Earlier this month, the Chicago Cubs announced that Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins would become the fifth player in franchise history to be honored with a statue at Wrigley Field. He joins Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams, as well as broadcaster Harry Caray.
Nine Reds legends have bronze statues created by local artist Tom Tsuchiya: Pete Rose, Joe Nuxhall, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Chuck Harmon (P&G Urban Youth Academy).
I was recently asked: Who deserves the next statue at GABP?
Let's examine potential candidates, in alphabetical order:
Sparky Anderson: Baseball Hall of Fame. Manager of Big Red Machine. Two World Series titles. Four World Series appearances. Five NL West division titles. Reds all-time leader in wins (863) and winning percentage (.596).
Marty Brennaman: 456 seasons as radio voice of Reds, Baseball Hall of Fame. Would have to be a tag-team statue with Joe Nuxhall, right?
Tom Browning: 123-88 3.92 in 11 seasons. 20 wins in 1985. All-Star 1991. NL ROY runner-up 1984.
Dave Concepcion: Starting shortstop for Big Red Machine. Two World Series rings. Nine time All-Star. Five Gold Gloves. Franchise rank since 1900, games (2nd), at-bats (2nd), hits (3rd), doubles (3rd), stolen bases (3rd), runs (5th), total bases (5th), RBI (6th). 1983 team captain. 1981 team MVP. 1982 All-Star game MVP.
Eric Davis: .271-.367-.510-.877 in 9 seasons, 985 games, 203 HR, 270 SB, 615 RBI, OPS+ 137, 2X All-Star, 3X Gold Glove, 2X Silver Slugger, 8th SB, 10th HR, 5th OPS+, 5 Top 13 MVP finishes, 30/30 season.
George Foster: .283-.356-.514-.870 in 11 seasons, 244 HR, 861 RBI, 207 doubles, 4th career SLG, 6th career HR, 9th career RBI, 5X All-Star, 5 top 12 finishes MVP (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 12th), OPS+ 140.
Barry Larkin: Baseball Hall of Fame. 12 time All-Star. 1995 NL MVP. Four time team MVP. World Series ring. Three Gold Gloves. Nine Silver Slugger awards. Team captain 1997-2004. First shortstop to produced 30/30 season. Only shortstop in ML history with at least 2,300 hits, 190 home runs and 370 stolen bases.
Jim Maloney: 134-81 3.16 in 11 seasons, 289 games, 23 game winner 1963, 1X All-Star, 30 shutouts.
Vada Pinson: .297-.341-.469-.810 in 11 seasons in 1,565 games. 186 HR. 814 RBI. 221 SB. 2X All-Star. Gold Glove. MVP votes 5X. Led NL hits 2X, led triples 2X. Franchise rank: 8th games, 8th AB, 7th runs, 7th hits, 11th RBI, 13th HR, 11th SB, 8th total bases, 5th doubles, 5th triples, 7th WAR, OPS+ 119.
Jose Rijo: 97-61 2.83 in 10 seasons. 1994 All-Star. World Series MVP. 3-0 2.28 in four postseason appearances.
Eppa Rixey: Baseball Hall of Fame. 179 wins. Three 20 win seasons with Reds.
Edd Roush: Baseball Hall of Fame. Hit .300 11 seasons. Won two batting titles.
Chris Sabo: NL Rookie of the Year. 3X All-Star. 1990 World Series ring.
Mario Soto: 100 wins with Reds. Led ML in strikeouts over four year period from 1981-85.
Photos courtesy of Cincinnati Reds