The team was kicked out of the National League in 1880 because of beer sales, and other problems. In 1881, the American Association was formed with Cincinnati as one of its teams.
In 1890, the team was allowed back into the National League and became the Cincinnati Reds. These are the players who have hit the most home runs in a season while playing for the Cincinnati Reds.
Cincinnati Reds players who hit the most home runs in a season
1. George Foster (1977) - 52
George Foster hit the most home runs in a season for the Cincinnati Reds when he hit 52 home runs in 1977. The 52 home runs led the league in 1977, and George Foster also led the league in runs (124) and RBIs (149). Foster was the MVP that season.
Was Tony Perez a better baseball player than George Foster? Certainly not at their peaks, but Perez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, while George Foster never got more than 6.9% of the Hall of Fame vote.
Tony Perez is in Cooperstown because he played five more seasons than George Foster did. The Hall of Fame rewards players who compile stats over players who showed much greater brilliance in their careers.
2. Ted Kluszewski (1954) - 49
Ted Kluszewski hit 49 home runs for the Reds in 1954, the second most home runs ever for a Cincinnati player in a season. Kluszewski led the league that season in home runs, as well as in RBIs (141). He finished second in the MVP voting to Willie Mays.
3. Ted Kluszewski (1955) - 47
Ted Kluszweski also hit the third most home runs in a season for the Reds with 47 in 1955. From 1953 through 1956, Ted Kluszewski hit 171 home runs for the Cincinnati Reds. So he averaged 43 home runs a season over the four years.
4. Adam Dunn (2004) - 46
Adam Dunn, known affectionately as Big Donkey, hit 47 home runs for the Cincinnati Reds during the 2004 season. Dunn hit 270 home runs for the Reds over eight seasons, an average of 34 home runs a year.
T-5. Johnny Bench (1970) - 45
The great Johnny Bench smashed 45 home runs in 1970 for the Cincinnati Reds. The 45 home runs led the league, as did Bench's 148 RBIs. He was the NL MVP in 1970.
T-5. Greg Vaughn (1999) - 45
Greg Vaughn hit 45 home runs in 1999, the only season he played for the Cincinnati Reds. Vaughn hit 355 career home runs.
T-7. Adam Dunn (2005-2007) - 40
Adam Dunn hit 40 home runs for the Reds for three straight seasons from 2005 to 2007. Dunn has over 400 career home runs at age 33. If he can stay healthy, he will hit at least 500 career home runs.
T-7. Ken Griffey, Jr. (2000) - 40
Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 40 home runs during his first season with the Reds in 2000. After the 2000 season, Ken Griffey had 457 career home runs at age 30. Most people thought he would break the all-time home run record, but Griffey only hit 173 more home runs, as injuries decimated his career.
Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 630 career home runs.
T-7. George Foster (1978) - 40
One year after hitting 52 home runs, George Foster came back in 1978 and hit 40 more home runs. That led the league, so Foster led the NL in home runs in consecutive seasons.
T-7. Johnny Bench (1972) - 40
Bench's 40 home runs led the league in 1972, giving him his second and last home run crown.
T-7. Tony Perez (1970) - 40
Tony Perez hit 379 career home runs, including 40 in 1970.
T-7. Wally Post (1955) - 40
Wally Post had the best season of his career in 1955 for the Reds, when he hit 40 home runs, and also had 109 RBIs, and 116 runs scored.
T-7. Ted Kluszewski - 40
Ted Kluszewski hit 279 career home runs, with 171 of them coming for the Reds over four seasons from 1953-1956. Injuries decimated Kluszweski's career after 1953.