September 15, 1885: Rookie Cincinnati Red Stockings pitcher George Pechiney defeats the Baltimore Orioles, 1-0, in Baltimore. Pechiney joined the Red Stockings in August after pitching in the minors and started 11 games down the stretch. He went 7-4 with a 2.02 ERA (161 ERA+) during the last few weeks of the season. The 1885 Red Stockings finished in second place to the St. Louis Browns. The Red Stockings were 63-49, 16 games behind the Browns.
Pechiney didn’t fare as well in 1886. He started 40 games and pitched 330 innings, finishing the season 15-21 with a 4.14 ERA (85 ERA+). The nadir of his season came on April 27 when the Browns beat him 20-2 with Pechiney going the distance. He allowed 15 earned runs and 24 hits. At year’s end his contract was sold to the Cleveland Blues. In 1887 (his final season) he went 1-9 with a 7.12 ERA (61 ERA+).
The 1885 Red Stockings team was built on offense. Managed by local sportswriter Ollie Caylor (see, sportswriters can manage a team…), the offense was led by local superstar Charley Jones (fascinating biography found here…), Jones was fifth in the league in OPS and batted .322 (157 OPS+). The Red Stockings boasted one of the best infields in Cincinnati history in first baseman John Reilly ( career 128 OPS+), Hall of Fame second baseman Bid McPhee (career OPS+ 106), third baseman Hick Carpenter (OPS+ 86) and slugging shortstop Frank Fennelly (OPS+ of 118). Fennelly had a huge 1885, batting .273 with 10 homers (41 extra base hits) and 89 rbi in just 112 games (OPS+ 142).
The 1886 Red Stockings declined and were the worst Cincinnati team of their American Association era, finishing in fifth place (65-73) the only sub-.500 team of the 1880′s.
September 15, 1887: The Cincinnati Red Stockings defeat two different teams on the same day. In the morning, they defeat The New York Metropolitans, 4-0, on Staten Island, and then travel to Brooklyn to beat the Brooklyn Grays that afternoon, 11-1.
The 1887 Red Stockings finished second with an 81-54 record, 14 games behind the St. Louis Browns. The 1887 Red Stockings featured duel 30-game winners in Mike Smith (34-17, 2.94 ERA, 148 ERA+) and Tony Mullane (31-17, 3.24 ERA, 134 ERA+). (You can read more about Smith and Mullane here). John Reilly was the hitting star, batting .309 with 96 rbi in 134 games.
September 15, 1950: The pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies sweep a doubleheader from the Reds. The Reds lose the first game, 2-1, and then go 19 innings before losing the nightcap, 8-7.
The Phillies first game runs scored on a double play ground out and a home run by catcher Andy Seminick, giving them a 2-0 lead after four innings. The Reds’ only run came in the sixth inning when Virgil Stallcup doubled home Lloyd Merriman. Knuckleballer Willie Ramsdell went the distance in the loss.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: Lots of Innings, Strikeouts, Home Runs, and Excellent Relief
September 2…the baseball gods have been busy in Cincinnati…
September 2, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings exacted some revenge on the Brooklyn Atlantics by defeating them, 14-3, in Cincinnati. The Atlantics had broken the Red Stockings 81 game winning streak back on June 14, 1870, in 11 innings. The loss led to cracks in the Red Stocking support system that ultimately led to the end of the professional franchise at the end of the 1870 season.
There was some additional drama to the game, having to do with player behavior. Red Stockings second baseman Charlie Sweasy had gotten into some trouble on August 29 and had been expelled from the Red Stockings baseball club due to “disgraceful” conduct on a steamboat. Sweasy was the Red Stockings’ best home run hitter in 1870, totaling 18, including a grand slam home run to win a game against Portsmouth in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game, 29-27. Sweasy’s expulsion come as a result of some actions on a steamboat called the “Fleetwood” on the way home from Portsmouth following a game on August 26. From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:
“According to the captain of the boat, two or three members of the team, including Sweasy, were drunk and began fighting at the breakfast table. Calling his behavior “disgraceful,” the club expelled the second baseman on August 29, but took no action against the other players. The club hinted at more suspensions, however, saying it intended to “purge the nine of all intemperate, insubordinate, and disorderly members.” Despite the firm stance, the club reinstated a sorrowful and repentant Sweasy the next day, on the eve of a match against the visiting Atlantics.”
No doubt, the nature of the opponent and Sweasy’s ability had something to do with the forgiveness. The fans apparently gave Sweasy polite applause as he took his place on the field and he “repeatedly touched his cap in grateful acknowledgment.” He proceeded to hit a home run and score three runs in the game.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: Disgrace, 1-Hitters, a First Pitch Homer, Voodoo, and a Dismayed City Council
July 18, 1950: Virgil Stallcup’s home run is one of only two Reds hits, but proves to be enough in a Reds 1-0 win over the New York Giants at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field.
Stallcup’s home run came in the third inning off Giants pitcher Monte Kennedy. Ted Kluszewski had the other Reds hit, [...]
July 6, 1949: Reds catcher Walker Cooper has the best game at the plate of any Red in history. In a 23-4 route of the Chicago Cubs, Walker goes 6-6, with three home runs, five runs, 10 rbi, and 15 total bases. The 10 rbi and 15 total bases have been Reds single game records for 60 years. The only other players in major league history to have six hits and three homers in a game are Ty Cobb in 1925, Jimmie Foxx in 1932, and Edgardo Alfonso in 1999 (per “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder, published in 2000). Walker’s hits, runs, and homers totals all tied other Reds single game records.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: The Best Day at the Plate
My favorite sort of question was posed in last night’s game thread:
“What is the worst offense in Reds history? Is the 2009 team coming close?” Let’s take a look.
First, since 1980 the current seasons looks to be the worst. The only season close is 1982. Here are RC/G compared to league average
Part three of early July history…this will get the Reds up through July 10th….thanks again to the books “Day by Day in Reds History” by Floyd Conner and John Snyder and “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder.
July 6…1883….The Reds crush Baltimore, 23-0 as Will White hurls a four-hitter. White goes 43-22 with a 2.09 ERA, including six shutouts, 577 innings, and 64 complete games in 64 starts.
Continue reading More July History