My starting nine of the 1990s
September 9, 2009 has been declared “Beatles Day” because of the release of the new video game and the remastered Beatles compact discs. Others have referred to it as “Baseball Day” due to the significance of the number nine in regards to the sport.
If you are a conspiracy lover (cue the spooky music), turn the date upside down to reveal the demonic number sequence. I am not really into that, so…
It doesn’t get a whole lot better than Beatles and baseball. Since I will probably be doing my best John Lennon impersonation all night, I am now going to take a look at my ’90s starting nine for the Cincinnati Reds. If I had to win one game with players from the decade of the 1990s, this would be my starting nine.
Jose Rijo, Pitcher
He was the most valuable player in the 1990 World Series, shutting down the mighty Oakland Athletics in games one and four.
Joe Oliver, Catcher
Filling the shoes of Johnny Bench would not have been an easy task for anyone. The Reds saw a parade of catchers come through Riverfront Stadium from the mid-1980s and through the 1990s. The most stable period was when Oliver was behind the plate. He also hit the most famous ground ball…fair…down the left field line!
Sean Casey, First Base
I was always a big fan of Hal Morris. I was a member of Todd Benzinger’s fan club in 1990. However, “The Mayor” gets the nod at first base. My wife would not be happy if he did not.
Bret Boone, Second Base
Boone was an outstanding defensive player for the Reds. He then began putting up astounding power numbers in the 1998 season. Things that make you go hmmmmm…
Chris Sabo, Third Base
Sabo was a fan-favorite due to his Rose-like style of play. He put up pretty good offensive numbers and played a solid third base. He lit up the Oakland pitching staff in the 1990 World Series.
Barry Larkin, Shortstop
Larkin is one of the most complete players in the last 25 years. He could hit for average, hit for power, run, throw and field. He was a vital part of the 1990 World Champions and the 1995 National League most valuable player.
Greg Vaughn, Left Field
He only spent one year in Cincinnati, but the Reds have lacked such a leader in the clubhouse since he left. Vaughn was a vital part of the 1999 team that lost a one-game playoff against the Mets.
Eric Davis, Center Field
When healthy, Davis was as talented as anyone in the game. I can still close my eyes and see the home run he hit in the first game of the 1990 World Series. It set the tone for the entire series.
Reggie Sanders, Right Field
He always seemed to not live up to his potential, but if you look back, he put up some pretty good numbers. The other option would be Paul O’Neill, but he really didn’t develop into a star until he left Cincinnati.