This week’s respondents are Jason Linden, Bill Lack, Chris Garber, Steve Mancuso, and me (I’m Chad Dotson). Our Weekly Reds Obsession: How hot is Bryan Price’s seat? Jason: I have no idea how hot his seat is. I really don’t think he’ll be managing the Reds next year, but if he isn’t let go in […]

The formula for winning is straightforward. First, assemble a group of talented players. That’s the most important variable in the equation. Second, those players need to perform well. To do that, they need to stay healthy. Those are the main factors in success. Roster is reality. Major league managers have little impact on wins and […]

[This report was submitted by loyal Nation member and super Reds fan John Rohrig — who comments here as WVRedlegs — who has reported for RN from the Charleston caravan stop each of the last few years. Lots of great information. Thanks, John!] Friday night, January 26, 2018, the Reds Caravan East Tour leg rolled […]

This week’s respondents are Matt Habel, Steve Mancuso, Jim Walker, Tom Mitsoff, and Chad Dotson. Our Daily Reds Obsession: Who is the best defensive player you’ve ever seen in a Reds uniform? Matt: Billy Hamilton is definitely an easy answer because I have never seen anyone consistently make the plays that he does, let alone […]

Yesterday, we took a look at the 2017 Reds and where they stood among others at their position around the major league. What we discovered was that the Reds really need major upgrades to the pitching staff if they expect to compete in 2017. As I was putting together that piece, I thought it might […]

You know, the kids these days love the youtubes. It’s not bad for the old guys, either, largely because there’s a treasure trove of old baseball games. Not just the classic games (like Game 4 of the 1976 World Series), but also some gems like the one below. It’s an early June NBC Game of […]

Before the 1961 season started, Reds General Manager Bill DeWitt made a trade and acquired a third baseman by the name of Gene Freese. He acquired Freese from the Chicago White Sox for Cal McLish and Juan Pizzaro. This one was a steal. DeWitt’s trade was a big part in the Reds success that year. […]

[This post was written by John Ring, who is the Nation’s correspondent from Afghanistan, where he is serving the entire nation.] It’s all quiet —- some would say too quiet -— on the Reds front. No news on Arroyo. Choo is gone. No trades. Nothing. So while we collectively ponder the state of the current […]

September 30, 1869: Hall of Fame shortstop George Wright slugs four home runs and collects ten hits as the Cincinnati Reds Stockings defeated the Pacifics of San Francisco, 54-5. September 30, 1894: The Reds blow the biggest lead in major league history in a tie-game that was called because of darkness with the score of […]

September 15, 1885: Rookie Cincinnati Red Stockings pitcher George Pechiney defeats the Baltimore Orioles, 1-0, in Baltimore. Pechiney joined the Red Stockings in August after pitching in the minors and started 11 games down the stretch. He went 7-4 with a 2.02 ERA (161 ERA+) during the last few weeks of the season. The 1885 Red Stockings finished in second place to the St. Louis Browns. The Red Stockings were 63-49, 16 games behind the Browns.

Pechiney didn’t fare as well in 1886. He started 40 games and pitched 330 innings, finishing the season 15-21 with a 4.14 ERA (85 ERA+). The nadir of his season came on April 27 when the Browns beat him 20-2 with Pechiney going the distance. He allowed 15 earned runs and 24 hits. At year’s end his contract was sold to the Cleveland Blues. In 1887 (his final season) he went 1-9 with a 7.12 ERA (61 ERA+).

The 1885 Red Stockings team was built on offense. Managed by local sportswriter Ollie Caylor (see, sportswriters can manage a team…), the offense was led by local superstar Charley Jones (fascinating biography found here…), Jones was fifth in the league in OPS and batted .322 (157 OPS+). The Red Stockings boasted one of the best infields in Cincinnati history in first baseman John Reilly ( career 128 OPS+), Hall of Fame second baseman Bid McPhee (career OPS+ 106), third baseman Hick Carpenter (OPS+ 86) and slugging shortstop Frank Fennelly (OPS+ of 118). Fennelly had a huge 1885, batting .273 with 10 homers (41 extra base hits) and 89 rbi in just 112 games (OPS+ 142).

The 1886 Red Stockings declined and were the worst Cincinnati team of their American Association era, finishing in fifth place (65-73) the only sub-.500 team of the 1880’s.

September 15, 1887: The Cincinnati Red Stockings defeat two different teams on the same day. In the morning, they defeat The New York Metropolitans, 4-0, on Staten Island, and then travel to Brooklyn to beat the Brooklyn Grays that afternoon, 11-1.

The 1887 Red Stockings finished second with an 81-54 record, 14 games behind the St. Louis Browns. The 1887 Red Stockings featured duel 30-game winners in Mike Smith (34-17, 2.94 ERA, 148 ERA+) and Tony Mullane (31-17, 3.24 ERA, 134 ERA+). (You can read more about Smith and Mullane here). John Reilly was the hitting star, batting .309 with 96 rbi in 134 games.

September 15, 1950: The pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies sweep a doubleheader from the Reds. The Reds lose the first game, 2-1, and then go 19 innings before losing the nightcap, 8-7.

The Phillies first game runs scored on a double play ground out and a home run by catcher Andy Seminick, giving them a 2-0 lead after four innings. The Reds’ only run came in the sixth inning when Virgil Stallcup doubled home Lloyd Merriman. Knuckleballer Willie Ramsdell went the distance in the loss.

Continue reading

In 1969, I was eight-years-old, and I decided I wanted to be a sports fan. It’s odd to think of it that way, but I was the oldest of four boys. My father wasn’t a sports fan; my mother was, but she was kind of busy having four boys between the ages of five and eight at the time. We kept busy in my small town in Kentucky (Hodgenville, birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, if you didn’t know) by reading, playing in our fenced backyard, watching “Lost in Space,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Hogan’s Heroes” on television. We had fun, but I noticed my friends were starting to talk about sports, and if the television news thought it was important enough to give time to sports, I thought it must be important. So, I made a conscious decision to become a sports fan.

I checked my World Book Encyclopedia and looked up the major sports to find which teams were best. I had that option, you know. There were no professional teams in Hodgenville, Kentucky, so I chose the Boston Celtics for the NBA, the Green Bay Packers for the NFL, and the Los Angeles Dodgers for baseball. I know; the Dodgers selection seems at odds with my other choices, but I never wanted to go to New York so I couldn’t choose the Yankees. It was easy to choose the University of Kentucky Wildcats for they always won. Looking back, the Packers weren’t such a good choice at the time, but the loyalty paid off when Brett Favre and Reggie White joined the team.

By 1970, I was watching every baseball game I could on the Saturday NBC Game of the Week. Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek kept talkiing about how great the Cincinnati Reds were as a baseball team. They had this great catcher in Johnny Bench, and he and the Reds slugging third baseman, Tony Perez, were absolutely destroying the league (the Reds were 70-30 in their first 100 games). They had a rookie pitcher named Wayne Simpson that no one could hit, the “Big Bopper,” Lee May at first base, a speedster named Bobby Tolan who could do it all, and Jim Merritt was on his way to winning 20 games AND he could even hit home runs. Bernie Carbo and Hal McRae made for a nearly unstoppable “platoon” in left field, a reliever named Wayne Granger could pitch nearly every day, and their manager, George Anderson, had a cool nickname (Sparky). They had even more: they were led by the player that embodied baseball and was baseball’s best ambassador, right fielder Pete Rose, who played every game like a man on a mission. Wait, that’s an understatement. He was on a mission.

I was hooked. As a nine-year-old I could change teams and the Reds were winning. I watched the 1970 all-star game in vivid wonder as Rose bowled over catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run. To me, it was an easy decision for Rose to attempt to score. Why play the game at all if you aren’t trying to win? And, anyway, for any critics of the all-star move, Fosse was playing to win, too. He didn’t have to be blocking home plate, if it was just an “exhibition game” to the players. It was a tough, but fair play.

Continue reading

On June 5, 1987, through four and one half innings, the Dodgers were beating the Reds, 6-0, and had outhit the Reds, 12-0, before the Reds came back to win the game, 8-6. A seventh inning Eric Davis three-run homer provided the winning margin for the first place Reds. Lefty Rick Honeycutt started for the […]