After my totally awesome post about the Reds prime-number All-stars, you may have realized that I am kind of into numbers. This time, I’m celebrating New Year’s Eve, which is, yes, tomorrow, but you have to be adequately prepared, right? You wouldn’t want to have a short few hours to try to learn about Reds baseball players that have names that sound like numbers. Especially when most of them are crappy one-year guys.
It’s time to learn your positive single-digit integers with the help of some Major League Baseball players from Reds history. Why only 9 to 1? Because it’s more baseball-y, obviously. So here they are: Cincinnati’s finest numerical countdown.
Jeff CoNINE (1B, 2007)
Grandpa Jeff, as I used to call him, only played for the Reds very briefly in 2007, at the end of his impressive career. He really wasn’t terrible, in the scheme of recent aging Reds free agent signings, with an 84 OPS+, but between Scott Hatteberg as the starter, and the emergency of Joey Votto, Conine’s 242 PA are pretty forgettable. But he is the most recent player on the list, so there’s that, and of course, he had tons of veteran presence.
Alex OCHOa (OF, 2000-2001)
Alex Ochoa isn’t too far back in Reds history, but, like Conine, his tenure was brief. Ochoa had a pretty solid 1999 season in Milwaukee, and then came to Cincinnati in 2000 via trade. 2000 was his highest season’s OPS, and he especially excelled when he became the full-time right-fielder for a bit after Dante Bichette was traded. Unfortunately for Alex the Eight, his 2001 started more poorly, and we traded him to Colorado in July.
Chris SABO (3B, 1988-1993, 1996)
This takes a little explanation – it’s probably the biggest stretch, in terms of names that sound like numbers. But, apparently, in Swahili, seven is “saba”. That’s definitely like Sabo…. kinda. I mean, 3/4 letters is pretty good. Also, what’s a Reds countdown without Chris Sabo? Crap, that’s what it would be. Also, you all know who Chris Sabo is, so I don’t have to talk about him that much. I mean, look at this face.
That is the face of a Reds legend.
Chris SEXton (2B/SS, 2000)
What I really needed from Walt Jocketty this X-mas was a player with a better connection to the letter six. Is there a Sixto Lezcano Jr. we could sign? That sounds plausible. In any case, the second Chris S. in this countdown certainly has a long relationship with Cincinnati and Ohio, if not exactly with the Reds. He was born in Cincy, attended St. X for high school, college at Miami, and was drafted by the Reds in 1993. The team turned around and traded him to Colorado in 1995, but came back as a free agent for the 2000 season. He wasn’t very good, but it’s always nice to have a local kid with the big league team.
QUINTon McCracken (OF, 2006)
Quinton McCracken finished his career with the Reds in 20o6. Trivia challenge: Was he any good? You have three guesses, but the first two don’t count.
Henry FOURnier (LHP, 1894)
We really have to go to the way back machien for this one. Mr. Fournier’s 45 career innings pitched, all with the Reds in 1894 are probably a new low in lack of notability on this list, but his name actually has the letters f-o-u-r in it, which is irresistible, from the point of view of a person who is making this list. His 5.40 ERA in those innings looks bad, but was apparently about league average. Likewise, his WHIP of 2.022, 4.0 BB/9 and 1.0 K.9 also look a bit sketchy.
Manny TRIllo (IF, 1989)
Trillo did not have a very notable tenure with the Reds. On the other hand, Trillo had a pretty excellent major league career overall, probably best known for being the second-baseman on Mike Schmidt’s Phillies teams from ’79 to ’82. Along the way, Trillo earned 4 All-star game selections, 3 gold gloves, and 2 silver slugger awards, although he wasn’t a great hitter. By the time he reached the Reds in 1989, though, his best years were behind him, and he lasted only 17 games before being jettisoned.
George TWOmbly (OF, 1914-1916)
At this point, you can probably conclude that (a) finding Reds players to represent numbers is kind of a stretch and (b) I clearly have no franchise significance requirements. “Silent” George Twombly amassed 348 plate appearances in his three year stint with the Reds, with a 62 OPS+, so he clearly wasn’t much of a star. On the other hand, BR Bullpen notes that his five triples in 1914 without hitting any doubles is a record.
Jim MalONEy (RHP, 1960-1970)
Not only does Jim Maloney have the letters o-n-e in order in his name, you can also say it as Jim-m ‘alone-y. And you know, they say that one is the alone-iest number. Plus, Jim Maloney was a pitcher, which is position designated #1. He is also ‘Number 1′ in strikeouts in Reds franchise history with 1592 Ks, and looks to remain so in the shot term, at least. Bronson Arroyo has 988, and Johnny Cueto has 702, but I’ll leave it to you to guess which player might overtake Maloney first, or at all.