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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July 14, 1970: The Chicago Cubs’ Jim Hickman singles home Pete Rose from second base to score the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning as the National League defeats the American League, 5-4, in the 1970 All-Star Game played at Riverfront Stadium. The game winning play of Rose crashing into Cleveland Indians’ catcher Ray Fosse with the running run is one of the more memorable moments in the career of Pete Rose and baseball history.

3B Tony Perez and C Johnny Bench, enjoying monster seasons, were both elected to the NL’s starting lineup. Jim Merritt and Wayne Simpson were named to the pitching staff and Rose was added as a reserve. The AL was leading 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth with A’s pitcher Jim Hunter on the mound. Catcher Dick Dietz homered to open the inning and shortstop Bud Harrelson followed with a single. Outfielder Cito Gaston popped to first, but Astros second baseman Joe Morgan singled moving Harrelson to second base. Yankees lefty pitcher Fritz Peterson replaced Hunter to face lefty hitting Willie McCovey. McCovey singled to centerfield, scoring Harrelson with Morgan moving to third base. Peterson’s righty teammate, Mel Stottlemyre, replaced Peterson on the mound to face righty batting Roberto Clemente, who lined a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Morgan and tie the score at 4-4.

The game remained scoreless through the middle of the 12th. The AL had threatened in the top of the 12th when Carl Yastrzemski drilled a two-out double off Claude Osteen. The NL intentionally walked Willie Horton, but Osteen got Amos Otis to line out to right field. The winning rally started in the 12th when Rose reached on a two-out single. Billy Grabarkewitz singled to left with Rose stopping at second base. Hickman then singled to centerfield with Rose beating Otis’s throw home, knocking over plate blocking catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run.

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Summarizing the Redleg Trade Review series, today I’ll list my ten worst Reds trades ever. You can search all the trades that were reviewed by going to the Redleg Nation search engine at the upper right corner of the page. I don’t know if it’s a matter of perspective or exactly why it seems this way, but it sure seems that we’ve made a bunch of, let’s just say, not-so-profitable trades over the years.

1. December 15, 1900….Christy Mathewson traded to the New York Giants for pitcher Amos Rusie. I’ll make it simple: Christy Mathewson is one of the five best pitchers of all time, winning 373 lifetime games. He won one with the Reds. Amos Rusie is also a Hall of Fame pitcher. He won 245 lifetime games, zero with the Reds.

2. December 9, 1965: Frank Robinson is traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Baltimore Orioles for Jack Baldschun, Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson. Unfortunately, this is one of the most famous baseball trades of all time with no good light shining on the Reds.

3. December 13, 1934: Johnny Mize is purchased by the Cincinnati Reds from the St. Louis Cardinals.
April 15, 1935: Returned to the St. Louis Cardinals by the Cincinnati Reds following previous purchase.
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Bill DeWitt became the next General Manager of the Reds late in 1960 after Gabe Paul resigned to take a simiilar position with the expansion Houston Colt .45’s. Paul had built the Reds on power to make the most benefit of the short Crosley Field fences, and offense seemed to be the secret to the Reds’ winning. DeWitt came on board and got some pitching help which solidified the 1961 Reds into becoming one of the Cinderalla teams of the past 50 years. The Reds improved from 67-87 in 1960 to 93-61 in 1961 and improved even more to 98-64 in 1962.

Meanwhile, DeWitt, as new executives often do in any organization, decided to rid himself (and the Reds) of excess or undesired talent and bring in talent of his own. I’m not certain what’s more amazing; the sheer amount of prospects the Reds had during the early 1960’s, or the sheer amount of talent that DeWitt discarded as unnecessary and how little we received in return. Check out this list (principal players listed):

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December 5, 1957: Curt Flood is traded by the Cincinnati Redlegs with Joe Taylor to the St. Louis Cardinals for Marty Kutyna, Willard Schmidt and Ted Wieand.

Curt Flood is best known today as the player who challenged the baseball reserve system in the early 1970’s which led to free agency. Most people don’t realize he lost his case, and that he had appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Flood lost his personal battle and war, but it did start the movement toward what became today’s standard of arbitration and free agency. The stalwart “stable” teams of the 1970’s (think Reds and Dodgers) were somewhat a remnant of days gone by when players were somewhat indentured servants to baseball ownership. We lament the day the Big Red Machine was broken up, and it came as a result (and with the consequences and benefits) of player’s being given what seems to be obvious rights.

What is sometimes lost today is that Flood was an outstanding centerfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Continue reading