Cesar Geronimo

Cesar GeronimoGeronimo was one of the “other” guys acquired by Cincinnati in the blockbuster trade that brought Joe Morgan to the Reds in December of 1971. But the lesser-known fleet-footed outfielder proved to be a valuable member of The Big Red Machine. He won four Gold Glove Awards as the center fielder for the Reds, from 1974-1977. In 1976 he got into the act at the plate too, hitting .307 with a .382 OBP, 11 triples, and 22 stolen bases. That season the Reds cemented their place as one of the greatest teams of all-time by winning the World Series for a second straight year.

Geronimo was the least famous and accomplished of “The Great Eight” Cincinnati lineup, though he did play 15 seasons in the major leagues. While he was a fantastic defensive player (he had great range in center and the strongest arm among center fielders in the NL in the 1970s), he was average at best offensively. The left-handed hitter spent nine seasons in Cincinnati before moving on to the Royals where he occasionally played in an outfield with Willie Wilson and Amos Otis, which probably ranks as one of the fastest and best defensive outfields in baseball history.

  • The members of “The Great Eight” on the Big Red Machine were: catcher Johnny Bench, first baseman Tony Perez, second baseman Joe Morgan, shortstop Dave Concepcion, third baseman Pete Rose, left fielder George Foster, center fielder Cesar Geronimo, and right fielder Ken Griffey. Four of them won an MVP award (combining for six awards in all), they combined for 24 Gold Glove Awards (five of them won at least one award), won four home run titles, six RBI crowns, and made a collective 57 All-Star Games. Six of the eight players had at least 2,000 hits in their careers, and another (Foster) had 1,925. Three of the Great Eight are in the Hall of Fame, and Pete Rose is only out because he was banned for life from baseball for gambling on the sport. One could make a decent Hall of Fame case for Concepcion, Foster and perhaps Griffey too. Want even more proof that this group was special? Four of them had sons who later played in the major leagues, and one of those little fellas made the Hall of Fame (Ken Griffey Jr.).