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This Day in Reds History: Dramatic Wins

September 21, 1889: Four ninth inning errors by the St. Louis Browns allow the Cincinnati Red Stockings to score four runs and win the game, 5-4.

Keep in mind, it was not uncommon for teams to make lots of errors in games back in 1889. In fact, the average team would make about four fielding errors per game. However, four in one inning was excessive even at that time.

The 1889 American Association Red Stockings would finish the season 76-63 in fourth place, 18 games behind the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. The Red Stockings’ best player of the year was 29-year-old rookie pitcher, Jesse Duryea who went 32-19 with a 2.56 ERA (155 ERA+). 22-year-old Lee Viau finished the year 22-20 with a 3.79 ERA. The leading hitter was 23-year-old rookie outfielder Bug Holliday, who batted .321 and led the AA with 19 home runs to go with 104 rbi.

September 21, 1955: Gus Bell goes 4-4 including a double, a grand slam home run, and eight rbi to lead the Cincinnati Redlegs to a 14-5 win over the Milwaukee Braves.

Bell’s grand slam came in the bottom of the first inning with one out and the Reds never looked back. Teammate Ted Kluszewski also had four hits on the day including a home run. Pitcher Johnny Klippstein went the distance to get the win.

The 1955 Redlegs finished the year in fifth place at 75-79. Kluszewski hit .314 with 47 homers and 113 rbi and Wally Post also contributed 40 home runs, all the while batting .309 with 109 rbi. Catcher Smoky Burgess hit .306 with 20 home runs. The Redlegs’ best starting pitcher was Joe Nuxhall while reliever Hersh Freeman was 7-4 with 11 saves and a 2.16 ERA.

September 21, 1957: Redlegs shortstop Roy McMillan hit his only home run of the year in the bottom of the 10th inning with Don Hoak aboard to give the Redlegs 9-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Redlegs had taken an early 4-0 lead when Frank Robinson hit a solo home run in the first inning and Hoak hit a three-run shot in the second. The Cardinals battled back, scoring five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 7-5 lead in the middle of the eighth inning. The Redlegs pulled within one in the bottom of the eighth inning on an Ed Bailey double and then tied pinch hitter deluxe Jerry Lynch tied it in the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-out pinch home run to send the game into extra innings.

The Cardinals took an 8-7 lead in the top of the tenth inning when Del Ennis drove in a run on a sacrifice fly setting the stage for McMillan’s heroics. Cardinals reliever Herm Wehmeier, the eighth Cardinal pitcher of the day, retired the first two batters before walking Hoak. McMillan, known for his Gold Glove defense at shortstop, then connected for his only home run of the year to give the Redlegs the win.

The 1957 Redlegs finished the year 80-74, in fourth place, 15 games behind the eventual World Champion Milwaukee Braves. Robinson was the best hitter, batting .322 with 29 homers, 75 rbi (135 OPS+). First baseman George Crowe had a career year, batting .271 with 31 homers and 92 rbi. Redleg catchers Bailey and Smoky Burgess teamed to form a phenomenal tandem. Bailey batted .261 with 20 homers in 122 games (119 OPS+) and Burgess batted .283 with 14 homers in 90 games (137 OPS+). Brooks Lawrence was the Redlegs best pitcher (16-13, 3.52 ERA, 116 ERA+), but the rest of the Redleg staff performed below average for the season. The Redlegs averaged giving up 5.1 runs per game, one-half run more than any other team in the league.

September 21, 1964: In one of the most ill-advised plays in Reds history, Chico Ruiz steals home with Frank Robinson at the plate in the sixth inning of a 0-0 tie to score the only run of the game in a Reds 1-0 win over the league leading Philadelphia Phillies. The win pulled the second place Reds to within 5 1/2 games of the Phillies in the championship race.

With one out in the sixth inning, rookie Ruiz singled and went to third on Vada Pinson’s single to right field with Pinson making the second out of the inning trying to reach second base on the play. Reds star slugger Robinson was at the plate when Ruiz raced home with the only run of the game. The steal attempt surprised everyone and startled Phillies starting pitcher Art Mahaffey into making a wild throw home in an attempt to stop Ruiz. The one run was enough for Reds starter John Tsitouris who pitched a six-hitter to record the win.

Ruiz was a career .240 hitter who stole a total of 11 bases in 1964 (he stole 34 in his eight year career). “The Legend of Chico Ruiz” is told as just another reason why the Phillies suffered for so long at baseball. A novel, (called “’64 Intruder,” by Gregory T. Glading) has been written explaining how Philadelphia history would have changed if Ruiz had been called out at home.

The 1964 Reds did overtake the Phillies, but did not win the pennant as the St. Louis Cardinals were also involved in one of the most exciting pennant races in history. The Reds finished tied for second at 92-70, one game behind the Cardinals.

September 21, 1973: Reds Hall of Fame first baseman Tony Perez goes 5-5, including a three-run 10th inning home run to lead the Reds past the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-1, in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers scored their only run in the second inning on a Von Joshua double, and the score remained 1-0 until George Foster tied it in the top of the ninth inning with a lead-off home run off Dodgers starter Claude Osteen. The Reds scored the winning runs in the 10th when pinch hitter Phil Gagliano led off with a bunt single. One-out later, Joe Morgan singled to center field and Perez followed with his home run to give the Reds a 4-1 lead.

The Dodgers threatened in the bottom of the inning when their first two hitters reached base off with a single and a walk off Reds closer Clay Carroll. Reds starting pitcher Ross Grimsley was called to make one of his only two relief appearances of the year to retire Steve Garvey and and Willie Davis. Pedro Borbon was called to retire Joe Ferguson for the final out of the game.

The win gave the 1973 Reds a 5 1/2 game lead over the Dodgers. They eventually won the National League Western Division by 3 1/2 games before losing to the New York Mets in the League Championship Series. For the season, Perez batted .314 with 27 homers and 101 rbi with a .919 OPS (159 OPS+). Morgan batted .290 with 26 homers, 82 rbi, a .406 OBP, and an OPS of .899 (154 OPS+). MVP Pete Rose batted .338 with a .401 OBP (138 OPS+). Youngster Foster, who hit the game tying home run, batted .282 with four homers in 17 games during a September call-up. Borbon had an outstanding year in relief, finishing the year 11-4 with a 2.16 ERA and 14 saves in 121 innings of relief (ERA+ 159). The starting staff was led by Jack Billingham (19-10, 3.04 ERA, 16 complete games and 7 shutouts).

September 21, 1976: The Reds clinch the National League Western Division title with a 9-1 victory over the San Diego Padres. Reds rookie starter Pat Zachry went the distance allowing no unearned runs. Zachry finished his rookie season 14-7 with a 2.74 ERA and was named Rookie of the Year. George Foster was the hitting star in this game, collecting three hits including a double and a triple.

The 1976 Reds finished the season 102-60 and then swept the Philadelphia Phillies in the League Championship Series and the New York Yankees in the World Series. For the year, Foster hit .306 with 29 home runs, 121 rbi, an .894 OPS (150 OPS+). Second baseman Joe Morgan was MVP and had an incredible season batting .320 with 27 homers, 111 rbi, 60 steals, a .444 OBP, a 1.020 OPS (186 OPS+). Pete Rose batted .323 with 58 extra base hits, an OBP of .404 (OPS+ of 141), and Ken Griffey, Sr., batted .336 with 34 steals, an OBP of .401 (OPS+ 140).

September 21, 1998: Tony Tarasco hits his only home run as a Red, a seventh inning grand slam, to give the Reds an 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tarasco played only 15 games with the Reds in an eight year major league career. His grand slam came after the Reds had loaded the bases without a hit (a hit batsman, a walk, and a fielder’s choice bunt) off Phillies starter Mark Leiter. Tarasco batted .208 in 28 plate appearances. These were also his only four rbi as a Reds. For his career, Tarasco batted .240 with 34 home runs.

The 1998 Reds finished the year 77-85 in fourth place in the National League Central Division, 25 games behind the Houston Astros. The 1998 Reds were led by shortstop Barry Larkin who hit .309 with 61 extra base hits, 26 steals and a .901 OPS (134 OPS+).

September 21, 2009: Baseball-reference.com’s bullpen section:

21-year-old Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who pitched in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and is said to possess a 100 mph fastball, has established residence in the tiny European principality of Andorra after defecting in July. This allows him to bypass the amateur draft and offer his services to all major league teams as a free agent. Bidding is expected to be fierce.

As we all know, Chapman signed with the Reds and made his major league debut late in 2010. Through his first 10 games, he’s pitched 8 innings from the bullpen and is 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA, having struck out 11 thus far. His fast ball has been clocked as fast as 103 mph, faster than the 100 estimated a year ago.

20 thoughts on “This Day in Reds History: Dramatic Wins

  1. Thanks for the summaries, Hal Bevan, Hank Foiles and Sheldon Burnside truly appreciate them

  2. I have to admit…one of the fun things about this is seeing what “mix” of players pop up for the tags each time….a true cross reference of Reds history.

  3. I’m such a fan of these posts. What are your sources for these, Steve ? I know there’s one book you mention often but it seems like you draw from numerous sources. I’m mainly interested in whatever books you use.

    Recently the posts have just been packed. One of my favorite (yet most painful) memories in Reds history is the 1964 pennant race, I’ve been able to relive that day by day thru your posts.

    And there’s been a post every day on the mid-50’s Reds, which is when excitement returned to Reds baseball and when I, a kid in Connecticut who hated the Yankees, became a Reds fan.

    Today you mention Gus Bell’s big day in 1955. People who know the ’61 Reds team think of him, along with Wally Post, as a slow-footed platoon guy. When he was young, he was an excellent CFer and all around player. We stole him from the Pirates after the 1952 season, one of the best trades in Reds history.

    The mix of player names showing up is definitely a big part of the fun. Taking today’s 1957 entry as an example: Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Frank Robinson, Jerry Lynch, George Crowe, Brooks Lawrence. Legends, one and all.

  4. The 1964 NL pennant race was definitely one of the most exciting in baseball history. I mentioned this the other day, but for those who missed it, I strongly recommend David Halberstam’s book, 1964.

    His 1949 is an even better book, but somewhat off topic.

  5. It would be hard to write anything about Hal Bevan. He never played a regular season game with the Reds. Now if you can find some stories on Dave Skaugstad, Ted Wieand, and perhaps John Oldham…now that is obscurity.

  6. As a kid, I liked Pete Whisenant. Mainly because he had a cool baseball card.

  7. Hal Bevan did play for the Reds…1961, three games, 0-3, and played two innings at third base:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bevanha01.shtml

    Bevan was acquired in trade with the Kansas City A’s in 1955 for Ray Noble and then Bevan played in the minors for six years.

    Dom Zanni hasn’t come up with one yet that didn’t play….Dom Zanni himself:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zannido01.shtml

    And it is hard to get more obscure in Reds history than to bring up John Oldham who only pinch ran in one game:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oldhajo01.shtml

    But…..if you really want obscure…check out the 1880-90 Reds items at baseball-reference.com…..the nicknames are the best.

  8. Didn’t meant to exclude Skaugstad, but I’ve already written about him:

    https://redlegnation.com/2010/03/04/prospects-or-suspects/

    actually twice:

    https://redlegnation.com/2010/08/12/this-day-in-reds-history-art-shamskys-day-of-fame/#more-15950

    Ted Wieand….too many vowels…I mentioned his six innings of major league work here:

    https://redlegnation.com/2009/07/22/redleg-trade-review-curt-flood-and-the-lost-pennant/

    Not a lot of info, but not forgotten

  9. Pinson,

    I have a virtual library (online and in print) that I can reference. “Redleg Journal” is my favorite and is well-written, but is a bit hard to find I believe these days.

    Tonight, I’ll try to post some book titles for you….won’t be all because sometimes when I’m researching I find others…

  10. Among the 1957 legends mentioned above, I should have included Ed Bailey and Smokey Burgess.

  11. steve here are some of my favorites

    Mike dela Hoz had one at bat as a red and of course he whiffed
    Jim Dickson and Steve Cooke were undefeated as Reds
    Remember slugger Arturo de Frietas, second baseman Jake Wood
    and of course Jay Ward and Mike Grace (not Mark Grace)
    How about in the game that Mark Whiten hit four homers one was off the great Chris Bushing.
    Thanks for mentioning these players, I used to do that at Redszone tilll they threw me off the site for too many arcane references,
    Bob Schmidt, Bobby Locke Bill Short and ex Mets Dennis Ribant, Al Jackson, and Jack Fisher say hello

  12. Ted Weiant and Marty Kutyna were obtained in the great Curt Fllod swindle that rivalled giving up Mike Cuellar, Mike Caldwell and keeping Howie Nunn instead of Claude Osteen

  13. Dom,

    You’re talking to a guy who once actually called Strat-0-Matic and asked them to produce a game that would include only the worst teams of all time.

    I used to keep Steve Blass on a roster the year he blew up as a pitcher because as a batter that year he hit .474 in 29 plate appearances. Even in a replay league where you were limited in how many plate appearances based on actual performances, I could pick 29 spots to bat.

    You are mistaken on the Whiten homer story…the one home run Bushing allowed in his career came in the first inning of the first game he ever pitched and it was to Darren Daulton:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN199309030.shtml

    Whiten’s game was 9-7-93 in the second game of a doubleheader….the Reds won the first game 14-13 with the Cardinals winning the second game 15-2 behind Whiten’s four homers (I aimed to write about this game and I overlooked it that day…sorry)…..Whiten’s home runs were hit off Larry Luebbers, Rob Dibble….and the obscure name you’re looking for….two off Mike Anderson, who pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, two walks, seven runs (all earned), two home runs (to Whiten) and struck out two. Anderson pitched three games in his career, allowing 12 hits and 11 runs (three homers) in 5 1/3 innigns.

    Bushing did pitch in the game, 1/3 inning, striking out the one batter he faced:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN199309072.shtml

    Reds had some kind of lineup that game in a year decimated by injuries:

    Thomas Howard LF
    Jacob Brumfield CF
    Hal Morris 1b
    Chris Sabo 3b
    Tim Costo RF
    Juan Samuel 2b
    Dan Wilson C
    Jeff Branson ss
    Larry Luebbers P

  14. Thanks I love this stuff I made a bad error, of course the great Tim Costo for Reggie Jefferson trade is classic
    Jacob Brumfeld reminds me of another ex pirate Steve Pegues
    Jeff Branson a wasted number one pick played on Olympic team
    Here a few good ones for you
    Bobby Locke, Bill Short, Hank Fischer(winless as a red) and Gino Minutelli

  15. Yo!!! I thought the only readers of ’64 Intruder are old timers telling stories to young people who don’t give a bleep at South Philly taverns. Hey, a great South Philly classic not too read anywhere else. Not many Philly Phans remember or want to remember 1964 and Chico Ruiz, not when you’re about to win a third straight pennant. ’64 Intruder don’t paint a pretty picture of what would’a happened had Chico Ruiz got caught. That and a Brazilan singer named Ana Volans has a hit in her country with Dick Allen’s doo wop song. What’s gonna happen next?

  16. Pingback: This Day in Reds History: The Cream Rises, Missed Opportunities, and more Chico Surprises | Redleg Nation

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