In recent years (with the exception of 2015, of course), the Cincinnati Reds representatives haven’t had success in All-Star games. On Tuesday, Zack Cozart broke an 0-for-25 streak with a single to left field. It was the first hit by a Cincinnati Red in an All-Star game since Scott Rolen singled in Anaheim in 2010. But in the long, storied history of the Reds, the franchise has more than a few impressive All-Star moments.
Here are some of the best Reds All-Star moments, in no particular order:
One month after Vander Meer pitched back-to-back no-hitters, he started the 1938 All-Star game at Crosley Field and pitched three innings of one-hit baseball. The National League would go on to win 4-1. The game lasted a brisk one hour, 58 minutes.
Duvall was named to the All-Star team in San Diego in 2016 and opted to participate in the Home Run Derby, after hitting 23 homers in the first part of the season. Duvall hit 11 homers and defeated hometown Padre Wil Myers in the first round, but fell to former Red and then-defending champ Todd Frazier in the second round 16-15. Despite the loss, Duvall provided a nice highlight for Reds fans in an otherwise dull season.
Reds fans have been known lately for voting incessantly to ensure the hometown guys are represented in the starting lineup (see: Frazier in 2015 and Cozart this season), but it was nothing like the 1957 All-Star Game, held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. At the time, fans could create their own ballots and send them to MLB. With the local newspapers and businesses printing ballots to encourage voting, Cincinnati fans worked hard to make sure their favorites were selected. When the final votes were tallied, Reds fans had voted eight Reds starters into the lineup. First baseman Stan Musial of the Cardinals was the only non-Red to be voted in. The commissioner at the time, Ford Frick, did not approve of the mass voting and appointed Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to start. MLB would then take away the opportunity for fans to vote, and would not reinstate it until 1970.
The Famous Play
Riverfront Stadium was barely three weeks old when it hosted the 1970 All-Star Game, and it was a classic affair. The National League scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie it at four, where it stood until the twelfth inning. With two outs, Pete Rose was on second and tried to score on a single up the middle by Cubs right fielder Jim Hickman. The throw went to home plate and Rose bowled over Ray Fosse in an attempt to score. Fosse dropped the ball, Rose scored and the National League won, much to the delight of the Cincinnati fans. It was later discovered that Fosse injured his shoulder on that play, though he played the rest of the 1970 season.
2015 All-Star Week in Cincinnati, and the Todd Frazier Show
I might be biased because I was able to experience this week firsthand, but if I had listed these five moments in order of the best moments, it would be #1. All-Star week in 2015 was nothing short of awe-inspiring, from Kyle Schwarber winning MVP in front of family and friends in the Futures game to the best player in baseball, Mike Trout hitting a leadoff home run in the All-Star game. There was a certain buzz in the Cincinnati air that week, and it’s one I’ll remember forever. Baseball was the talk of the town. Everywhere I went, people were talking baseball. It was like a dream, and I had to remind myself to take it all in.
And of course, the Home Run Derby in the first year of the new timed format, and which almost got rained out that evening. Instead, Frazier thrilled over 42,000 fans in attendance, as he beat Josh Donaldson on a “buzzer-beater” home run and Joc Pederson in bonus time to take the title.
After Monday night, some on Twitter were calling the 2017 Home Run Derby the best one yet. Yes, Aaron Judge put on an incredible show, but there’s nothing like the atmosphere of a sold-out ballpark when the hometown guy has a chance to win the Derby. It’s why I was rooting for Giancarlo Stanton on Monday and why the 2015 Home Run Derby was the best one. No one left GABP on that night, and the adrenaline helped fuel Frazier to the win. It was a magical night by the river, and even though I was not fortunate enough to attend, I’ll remember it forever.