Cincinnati Reds: The all-time tournament

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 08: A Cincinnati Reds logo is seen in the stadium during the spring training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Angels at Goodyear Ballpark on March 8, 2017 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 08: A Cincinnati Reds logo is seen in the stadium during the spring training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Angels at Goodyear Ballpark on March 8, 2017 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Jose Rijo, a leader of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Jose Rijo, a leader of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Five World Series winners, among them the 1975-76 Big Red machine, compete for the title of best Cincinnati Reds club in history

The Cincinnati Reds are professional baseball’s original franchises. Established in 1869 as the game’s first openly professional aggregation the Reds have played as a member of the National League continuously since the 1880s.

In that nearly century and a half, the Reds have fielded some of the game’s memorable ballclubs. Both the 1975 and 1976 World Series winners are routinely ranked among the dominant teams in baseball history.

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Reds fans can revel in five recognized world champions, including those two plus the 1919, 1940 and 1990 teams.

The best Reds teams have traditionally favored offense. Of 31 Hall of Famers who wore the uniform of the Reds, nine spent most of their careers in Cincinnati and eight of those were every-day players. That list includes legendary batsmen of the stripe of Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, Tony Perez, and Edd Roush.

The five World Series-winning teams are all included in our field of eight. Also making the cut are the 1939 and 1961 pennant winners as well as the 2012 NL Central champions. As a group, they represent the diversity as well as the quality of Reds history.

Each matchup in the tournament is decided based on seven criteria. You can think of each as a ‘game,’ the winner of four games advancing. The seven criteria are:

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Game 1: Regular season winning percentage.

Game 2: Post-season winning percentage

Game 3: Team OPS+

Game 4: Team ERA+

Game 5 (if necessary): Team WAR

Game 6 (if necessary): Defensive runs saved or, if unavailable, fielding percentage.

Game 7 (if necessary): Hall of Famers or likely future Hall of Famers