Both players had been caught up in the vast organizational talent that made up the St. Louis Cardinals organization during that time. Between 1926 and 1934, the Cardinals appeared in five World Series, winning three of them. St. Louis had possibly the deepest organization of the day and both Goodman and Riggs had played five years in the Cardinals farm system (1930-34) before being purchased by the Reds. During this timeframe, the Reds also acquired ace starting pitcher Paul Derringer from the Cardinals as well as two Hall of Famers, outfielder Chick Hafey and first baseman Johnny Mize (Mize was returned to the Cardinals after failing a physical). All (except Mize) went directly into the lowly Reds starting lineup.
Riggs became the Reds starting third baseman from 1935-38 and was named to the all-star team in 1936 when he batted .257 with 12 triples. He was the backup third baseman and pinch hitter for the Reds’ 1939-40 World Series teams. Goodman became the first Red to crack 30 home runs, having done so in 1938 while batting .292 with 10 triples, and a .901 OPS. Goodman was the Reds starting right fielder and was an effective power-speed performer from 1935-40. Goodman lead the league in triples in both 1934 and 1935 with 18 and 14, respectively, and batted .323 with 37 doubles and 16 triples in 1939. He was named to two all-star teams.
The Reds had finished second place for four consecutive years under Rose until 1988 when the combination of the pressure from the gambling investigation and injuries drove the Reds down to fifth place. In Piniella’s first year year with the Reds, the Reds were wire-to-wire division champions (91-71) and swept the Oakland A’s to win the 1990 World Series championship. Injuries caused the Reds to slump in 1991 (74-88), but Piniella’s Reds bounced back to finish second in 1992 with a 92-70 record. Piniella resigned at the conclusion of the 1992 season to take a similar position with the Seattle Mariners. Piniella remained with Seattle for ten years. In all, Piniella managed 23 years in the major leagues, compiling a 1835-1713 record, but his only pennant came with the 1990 Reds.
November 3, 1992: Eighteen days after being named General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Jim Bowden trades right fielder Paul O’Neill and minor league first baseman Joe DeBerry to the New York Yankees for outfielder Roberto Kelly. Bowden later laments this as the worst trade he every made.
O’Neill went on win four World Championships with the Yankees (in addition to the 1990 championship with the Reds) and become known as “The Warrior” for the Yankees. In eight seasons with the Reds, O’Neill batted .259 with 96 home runs. In nine seasons with the Yankees, O’Neill batted .303 with 185 home runs and he won the American League batting title with a .359 mark in 1994. With the 1990 Reds World Championship team, O’Neill had batted .270 with 16 homers. He hit .471 in the 1990 National League Championship Series. In Bowden’s defense, O’Neill had a poor 1992, with his power production dropping by almost half from 1991 (36 doubles and 28 homers became 19 doubles and 14 homers) and he had turned 29 years old, the approximate age when many players begin their decline phase.
Meanwhile, Kelly wasn’t long for Cincinnati. After batting .280 in six seasons with the Yankees, Kelly batted .313 for the Reds in 125 games 1993-94, but couldn’t stay healthy and was dealt to the Atlanta Braves for centerfielder Deion Sanders during the 1994 season. Kelly played for seven teams over the next six seasons, concluding a 14 year career with a .290 batting average and 124 home runs. During his time with the Reds, he preferred to go by “Bobby” Kelly rather than Roberto.
November 3, 2000: Bob Boone is named manager of the Cincinnati Reds, accepting the lowest salary of any major league manager for the opportunity at the position.
“Redleg Journal,” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder states that the Reds interviewed 40 different candidates for the position and had previously offered the manager’s job to Willie Randolph and former Red Ron Oester. The book says both declined the position due to the low salary. The Cincinnati Enquirer once published a feature story on former Reds general manager Jim Bowden that said he offered the job to Oester and then gave it to Boone, who was also under Reds employment as a special assistant.
Boone’s reign in Cincinnati was not a successful one. Boone managed the Reds for two full seasons, finishing fifth in 2001 (66-96), third in 2002 (78-84), and fifth for most of 2003 (46-58) before being replaced by Dave Miley. Boone’s micromanagement style was symbolized by a June 1, 2000, game that the Reds defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-1. Reds reserve infielder, glove man Juan Castro, entered the game at second base in the bottom of the eighth inning with fellow reserve Bill Selby (making a rare start at second base) moving to third. Boone began alternating each player between positions, depending on the handedness of the opposition’s batter. Selby switched positions four times alone in the eighth inning.