Today in Cincinnati Reds history…

1976: After winning back-to-back World Series championships, the Reds made one of the most controversial trades in club history, dealing fan favorite — and future Hall of Famer — Tony Perez to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray. (Click on the picture at right to see the Enquirer’s trade recap from the next day.) According to Bob Hertzel of the Enquirer:

But, it is Fryman for Perez and it is so because of that other legend,
Don Gullett, who jumped the ship and went to New York and left the Reds searching for a left-handed starting pitcher.

Tony Perez is gone. A sad day?

“I don’t know about it being sad,” answered Dick Wagner, the Cincinnati vice-president.
“You have to look ahead, keep the team viable.”

So they looked ahead and picked up a 37-year-old pitcher who has a two-year contract,
something Pete Rose has never been awarded.

“Keep in mind,” said Dick Wagner, continuing to explain this trade, “a lot of clubs have grown terribly old quickly and gone down under.”

Woodie Fryman, though, is no fountain of youth.

A few months later, Fryman retired after going 5-5 with a 5.38 ERA for the Reds. He later returned and finished his career with the Cubs and Expos.

1982: The Reds trade Tom Seaver back to the Mets for Lloyd McClendon, Charlie Puleo, and Jason Felice. Seaver was 75-46 with a 3.18 ERA over six years in a Cincinnati uniform. None of the players acquired for Seaver made much of an impact for the Reds. Meanwhile, Seaver continued to pitch in the big leagues until 1986, and was ultimately inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Sources: Redleg Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer archives.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

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7 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    Went the game where Tony came back.
    Standing O when announced. Standing O when he came to the plate.
    Bench boo’d for catching a foul pop in his first at bat.

  2. TR

    Tony Perez, certainly one of the most popular players in modern Reds history. Mr. RBI, in 12 productive seasons, had six seasons of 100+ RBI’s and four of 90+ RBI’s. That trade, for next to nothing, saw the decline of the BRM.

  3. WoodrowPNW

    The 77 Reds didn’t lack for hitting, and I recall Driessen had nice run that year and a couple beyond. Unfortunately, he was never Tony Perez and he couldn’t pitch.

  4. cupofcoffee1955

    Tony Perez is gone. A sad day?
    “I don’t know about it being sad,” answered Dick Wagner, the Cincinnati vice-president.
    “You have to look ahead, keep the team viable.”

    Nice job, Dick…

  5. JB WV

    Hopefully the guy with the same initials and first name won’t make such an egregious mistake. Tony was the heart of the team. Now it’s Votto.

  6. Tom Mitsoff

    When I think of the worst Reds trades of my lifetime as a fan, this one is right up there. Neither Fryman nor Murray did a thing, and they were being counted on as big contributors in 77.

  7. Jreis

    The reds should always follow the jreis rule.
    Never trade a position player for a pitcher
    virtually never works out