October 9, 1876: The first National League Cincinnati Reds team finished the worst season in Reds history with an 11-0 lost to the Hartford Dark Blues. The Reds, or Porkopolitans as they were sometimes called, went 9-56, a .138 won-loss percentage, and finished 42 1/2 games behind the first place Chicago White Stockings.
The first Reds team had a genuine superstar, Charley Jones, who batted .286 with a .724 OPS (154 OPS+) and was second in the league with four home runs. Those were the only home runs the Reds hit all season. Jones was the only Red to have a slugging percentage over .279. Over the next decade, Jones became one of baseball’s best known and very best players with several teams signing him to contracts, but that’s another story. The Reds most common pitcher (carefully chose the word “common”) was Dory Dean who finished the season 4-26 with a 3.73 ERA (ERA+ 59). He led the team in games pitched and innings pitched despite missing the first two months of the season. His .133 winning percentage is the worst ever by a one-year pitcher with a minimum of 20 decisions.
At least the Reds finished the season. The New York Mutuals and the Philadelphia Athletics quit the season with two weeks to go and found their teams expelled from the National League. The nation’s two largest cities did not have major league baseball teams for at least the next five seasons. Philadelphia did not get another major league baseball team until 1882 when the American Association granted them a franchise. The National League granted a franchise to Philadelphia in 1883 in response to the AA move. The National League and American Association both granted New York franchises for the 1883 league seasons.
October 9, 1898: The Reds’ Dusty Miller collects eight hits in a Reds doubleheader with the Cleveland Spiders. The Reds won the first game, 12-5, but the second game resulted a 6-6 tie with the game called after seven innings due to darkness.
In the first game, Miller was 5-5 with five singles against Hall of Famer Cy Young. In the second game, he had a single, a double, and a triple. For the season, Miller batted .299 and led the Reds with 99 runs scored and 90 rbi. Miller played seven major league seasons, five with the Reds. His best Reds season was 1895, when he batted .335 with 10 homers, 112 rbi, 103 runs scored, 31 doubles, 16 triples and an .888 OPS (124 OPS+). The best hitter for the 1898 Reds was Mike Smith, a former 34-game winning pitcher for the Red Stockings in 1887. Smith batted .342 with an .858 OPS (139 OPS+).
The 1895 Reds had two 20-game winning pitchers. Pink Hawley was 27-11 with a 3.37 ERA (113 ERA+) and lefty Ted Breitenstein was 20-14 with a 3.42 ERA (112 ERA+). Oh, Pink was not a nickname. Hawley’s given name was Emerson Pink Hawley.
The 1989 Reds finished the year in third place with a 92-60 record, 17 games behind the Boston Beaneaters. The .605 winning team nearly equaled Reds Hall of Fame manager Buck Ewing’s best team. In five seasons with the Reds, Ewing never had a losing season, finishing 394-297.
October 9, 1904: Reds pitchers Tom Walker and Noodles Hahn both pitch shutouts as the Reds sweep a doubleheader from the St. Louis Cardinals on the last day of the season. The 1904 Reds, managed by Joe Kelley, finish the season 88-65, in third place, 18 games behind the New York Giants. Player-manager Kelley managed the Reds for four consecutive winning season from 1902-1905, with a career record of 275-230.
Twenty-two-year-old rookie Walker had pitched one major league game before joining the Reds in 1904. He finished his rookie season 15-8 with a 2.24 ERA (131 ERA+). Walker only played one other major league season, going 9-7 with a 3.23 ERA (102 ERA+) for the 1905 Reds. Hahn was one of the greatest pitchers in Reds’ history. Hahn finished 1904 with a 16-18 record and a 2.06 ERA (142 ERA+). Hahn had 20 or more games four of the previous five seasons. He finished his career 130-94 with a 2.55 ERA (132 ERA+) over eight seasons.
On this day, Walker pitched pitched a six-hitter in a 3-0 Reds win and Hahn pitched a one-hitter through seven innings before the game was called due to darkness with the Reds winning, 1-0.
The 1904 Reds had an even better pitcher that season, Jack Harper, who was 23-9 with a 2.30 ERA (127 ERA+) in his best season. The Reds hitting was led by Hall of Fame first baseman-manager Kelley, .281 with 21 doubles and 13 triples (121 OPS+) and outfielder Cy Seymour who batted .313 with 26 doubles and 13 triples (134 OPS+).
Oh…and Noodles was a nickname for Hahn (given name Frank George Hahn). Noodles were apparently his favorite meal as a child.
October 9, 1919: The Reds win the World Series!!! The Reds defeat the Chicago White Sox, 10-5, in the eighth and final game of the 1919 Series, five games to three.
White Sox starter Lefty Williams never made it out of the first inning. After an inspiring complete game performance the previous day by fellow-World Series fix-conspirator Eddie Cicotte, Williams only retired the first batter he faced in losing his third game of the Series. With one out, Jake Daubert and Heinie Groh both singled in the top of the first inning for the Reds. Edd Roush doubled to right (conspirator Happy Felsch in right field) to score Daubert, and Pat Duncan followed with a double to left field (conspirator Joe Jackson in left field), scoring both Groh and Roush. Bill James relieved Williams, and one-out and a walk later, Bill Rariden singled to right field to score Duncan, giving the Reds an insurmountable 4-0 lead before the White Sox ever batted.
The Reds added a run in the second on Roush’s second double of the game, a run in the fifth on a Greasy Neale single, and three more in the sixth on a two -run single by Roush and a run-scoring single by Duncan. The Reds added one more insurance run on another run-scoring single by catcher Rariden.
Reds starter Hod Eller had only allowed five hits through seven innings, including a solo home run by Jackson, before the White Sox scored four times in the bottom of the eighth inning on four hits and an error. For the game, Roush was 3-5 with four rbi and a hit batsman. Daubert, Groh, Duncan, Rariden, and Morrie Rath all had two hits.
In any event, the Reds won their first World Series title, only to be tarnished by the Black Sox scandal involving the World Series fix. Red manager Pat Moran won the World Series title in his first year as Reds manager. He had winning seasons in four of his five seasons as Reds manager with an overall record of 425-329. He managed the Reds through the 1923 season before dying of Bright’s disease during spring training in 1924. Chris Jaffe’s book “Evaluating Baseball Managers” is quoted as saying that “Moran, a managerial disciple of Frank Selee, would’ve followed his mentor into Cooperstown had his liver not given out.”
October 9, 1924: Tragedy strikes the Reds for the second time during the 1924 season. After losing manager Pat Moran to alcohol and Bright’s disease in spring training, former MVP and star first baseman Jake Daubert dies due complications following operations for appendicitis and gallstones.
Total Baseballs’ “Baseball: The Graphical Encyclopedia” describes Daubert as baseball’s best first baseman from 1910-20. He was captain of the Reds from 1919-24 (he was captain at the time of his death) and had his best Reds season in 1922, when he batted .336 with 12 homers, 66 rbi, 114 runs scored, 15 doubles, and league leading 22 triples (129 OPS+). He won the NL MVP award with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1913 when he batted a league leading .350 (134 OPS+). He also led the league in batting in 1914 when he hit .329 (138 OPS+). For his career, Daubert batted .303 with 250 doubles, 165 triples and a 117 OPS+).
In his final season, Daubert hit .281 despite being ill and seemingly suffering after effects of an early season beaning.
So, it would have seemed that Daubert would have been the second major leaguer to have died from a major league baseball game related injury (the Indians’ Ray Chapman being the other in 1920). However…from “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:
In the final weeks of the seaon, Daubert went to his home in West Virginia to recuperate from general weariness attributed to his May 28 beaning. But he wanted to play one final game and traveled to Cincinnati for the last homestand. However, his condition worsened and he entered the hospital for emergency surgery on October 2. Initially, his recovery was satisfactory, bu the soon declined and died on October 9. The attending physician declared that the beaning contributed to Daubert’s death. That explanation sufficed for more than three decades until Daubert’s son suffered from the same symptoms. In treating the son, doctors discovered that Jake Daubert had likely died from a hereditary malfunction involving the spleen.
Daubert rarely missed a game. I’ve read where he essentially played himself to death during the 1924 season. He led the league in games played in both 1919 and 1922 with the Reds. He was the leader of the Reds, a quiet guy, who led by example and performance on the field. Yet, he wasn’t afraid to stand up to management. When the Federal League was raiding players from the major leagues in 1914-15, baseball raised the players’ salaries. When the raiding ended and players’ salaries declined, the Dodgers maintained Daubert’s raised salary. When World War I shortened the season in 1918, baseball tried to pro-rate the players’ salaries and Daubert sued and won. The Dodgers traded Daubert to the Reds for his act of disloyalty.
October 9, 1937: The Reds name Bill McKechnie manager of the Reds. Hall of Famer McKechnie will take the Reds, one of the worst teams in baseball in the early 1930’s, to a .500 team in 1938, to the World Series in 1939, seasons and to a World Championship by 1940. In McKechnie’s nine seasons with the Reds, he will have seven winning teams and go 744-631.
October 9, 1961: The New York Yankees win the 1961 World Series in five games, four games to one of over the Reds, with a 13-5 win in Cincinnati. The Yankees battered eight Reds pitchers for 15 hits, including two home runs and four doubles, and are walked six times in the fifth and final game.
The Yankees scored five runs in the top of the first inning off Reds starter Joey Jay and reliever Jim Maloney and never looked back. The Reds did pull pull back within three runs at 6-3 on a third inning Frank Robinson three-run homer, but the Yankees answered with five fourth inning runs off reliever Bill Henry to seal the game.
October 9, 1969: The Reds hire Sparky Anderson to manage the team. Hall of Famer Anderson will take the Reds to the World Series in his first season at the helm and eventually win back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976. In nine seasons with the Reds, Anderson will have eight winning seasons, four pennants, two World Series championships and a record of 863-586.
October 9, 1972: The Pittsburgh Pirates take a 2-1 game lead in the best of five National League Championship Series with a 3-2 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati.
The Reds had taken a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on run-scoring singles by Joe Morgan and Bobby Tolan and the Pirates had cut it to 2-1 in the fifth when Manny Sanguillen homered off Reds starter Gary Nolan. However, on this day the Reds’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead as the Pirates scored the tying run in the sixth when Rennie Stennett singled off Clay Carroll to score Richie Hebner, who had been hit by a Pedro Borbon pitch. The Pirates scored what proved to be the winning run on a Sanguillen ground out in the eighth inning.
Pete Rose had three hits in the game, including two doubles.
October 9, 1973: Pete Rose homers in the top of the 12th inning to provide the winning run in a 2-1 Reds victory over the New York Mets. The win tied the 1973 National League Championship Series at two games apiece and came the day after the Mets had been pelting Rose with debris in left field after his scuffle with Bud Harrelson at second base.
The Mets had scored first in the bottom of the third inning, but Tony Perez tied it in the seventh with a home run. Fred Norman allowed one run in five innings as the starter then Reds relievers Don Gullett, Clay Carroll, and Pedro Borbon pitched seven innings of two hit shut out baseball and walking no one. Rose had three hits in the game, including the home run.
October 9, 1976: The Reds win the first game of the National League Championship Series, 6-3, over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies scored the first run of the game on a first inning sacrifice fly by Mike Schmidt, but the Reds scored the next six with a run in the third, two in the sixth, and three more in the eighth, before the Phillies scored twice in the ninth to finalize the 6-3 tally. Pete Rose had three hits, including two doubles and a triple, and Johnny Bench and winning pitcher Don Gullett both had two hits. George Foster added a homered. Gullett only allowed two hits in eight innings of pitching.
October 4, 1990: The Reds defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3, in Pittsburgh, to take a 3-1 game lead in the National Leauge Championship Series.
The Pirates scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning on a ground out off Reds starter Jose Rijo, but the Reds tied it in the fourth inning on a Paul O’Neill home run and took the lead later in the inning on a Chris Sabo sacrifice fly. The Pirates tied it on a fourth inning double by Sid Bream, but a seventh inning Sabo home run gave the Reds a 4-2 lead.
The Pirates added a run in the eighth to make it 4-3, but Eric Davis threw out Bobby Bonilla at third base trying to stretch a double with one out. The Reds added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on a Luis Quinones sacrifice fly. Hal Morris had three hits in the game for the Reds.