The next Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame induction ceremony is getting a little more crowded.
Former Reds closer (and sometimes starter) Danny Graves and executive Gabe Paul will be part of the Hall of Fame's inauguration class of 2023, the Reds announced Nov. 29. They'll join pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who was announced as as the class's first inductee in October, in the honor in July. According to the Reds, Graves and Paul were selected by the Hall’s veterans committee, while Arroyo was selected by fans, Reds alumni and media.
“I’d like to thank the Veterans Committee for its conscientious review of all the candidates that were part of the Veterans Ballot,” Rick Walls, executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a release. “The committee delivered two individuals, in Danny Graves and Gabe Paul, whose achievements and contributions to Reds history will now be etched in bronze when they are inducted into the Hall of Fame next summer.”
Danny GravesGraves was traded to the Reds in July 1997, where he would spend the most productive years of his career. The following season, Graves began making his mark, nabbing eight saves and a 3.32 ERA. That was a taste of what was to come, as Graves became the Reds' all-time career saves leader with 182. During his five full seasons as the team's closer, Graves led the squad in saves, one of only six Cincinnati pitchers to do so over four or more consecutive seasons. In 2004, he earned 41 saves, the third-most a Reds pitcher has seen over a single season.
Over his career, Graves was in MLB's top-10 for saves four times. In 2003, Graves became a starter for one season before returning as the dominant closer he'd become. He earned MLB All-Star honors in 2000 and 2004. In addition to his pitching prowess, Graves also drew notoriety behind the plate. Coming up during an era in which National League pitchers batted for themselves, Graves knocked homers in 2000 and 2001. He played for the Reds until he was traded in 2005.
Gabe PaulPaul became the Reds' traveling secretary in 1937 and general manager in 1951. Under Paul, the Reds transformed from a losing operation to one of sluggers and more diversity. Puerto Rican outfielder Nino Escalera and utility man Chuck Harmon made their debuts under Paul's watch as the first players of African descent to play for the team in 1954. Paul also brought legendary slugger Frank Robinson into the fold. Robinson, the 1956 Rookie of the Year, helped propel Cincinnati to a National League pennant in 1961 while becoming the league's MVP on the way to an outstanding player/manager career and enshrinement in Cooperstown.
The Executive of the Year, according to The Sporting News, Paul continued mining for talent, recruiting and developing a pipeline of players from Cuba. Paul, who left the team after the 1960 season, helped establish the Reds Hall of Fame. He died in 1998.
Arroyo, Graves and Paul will be honored during Reds Hall of Fame activities July 15-16. Tickets to the induction gala will become available later.
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