Pop quiz, hotshot. Who beat out George Foster for a roster spot on the Big Red Machine in 1973? Who won consecutive batting titles while in the Reds minor league system for Three Rivers (Class AA) and Indianapolis (Class AAA) in 1971 and 1972? (Imagine the hype if this had been done by Nick Senzel, […]

Last week, it was announced that pitcher Fred Norman and manager Dave Bristol had been elected for induction to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. We noted at the time that RN’s Bill Lack had conducted a two-part interview with Norman back in 2013 on our podcast. (Here’s part one and here’s the conclusion). As […]

Back in September, here in the digital pages of Redleg Nation, our Greg Gajus was emphatic that there was a glaring omission among inductees to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. His piece was entitled, “The Missing Man: Fred Norman for the Reds Hall of Fame.” I can only speculate on why (Fred) Norman has […]

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 […]

The Big Red Machine is the greatest team in Reds history (thanks, Captain Obvious) and nearly every key contributor from that era has been honored with induction into the Reds Hall of Fame.  With the induction of Pete Rose last year, the entire Great 8 is in.  The manager is in.  The general manager is […]

As the Reds prepare for the rubber game of the three-game weekend set against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park, we present you with some pre-game nostalgia. Long-time baseball fans remember a day when not every game was televised, and the only way to catch the game live if you weren’t at the ballpark […]

Jackson Stephens’ major league debut wasn’t brilliant, but it was memorable. And it brought back memories for me and other Reds fans. Jackson got the win against the Cubs, thanks to his two-run single, a presence on the mound, eight strikeouts and some great pitching from the bullpen. The fact that it came against Chicago […]

On April 1, 2016, the Cincinnati Reds claimed pitcher Dan Straily off waivers from the San Diego Padres. On the surface, this acquisition looked like the Reds were desperate. That assumption would be correct. They were. The Reds pitching staff coming out of Goodyear, Arizona was inexperienced, decimated by injuries and the season was getting […]

Even some longtime Reds fans have forgotten over time about the big one that got away from wearing a Cincinnati uniform — Vida Blue. That’s right, Vida Blue. In one of his final moves as the Reds General Manager, Bob Howsam traded for the star lefthanded pitcher of the Oakland A’s in December of 1977. […]

(Editor’s note: As regular readers of RN will know, John is our correspondent from Afghanistan. This piece was written by John, and originally published in The Zephyr, a weekly newspaper in Galesburg, Illinois.)

It was 12:34 in the morning at Fenway Park in Boston when Pat Darcy took the mound to enter his third inning of work. Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, which had been delayed for three days because of rain in New England, had started four hours earlier between Darcy’s Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox.

Darcy had faced six Red Sox batters in the 10th and 11th innings and retired them all. The Reds and Boston were tied 6-6 in the 12th inning. Pat Darcy was the eighth Cincinnati pitcher that Sparky Anderson had used that night. Aside from Darcy, he had only two left. Don Gullett was being held for Game 7 if the Reds, who were leading the Series 3-2, were to lose. The only other pitcher left besides Darcy in the razor-thin Reds bullpen was Clay Kirby.

Pat Darcy was a 25-year old rookie pitcher during that 1975 season. He’d had a good year; an 11-5 record, a 3.38 earned run average and Sparky had used him primarily as a starter (22 starts) and long relief pitcher. That’s worth about $4 million a year by today’s standards. But Darcy pulled in $17,500 in 1975.

Darcy was always ready and there was always work with Sparky. Lots of work. After Gullett’s thumb was broken by a line drive in June and the Reds nursing a 3 and ½ game lead over the Dodgers in the National League Western Division, Sparky bragged to a close friend that his genius would really be seen by one and all now. It was. Sparky’s extensive use of the bullpen changed the landscape of baseball.

Anderson’s answer to young Don Gullett’s injury was to swarm the mound with relievers, pulling starters at the first sign of weakness. The Reds disowned complete games. Fresh arms ruled. In fact, it was Pat Darcy who stopped a consecutive streak of 54 incomplete games when he went the distance against the San Francisco Giants in August.

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Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

2013 is looking good so far. Despite injuries to their #1 starter, starting leftfielder and cleanup hitter and catcher, the Reds are thick in the race for the Division as Memorial Day awaits. Their MVP is a Boy Named Choo, Votto is hitting like Votto and Bruce looks like he is in the beginning of […]

Last week, we brought you the first part of Bill Lack’s excellent discussion with Big Red Machine pitcher Fred Norman. Today, part two. Enjoy! http://traffic.libsyn.com/redlegnation/Redleg20Nation20Radio208620Fred20Norman20Part202.mp3 You can listen with the player above or right-click here to download the mp3 file to listen at your leisure. For links to all previous episodes of Redleg Nation Radio, […]