Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017 Reds Hall of Fame Ballot

It's that time of year again ... the ballot for the Reds Hall of Fame has been released. Every other year, fans get to vote in one player from the "modern era" and the year after the vote is held, said player is inducted. Here's who made the ballot this year ...

Aaron Boone, 1997-2003 (7 seasons)

Aaron Boone is part of baseball royalty. He's brother to Bret Boone, son to Bob Boone (who managed him during his Reds tenure), and grandson to Ray Boone.

Boone made his debut for the Reds in 1997 and anchored third base until he was traded to the Yankees in 2003. In 668 career games over seven seasons he hit .271/.334/.450 and was the team MVP in 2002, tying for the NL lead in games played with 162. In 2003, he made his only All-Star team and was traded to the Yankees at the trade deadline that year. 

After his brief half-season stint with the Yankees, he was injured for the 2004 season, came back in 2005 and bounced around from the Indians, Marlins, Nationals, and finally 10 games with the Astros in 2009 before calling it a career.

Adam Dunn, 2001-2008 (8 seasons)

Where to start with Adam Dunn?

Let's start with him slugging a minimum of 40 homers a year from 2004-2007 and 32 more in 2008 before being traded to Arizona. He finished 4th in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2001, made the All-Star team in 2002, and finished in the top 30 of MVP voting in 2004 and 2005. He's ranked 4th on the Reds all-time home run list, and ranks 3rd in Reds history in both slugging percentage and OPS.

In August of 2008, the Reds traded him, along with a minor leaguer to the Diamondbacks, getting Wilkin Castillo and Micah Owings in return. After leaving Arizona, he spent the next two seasons with Washington, then 4 years with the White Sox, and finished up with Oakland in 2014.

John Franco, 1984-1989 (6 seasons)

I don't remember much about John Franco's tenure with the Reds as that was before a time where I actively followed them.

He debuted in 1984, appearing in 54 games that season while accumulating 4 saves. From there, he would become the Reds top reliever in the mid-to-late 1980s. Over his time in a Reds uniform, he logged 148 career saves (3rd in Reds history), was a three time All-Star (1986, 1987, 1989), and finished his stint with a 2.49 ERA (6th lowest in Reds history).

After the 1989 season, the Reds traded him to the Mets for Kip Gross and Randy Myers, who helped solidify the bullpen for the 1990 World Series team. Franco would pitch the next 14 seasons for the Mets and then one more season with the Astros before calling it quits with 424 career saves, good for 5th all-time.

Danny Graves, 1997-2005 (9 seasons)

Danny Graves was arguably the best Reds relief pitcher of the late 90s to early 2000s. I remember when he would come in, it would be lights out.

Graves was acquired from Cleveland in 1997 and by the next season, he established himself as a dominant member of the bullpen. He really found his stride in 1999, racking up 27 saves with a 3.03 ERA in 111 innings pitched for a surprising team that won 96 games that season. He was a two-time All-Star (2000, 2004), is the Reds all-time saves leader (182), won the team MVP award in 2000, and pitched in 465 games over his Reds career.

Unfortunately, during the 2005 season, the relationship went south as did his performance and he was released mid-season. He was scooped up by the Mets, spent two months with them, and was released in August. The next year he appeared in 13 games with Cleveland and that was it for his big league career.

Scott Rolen, 2009-2012 (4 seasons)

I remember when the Reds traded for Rolen at the 2009 trade deadline. In exchange, they sent Edwin Encarnacion and a minor league pitcher to Toronto. At the time, I didn't like Encarnacion, so I was happy to see the Reds get a veteran like Rolen.

In the three full seasons he played for the Reds (2010-2012), the team made the playoffs twice but never made it out of the divisional series. Rolen was a two-time All-Star while with the Reds (2010 and 2011), is the only Reds third baseman to win a gold glove. Unfortunately, his last appearance for the Reds was in game 5 of the 2012 Division Series where he struck out to end the game and allowing the Giants to advance.

Before finishing his career with the Reds, he played for the Phillies, Cardinals, and Blue Jays and was a five-time All-Star, won 7 Gold Gloves, and was the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year.

Reggie Sanders, 1991-1998 (8 seasons)

The final nominee on the list this year is long time outfielder Reggie Sanders, who was the right fielder when I started following the team.

While playing in 9 games in 1991, his true rookie season was 1992 where he finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting. He made his only All-Star game appearance in 1995 and was the starting right fielder on a Reds team that made it all the way to the NLCS that year, the last Reds team to do so. He also finished 6th in MVP voting that year. Over 8 seasons with the team, he hit .271/.353/.476 with 125 HRs (good for 20th in Reds history) and 431 RBIs.

After the 1998 season, he bounced around to seven different teams until he finally retired in 2007. In his overall 17-year career, he hit 305 HRs, had 983 RBIs and a career slash line of .267/.343/.487

As for who's getting my vote from this batch, I always enjoyed watching Aaron Boone play so that's who I'm going towards. As far as who will get elected, I think it'll be either Adam Dunn or Scott Rolen.

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