Watching some of the Olympics this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about all-time records. Baseball is no longer part of the Olympics (and I’m fine with that), but it focuses historical records as much as any Olympic sport. If you grow up a baseball fan, you grow up learning about the streak, 61 (or 73*), and the hit king.
So in honor of the 31st summer Olympiad, I looked through all of the different records compiled by Baseball Almanac, and identified all the NL or ML records that are held by Reds (I defined Reds as guys that played most of, or at least a significant part of their career with the Reds). I split the Reds’ records into five categories: The Good, The Bad, The Old, The Weird, and The Rose. We won’t be winning the pennant this year, but we still have these!
These are records that are just good solid accomplishments as a major league baseball player (not named Pete Rose). These records may be broken some day, but for right now, these guys can hold their heads high for what they accomplished.
• Most Career Pinch Hits: Lenny Harris, 212
• Most Pinch Hit RBI in Season: Jerry Lynch, 25 in 1961
• Most Career Holds: Aurthur Rhodes, 231
• Most Hits in Consecutive At-Bats: Bip Roberts, 10 hits in a row in September 1992
These are the types of records that you’re never trying to get. After you retire you can joke about them, but only then, and it may be a relief if someone breaks it for you.
• Most Double Plays Hit Into by a Lefty in a Single Season: Sean Casey, 27 in 2005
• Most runners left on base by team: 1328 by the 1976 Reds (I call this the Marty)
• Most Balks in an Inning: Jim Owens, 3 in 1963
• Most Walks in a Complete Game: Bud Podbielan, 13 walks in 10 innings in 1953
• Most Walks in an Inning: Bob Ewin, 7 in 1902
• Most Career Errors at Catcher: Ivey Wingo, 213 (led the league as a Red every year from
1916 through 1921)
Baseball records tend to age very well, but prior to 1910 or so, you can really tell that it was a different game. These records would be completely superhuman if set today, but who knows how incredible they were at the time? In any case, the families of these record holders can feel safe knowing they’ll probably never be broken.
• Most Times on Base in Row: Piggy Ward, 17 in a row in 1893 (Hey, with Votto, you never
• Most Inside the Park Homeruns in a Season: Sam Crawford, 12 in 1901
• Most Games Started as Pitcher in a Season: Will White, 75 in 1879
• Most Complete Games in a Season: Will White, 75 in 1879 (That’s right, every game he
These records are mostly for doing good things, but I couldn’t include them in the good list because they are for things that sort of just happened, rather that for things the players were specifically trying to do. Lenny Harris was trying to get a hit when he pinch hit, and he got a lot of them. Chick Haffey wasn’t trying to set the doubles record in a double header, but…
• Most Doubles in a Double Header: Chick Haffey, 5 in 1933
• Most Doubles in a Game: Many tied with 4, including Ernie Lombardi in 1935, Billy
Werber in 1940, Jim Greengrass in 1954, and Billy Hatcher in 1990
• Most Consecutive Games with a Grand Slam: Eric Davis, 2 in 1996 (only person to go
• Most Plate Appearances in a 9-inning Game: Mike Cameron, 8 in 1999
• Most Singles as a Team in an Inning, Reds, 12 in the first inning of a game on 8/3/1989 vs
• Most walks in a No-Hitter: Jim Maloney, 10 in 1965
• Most Consecutive No-Hitters: Johnny Vander Meer, 2 in 1938
Of course, the most impressive records held by a Red are held by Pete Rose. The Reds have had a lot of highs and a lot of lows in their storied history, and in a lot of ways Charlie Hustle is a fitting face of the franchise.
• Most At-Bats and Plate Appearances: 14,053 and 15,861
• Longest Hit Streak as a Switch Hitter: 44 game streak
• Most Career Doubles: 746
• Most Career Singles: 3,215
• Most Career Hits: 4,256, (10 seasons with 200+),
• Worst SB percentage (Minimum 200 Attempts): .571
Possible Reds Records of the Future
In 2012 I really thought that Votto had a shot at the record for most doubles in a season, now held by Earl Webb, with 67 in 1931. Considering how tainted the home run record is now, I think this may be my favorite record to go for now and I hope he gives it another run some day. Votto had a nice games-on-base streak going, so I thought that maybe he could take a run at that one too, but I discovered it has to be the best record no one has ever hear of. Ted Williams got on base 84 games in a row. Dimaggio who?