David Ismael Concepcíon Benitez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
- Debut April 6, 1970
- Final Game September 15, 1988
- Born June 17, 1948 in Ocumare de la Costa, Aragua, Venezuela
Davey Concepcíon was considered by many to be the best shortstop of the 1970s. He spent his entire 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds. A key part of the Big Red Machine teams, he won five Gold Gloves, was named to nine All-Star teams, and was a member of the 1975 and 1976 World Series champions.
Concepcion in his tenure with the Reds outlasted all of the other regular position players from the Big Red Machine, so in the second half of his career he was often the # 3 hitter in the batting order on teams that lacked the power of the earlier teams. While he hit 101 home runs in his career, mostly he had doubles power, with 389 lifetime. In the strike-shortened 1981 season, he was fourth in the MVP voting, finishing in the top five in the league in both doubles and in RBI. While his hitting prowess really developed over the second half of his career, he was always an outstanding fielder, with excellent range. He was noted for developing a style of throwing to first base from deep in the hole in which he would bounce the ball on its way to the first baseman when playing on artificial turf.
In Hall of Fame voting, Concepcion regularly received 10-15% of the vote, with his highest total being 17%. He received 16.2% in 2008, which was his last year on the BBWAA ballot. In his first year of eligibility with the Veterans Committee, in a vote for players and executives from the expansion era (post-1973), he received more votes than any other player, but still finished third on the ballot, behind executives Pat Gillick (who was elected) and Marvin Miller (who was not). He received 8 votes, with 12 needed for election. Three of the ten most similar players to him, according to the similarity scores method and as of 2010, are Hall of Fame shortstops: Bobby Wallace, Pee Wee Reese and Luis Aparicio. He was part of the inaugural class of inductees in the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Barry Larkin's career overlapped slightly with that of Concepcion, so Reds fans had a great shortstop for virtually all the time from 1970-2004, except when one of them was injured. Concepcion ended up with 2,178 games at shortstop, while Larkin ended up with 2,085.
His son, Dave Concepcion, Jr. played in the Reds organization in 1995 and 1996.
- 9-time NL All-Star (1973 & 1975-1982)
- 1982 All-Star Game MVP
- 5-time NL Gold Glove Winner (1974-1977 & 1979)
- 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1981 & 1982)
- Won two World Series with the Cincinnati Reds (1975 & 1976)
- Dave Concepcíon (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget," Baseball Digest, December 1987, pp. 84-86.