Mario Soto

The hard-throwing Soto started making his mark as the Reds’ outstanding pitcher in 1980, working short relief, long relief, and starting. From 1981 to 1985, Soto had more strikeouts than any major league pitcher, including a club-record 274 in 1982. He received the Buck Canel Award as the outstanding Latin-American in the majors in 1983 and started that year’s All-Star Game. He led the NL in complete games in 1983 and 1984, was Cincinnati’s MVP in 1982 and 1983, tied a club record by starting on Opening Day five straight years (1982-86), and set a club record with four Opening Day wins in Cincinnati. Soto developed severe shoulder trouble in 1986. He worked hard to make Cincinnati’s 1988 squad and even started the Reds’ home opener, but he was ineffective and was released before the All-Star break. Soto ended his Cincinnati career second on the club’s all-time strikeout list. A comeback attempt with the Dodgers later that season failed amidst more injuries.