Editor: This is the eighth installment (of nine) of a year-long series by our resident Reds historian, John Ring. The series is examining 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: […]

I recently wrote an article on the worst starts in Reds modern history. The term “modern history” for most Reds fans is the 1956 season– Frank Robinson’s rookie year. But now– after a 3-15 start– the 2018 Cincinnati Reds are reaching very dangerous territory. The 1931 Reds started off 2-17. From 1931-1934, the Reds were […]

This week’s respondents are Matt Habel, Steve Mancuso, Jim Walker, Tom Mitsoff, and Chad Dotson. Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which Reds player who played before you were born do you wish you had been able to watch? Matt: The player that comes to mind first is Joe Morgan. Looking at the WAR numbers make it […]

Reds catchers are having a momentous month of August. Devin Mesoraco’s wife gave birth to the couple’s child (Luke) on August 7. Stuart Turner spent last weekend on the paternity list, as he and his wife welcomed their first son. And Tucker Barnhart’s wife is due with their first son later this week.  What was once an […]

I have been following baseball all my life, and 1967 was the first season that I have clear memories of the games, statistics, and players (Vada Pinson and Jim Maloney were my favorites then).  That era is as far in the past today as the 1919 Reds were when I as 12, and the Big […]

Since it’s the off-season and we can’t spend every day writing about why Raisel Iglesias needs to be a starter next season, I thought it would be an appropriate time to embark upon a project that I’ve been wanting to explore for years. That is, I thought it would be fun to look at the […]

Baseball is back. Over the years, I’ve been known to wax eloquent during the spring about the return of baseball. Some of those years, there was real excitement over a possible pennant race for the ol’ Redlegs. Other years…well, we have to dig a little deeper to find reasons to look forward to the baseball […]

One of the best things about Redsfest is the ability to meet other Reds fans who share the same passion you do for the Cincinnati Reds. So meeting Chris Felix and seeing his art work was special at Redsfest for me. If you’re from the Cincinnati area, you probably know his work. He’s been featured […]

I’m a sucker for stuff like this. With a tip of the cap to @uniformcritic, check out this shot of the crowd outside Crosley Field during the 1940 World Series. Here’s Crosley under water. Here is Crosley on Opening Day in 1962, and here’s another from 1962 (I love that last one). Also, here’s Paul […]

Just some stray bits of Reds info that have been piling up on my desk: The Reds announced their major and minor league awards for the 2010 season at Redsfest. To no one’s surprise, the Ernie Lombardi Award (for team MVP) went to NL MVP Joey Votto. Bronson Arroyo won the Johnny Vander Meer Award […]

November 30, 1932: The Reds trade hitter Babe Herman to the Chicago Cubs for catcher Rollie Helmsley, pitcher Bob Smith and outfielders Lance Richbourg and Johnny Moore.

The results of the trade? Helmsley batted .190 with seven rbi in 122 plate appearances and was traded; Smith was 4-4 in 16 games (six starts, 2.20 ERA) and was lost on waivers during the season; Moore batted .263 (.631 OPS) and then was traded to the other bad team of the 1930’s (the Phillies); Richbourg was sold two months later and never played in the majors again. Meanwhile, in 1933, Herman batted .289 with 64 extra base hits and 93 rbi (.855 OPS), batted .304 in 1934, and the Reds reacquired him in 1935 and he played two more seasons for the Reds (batting .335 and .279).

It really wasn’t a very good deal and it was made by a very bad Reds baseball team.

Herman had been their best player in 1932, batting .326 with 63 extra base hits (league leading 19 triples), 87 rbi, and a .930 OPS (151 OPS+). The Reds had acquired him following the 1931 season along with future Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi in a six player trade that saw young star second baseman Tony Cuccinello dealt to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Herman was a tremendous hitter (he hit for the cycle a record-tying three times), but he was an absolute adventure on the basepaths and in the outfield. In fact, he once doubled into a double play. From baseball-reference.com’s bullpen:

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When Joey Votto won the 2010 National League MVP Award, it marked the 12th time that a Red had won the Award since it’s inception in 1911 (no award was given from 1915-23 or in 1930).

Reds winners are listed below, and in deference to Joey Votto’s quote about batting average (“we all know that batting average is kind of an overrated statistic”), I’ll use more modern metrics for their performance.

1938, Ernie Lombardi, catcher, .342 batting average/.391 OBP/.524 SLP
1939, Bucky Walters, pitcher, 27-11, 2.29 ERA, 137 K’s
1940, Frank McCormick, 1st base, .309/.367/.482
1961, Frank Robinson, outfield, .323/.404/.611
1970, Johnny Bench, catcher, .293/.345/.587
1972, Johnny Bench, catcher, .270/.379/.541
1973, Pete Rose, outfield, .338/.401/.437
1975, Joe Morgan, 2nd base, .327/.466/.508
1976, Joe Morgan, 2nd base, .320/.444/.576
1977, George Foster, outfield, .320/.382/.631
1995, Barry Larkin, shortstop, .319/.394/.492
2010, Joey Votto, 1st base, .324/.424/.600

You most likely know about most, if not all, of these guys. Lombardi, Walters, and McCormick were stars that played with the 1939-40 Reds teams. Robinson was the best player of the late 50’s/early 60’s and played on the 1961 World Series team. Bench, Rose, Morgan, and Foster were stars from the Big Red Machine World Series teams. Larkin was a star from the 1990 World Series team, and Votto broke many Reds hitting records from this past season.

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