Edd Roush is considered by many the first superstar in Reds history and one of the last stars of the Dead Ball era. He was a young, promising outfielder for the New York Giants that came to the Cincinnati Reds via a trade in 1916. The trade involved Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson and is known as one of the most lopsided trades in that era.
Mathewson was nearing the end of his career and was brought in to manage the Reds. He had seen Roush's potential in New York and immediately gave him the center field position. Roush would go on to man the position for over a decade and hit over .300 for 11 straight seasons while finishing with a .323 lifetime average and over 2300 hits.
He would play for the Reds from 1916 to 1926 and then returned for one final season in 1931. He followed his first batting championship in 1917 (.341) with his second in 1919 by hitting .321, as the Reds made it to their first World Series. His accomplishments would later be overshadowed by the revelation that players from the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to throw the Series to the Reds.
He was known as a difficult person to negotiate with and he would often hold out during Spring Training. Eventually the team grew tired of this and signed him to a three year deal. This was one of the first multi-year deals ever and they hoped to avoid the annual ritual.
Finally they traded him back to the Giants after the 1926 season. He would sit out the entire 1930 season after being asked to take a pay cut for hitting .324 in 1929. He returned to the Reds for a final season in 1931 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1962. He would pass away at 94 in 1988 in Bradenton Florida.