Editor: This is the third installment of a season-long series by our resident Reds historian, John Ring. The series will examine the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Cincinnati Reds, a team on the brink (of huge success) playing during a year that it seemed the world was on the brink. Enjoy! Part 1: Remembering 007’s […]

Everyone knows it. Me, Chad, The Nation, everybody. The Reds need to obtain a veteran starting pitcher who can reliably show up on the mound every fifth day, give them (dare I say?) 180 innings of work and anchor the pitching staff. Given that the Reds are a small market team, getting one through free […]

Sammy Ellis passed away on Friday, May 13, 2016. Most of the Nation has probably never heard of Sammy Ellis. He only pitched for the Reds from 1963-1967. He’s not in the Reds Hall of Fame. But for three pivotal years, Sammy Ellis was an integral part of the Cincinnati Reds as a right-handed starting […]

On Monday, former Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon died after a long battle with cancer, Our thoughts go out to his family during this time of loss. We’d also like to take this moment to celebrate his life, for Borbon was a pertinent piece of the Big Red Machine. His career as a Red was memorable, […]

One of the benefits of being involved with this blog is that periodically we get books to review. Recently I received a book, which will be released in January, entitled Fred Hutchinson and the 1964 Cincinnati Reds, by Doug Wilson. Mr. Wilson is an ophthalmologist who lives in Columbus, Indiana. I grew up in Cincinnati […]

November 25, 1969: The Reds trade outfielder Alex Johnson and infielder Chico Ruiz to the California Angels for pitchers Jim McGlothlin, Pedro Borbon, and Vern Geishert. We discussed this trade in our Redleg Trade Review Series on July 27th, 2009. Johnson was an outstanding hitter tormented by personal demons. The Society for American Baseball Research […]

November 9, 1973: The Reds trade disgruntled outfielder Bobby Tolan and relief pitcher Dave Tomlin to the San Diego Padres for starting pitcher Clay Kirby.

Tolan had been acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals along with reliever Wayne Granger on October 11, 1968 for popular star Reds outfielder Vada Pinson. Pinson played for seven more seasons after leaving the Reds, but he was never the same player he had been as a Red, except for his 1970 season with the Cleveland Indians (.286, 24 homers, 82 rbi, 115 OPS+). Meanwhile, Tolan became an outstanding outfielder for the Reds and probably the most underrated player on the 1970 World Series team.

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October 2, 1877: The Reds finish one of their worst season in Cincinnati baseball history, by losing to the Chicago White Stockings, 13-1. The 1877 Reds, who had disbanded and restarted at mid-season, finish the year 15-42 in last place, 25 1/2 games behind the first place Boston Red Caps. The Red Caps were remnants of the original Cincinnati Red Stockings team, led by George Wright and managed by brother Harry Wright. The 1877 Reds won-loss percentage of .263 was tied for second worst of all time.

The 1877 Reds were led by superstar Charley Jones, who batted .310 with an .819 OPS (168 OPS+) in 55 games. He had the second highest WAR (wins above replacement rating) in the league in 1877 (3.2), not that he knew that at the time since it’s a recently developed metric. Shortstop-manager Jack Manning batted .317 (OPS+ 151) and outfielder-manager Lip Pike (142 OPS+) also had strong years. The Reds used three different managers during the season. Pitching was the Reds’ downfall as their staff ERA (4.19) was nearly a run worse than any other team in the league.

October 2, 1892: The St. Louis Browns score eight runs in the top of the first inning, but the Reds come back to win the first game of a double header, 12-10. The Reds also win the second game, 4-1, to sweep the Browns. The 1892 Reds go on to finish in fifth place.

October 2, 1919: The Reds win the second game of the 1919 World Series, 4-2, over the Chicago White Sox in Cincinnati. The Reds now led the best of nine series, two games to one.

The Reds struck for three runs in the fourth inning when White Sox starter Lefty Williams ran into control problems. Williams, who had averaged 1.8 walks/9 innings for the season, walked three Reds hitters in the inning leading to three Reds runs on a single by Edd Roush and a triple by Larry Kopf. The Reds added an insurance run in the sixth when Greasy Neale singled home Roush. The White Sox scored their two runs in the seventh when Ray Schalk singled to score two, aided by two Reds throwing errors on the play.

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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 21, 1889: Four ninth inning errors by the St. Louis Browns allow the Cincinnati Red Stockings to score four runs and win the game, 5-4.

Keep in mind, it was not uncommon for teams to make lots of errors in games back in 1889. In fact, the average team would make about four fielding errors per game. However, four in one inning was excessive even at that time.

The 1889 American Association Red Stockings would finish the season 76-63 in fourth place, 18 games behind the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. The Red Stockings’ best player of the year was 29-year-old rookie pitcher, Jesse Duryea who went 32-19 with a 2.56 ERA (155 ERA+). 22-year-old Lee Viau finished the year 22-20 with a 3.79 ERA. The leading hitter was 23-year-old rookie outfielder Bug Holliday, who batted .321 and led the AA with 19 home runs to go with 104 rbi.

September 21, 1955: Gus Bell goes 4-4 including a double, a grand slam home run, and eight rbi to lead the Cincinnati Redlegs to a 14-5 win over the Milwaukee Braves.

Bell’s grand slam came in the bottom of the first inning with one out and the Reds never looked back. Teammate Ted Kluszewski also had four hits on the day including a home run. Pitcher Johnny Klippstein went the distance to get the win.

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September 20, 1888: Cincinnati star pitcher, Tony Mullane, pitches complete games in both games of a doubleheader as the Red Stockings sweep the Philadelphia Athletics, 1-0 and 2-1, in Cincinnati.

There were high expectations for the 1888 Red Stockings team and they bolted out of the gate, winning 21 of their first 26 games, and taking a first place lead. However, that was the high note and by mid-September the Red Stockings were comfortably in fourth place of a eight team league. The Red Stockings were a team built on defense and pitching as only star first baseman John Reilly had an outstanding year with the bat. Reilly nearly won the Triple Crown as he led the American Association with 13 home runs, 103 rbi, SLP (.501), OPS (.864), OPS+ (170), but finished second in batting average (.321), 14 points behind the leader, Tip O’Neill. Reilly also tied for second in the league with 28 doubles and was fourth in triples with 14. Reilly and outfielder Hugh Nicol both scored 112 runs; Nicol scored 112 runs by stealing 103 bases. Nicol’s batting average was .239 with a .330 OBP. He had stolen a team record 138 bases in 1887.

The Red Stockings boasted three 20-game winners on their pitching staff: Mullane was the 29-year-old veteran who went 26-16 with a 2.84 ERA; 21-year-old rookie Lee Viau was 27-14 with a 2.65 ERA and 20-year-old Mike Smith was 22-17 with a 2.74 ERA.

September 20, 1920 Light hitting second baseman Morrie Rath hit the only two home runs of his 1920 season, and the last two of his career (his career total was four) in a 9-3 win for the Reds against the New York Giants in New York. Both home runs were hit inside the park.

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September 19, 1883: Within nine days, Cincinnati Red Stockings star first baseman John Reilly twice hits for the cycle and becomes the first Cincinnati player to homer twice in the same game.

The hot streak began on September 10, when Reilly hit two inside-the-park home runs as the Red Stockings defeated the Pittsburgh Alleghenies, 12-6. Reilly was second on the team in home runs with nine in 1883, trailing team leader Charley Jones who had 10.

His first cycle came on September 12, 1883, when he and left handed third baseman Hick Carpenter both went 6-7 in a 27-5 win over the Pittsburgh. The Red Stockings collected a club record 33 hits in the game. Charley Jones had five hits in the game. This is the only game in major league history that two players from the same team had six hits in the same game. Three other Cincinnati players have collected six hits in a game: Tony Cuccinello (1931), Ernie Lombardi (1937), and Walker Cooper (1949).

Reilly’s second cycle came seven days later on September 19 as the Red Stockings defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 12-3 in Cincinnati. For the season, Reilly led the Red Stockings with a .311 batting average, a .485 SLP, an .810 OPS, and an OPS+ of 150. He scored 103 runs in only 98 games and collected 79 rbi.

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