January 7, 1971: Bobby Tolan undergoes surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Tolan suffered the injury while playing basketball in Frankfort, KY with the Reds off-season roundball team. Tolan appeared to be on the road to revovery before he re-injured the tendon running in the Dodger stadium outfield on May 7, and missed the entire ’71 season due to the injury. It also spelled the end of the basketball team, as the front office ordered that it be disbanded.
All “Reds trivia” posts come from Greg Rhodes and John Snyder’s fabulous book, “Redleg Journal” (see link for purchasing) and are used with Greg’s permission.
Thanks again to Greg Rhodes for permission to use his material.
Comment: The Reds suffered through their worst (by far) year of the decade in ’71. One has to wonder if Bob Howsam realized by losing Tolan how important speed and defense was to the Reds (especially in their new ballpark), which precipitated the big trade with Houston following the ’71 season. I wonder if Tolan had not gotten hurt if the trade would have been made?