CINCINNATI -- Former Reds power-hitting left fielder Adam Dunn rarely liked talking about himself, and the night of his induction to the Reds Hall of Fame was not much different. Dunn certainly appreciated the honor, but it was more about the greats already part of the special group he was
CINCINNATI -- Former Reds power-hitting left fielder Adam Dunn rarely liked talking about himself, and the night of his induction to the Reds Hall of Fame was not much different. Dunn certainly appreciated the honor, but it was more about the greats already part of the special group he was joining.
Dunn was sitting alongside fellow 2018 honorees Dave Bristol and Fred Norman but was also flanked by previous inductees Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Barry Larkin and Eric Davis, among several other legends of the Reds.
"Look up here. Look who I am sitting up here with," Dunn said on Saturday just before induction ceremonies on the field at Great American Ball Park. "It's not just some of the greatest players to ever put on a Reds uniform but to ever play the game. Some of the best at their position to ever play the game. Let that sink in. That's pretty impressive."
Selected by Cincinnati in the second round of the 1998 Draft, Dunn reached the Majors by '01, when he finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, and became a mainstay in the middle of the lineup for eight of his 14 Major League seasons.
Of his 462 career home runs, Dunn slugged 270 with the Reds, which ranks him fourth all time on the club. His .520 slugging percentage with Cincinnati is ranked third in franchise history. The 2002 All-Star hit 40 or more home runs with 100 or more walks in five straight seasons from '04 until '08, when he was traded to the D-backs in August.
"The thing I liked about Dunner, he was one of the greatest hitters I've ever seen as far as driving the baseball out of the ballpark. It was unbelievable," former teammate and Reds Hall of Famer Sean Casey said. "When I think about my career, I think of teammates and guys I played with … Dunner is one of my best friends of the game. I think about times in the back of the planes and bus rides and all of the great times we had outside of the game."
Dunn is second in club history with seven walk-off home runs, nine grand slams and 46 game-winning homers. He also will be forever known in Cincinnati for hitting the longest home run in Great American Ball Park history -- a 535-foot shot off the Dodgers' Jose Lima on Aug. 10, 2004. The ball left the ballpark and landed on the banks of the Ohio River.
"It was a good one," Dunn said.
Norman, a Major League left-handed pitcher for 16 seasons, spent 1973-79 with the Reds and was part of the World Series winning clubs in '75 and '76. During his tenure in Cincinnati, he was 85-64 with a 3.43 ERA.
Norman had double-digit wins in each of his seven Reds seasons. But on the Big Red Machine -- a team loaded with hitting greatness -- pitchers were often overshadowed.
"I just figured we did our job," Norman said. "We knew we had the offense. We knew we had the defense and things like that. All we had to do was go out and throw strikes and hold people down, and I think that's what we did."
Before joining the Reds, Norman had pitched against them for the Dodgers, Padres and Cubs.
"Thank God I don't have to face them anymore," the 75-year-old Norman said of his thoughts about joining the Reds. "I finally was [on the Reds], and I can't be happier than ever right now."
Bristol, who is now 85, managed the Reds from 1966-69, just before the Big Red Machine era but during the early careers of stars Rose and Bench. In those four seasons, Bristol compiled a 298-265 (.529) record. His teams never finished higher than third place. Did he know the type of talent he had would go on to be one of the greatest collections of players ever?
"To be brutally honest, no," said Bristol, who later returned to the club as a coach. "You don't get this many good players together very often. Not many teams take the time to teach them to make sure they know how to play."
Established in 1958, the Reds Hall of Fame now has 89 members, including 82 players and five managers.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.