball it was more special that a fellow veteran remembered our service together and was so generous with this wonderful gift. Serving with such wonderful people is the greatest accomplishment of my life.

    Didn’t mean to get off topic or be so long winded but I just had to share this tremendous act of generosity and kindness.

    • SOQ

      Great story Jim T. That’s wonderful that your old friend remembered you in such a thoughtful way–and thank you for serving in our country’s military for so many years. When my wife’s uncle passed away a few years ago, we found a badly faded autographed baseball in his sock drawer. I could make out the autograph of Bucky Walters and barely that of Ernie Lombardi. I took it to a memorabilia shop and, under special lighting, we were able to see the autographs of the entire 1939 team. It’s too bad it was so badly faded, but I still have it proudly displayed in my man cave.

      • Jim t

        Thanks for the kind words. Have a similar story concerning my Dad. When he passed away my brother found a ball signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. My brother, Father and I shared many a day at the Reds game.

    • Jerry Tracey

      Great story J T. As a 76 year old vet, I remember coming in from a patrol during the 67 All Star Game just in time to catch the last few innings. I got to hear Tony Perez win the game in extra innings with a home run. One of the few good memories of that time.

      • Jim t

        Jerry great memory. We probably crossed paths at old Crosley field a few times back in the day.

  37. Frankie Tomatoes

    One from each generation or so for me
    Frank Robinson
    Johnny Bench
    Mario Soto
    Barry Larkin
    Joey Votto

  38. ryan

    Jerry Lynch, Frank Robinson, Jim Maloney, Pete Rose, and Johnny Bench

  39. Dave Cochran

    I am now 72 and have been a fan of the Reds now heading into my 7th decade. This would be my all time list for those years..
    1.Pete Rose
    2.Johnny Bench
    3.Tony Perez
    4.Frank Robinson
    5.Dave Concepcion
    So many great Reds I could name but when I have to narrow it to only 5 then I chose those who were not only great but provided the most excitement for me.

  40. Jim t

    Frank Robinson – worst trade in club history

    Leo Cardenas- I was a SS growing up.

    Pete Rose- the example my Dad used to show me how to play the game

    Barry Larkin- hometown hero. Class act!

    Joe Morgan- best trade in club history. The straw that stirred the BRM.

  41. Steve K.

    1. Eric Davis
    2. Barry Larkin
    3. Joe Morgan
    4. Joey Votto
    5. Dave Parker