When Soto gets on the mound, he also has the best combination of fastball and change-up in the game today. He is no bully who pushes people around but an artist who uses the baseball as deftly as if he had a paintbrush in his right hand.
- Sportswriter Murray Chass
Born in the Dominican Republic, Mario Soto debuted in the Majors with the Reds in 1977. Within a few years, he would develop into one of the best pitchers in baseball. He appeared in three All-Star games, but his pitching prowess was not as recognized as it should have been due to the poor Reds teams that took the field during his prime.
From 1980-1985, Soto struck out more batters than any other pitcher in baseball and he relied on an above average fastball and tremendous change-up to send batters back to the dugout. In 1982, Soto set a Reds single-season record by striking out 274 opposing batters (Steve Carlton led the league that year with 286), and he ranks number two all-time in Reds history with 1,449 strikeouts (only Jim Maloney has more). In 1984, Soto came within one strike of a no-hitter before giving up a home run to St. Louis' George Hendrick. That same year, he tied a Reds record by striking out four Cubs in one inning.
Soto was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2001.