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Bench, Morgan among early Reds Franchise Four leaders

There aren't many teams with a more impressive honor roll than the Cincinnati Reds.

Major League Baseball's Franchise Four contest has turned up some impressive quartets, and the Reds can hang with any of them. Cincinnati can muster three Hall of Famers and the all-time hit king among its four most representative players, and there are other Cooperstown immortals waiting in the wings.

Fans can still have their final say, but the first update shows Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin among the Reds' Franchise Four. The fourth player in the bunch, Pete Rose, lashed an MLB-record 4,256 hits and was an All-Star 13 times in his 19 seasons with the Reds.

Bench (catcher) and Morgan (second base), considered among the best players to ever play their respective positions, have a few Hall of Fame peers among the honorable mentions. Frank Robinson, the only player to be named Most Valuable Player in both leagues, is on the Reds' list, as is Hall of Fame first baseman Tony Perez. Eric Davis and Dave Concepcion are among the other Cincinnati standouts vying for consideration.

More than 11.8 million votes have been cast in the Franchise Four voting, and you can cast your ballot here. Voting ends on May 8, and winners from all 30 clubs will be announced at the 2015 All-Star Game, which will take place on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for
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