The 'Mayor of Riverfront' was never booed in his own stadium, even when the other members of the Big Red Machine - Morgan, Bench and Rose - were.
- Authors Lonnie Wheeler and John Baskin
One of the most popular players in Reds history, Tony "Doggie" Perez also enjoys the distinction of being one of only two players to win three World Championships while in a Reds uniform (Ken Griffey, Sr. is the other). A mainstay of the World Champion Big Red Machine clubs of 1975 and 1976, Perez served as the first base coach for the upstart 1990 team that stunned the baseball world with its four-game sweep of the heavily favored Oakland Athletics in the World Series.
Signed by the Reds out of Cuba in 1960, Perez reached the Major Leagues four years later. His breakthrough year came in 1967 when Perez became the club's starting third baseman and enjoyed the first of his seven career 100-RBI seasons. Perez's ability to drive in runs came to define his career. He averaged over 100 RBI per season from 1970 - 1976 achieving a career high with 129 for the 1970 Reds team that won the National League pennant.
Perez moved to first base in 1972 and by 1975 had emerged as the anchor of one of the most dominant teams in baseball history. The Reds of the 1970s won more games in the decade than any team in baseball. Their decade of dominance culminated in the back-to-back 1975 and 1976 championship seasons.
A desire to give more playing time to a young Dan Driessen coupled with a need to add more pitching resulted in the trade of Perez to Montreal in the winter of 1976. While statistically, the Reds did not suffer as a result of the trade, the loss of the club's emotional leader proved to be much greater than club management ever imagined. The Big Red Machine gradually split apart and it would be fourteen years before another Reds team would reach the World Series. When it did, it came as no surprise that Tony Perez played a part; albeit from the other side of the foul line.
Perez was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1998 and became a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. His uniform No. 24 is one of only nine uniform numbers retired by the Reds.