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 […]

The Cincinnati Reds landscape is littered with pitchers who have contended with injuries. Are we living in a unique period, with fragile pitchers and unsure management? It’s worth remembering that even our most respected and beloved managers — including Fred Hutchinson, Dave Bristol. Sparky Anderson, Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella — have been as perplexed […]

All the speculation on whether Bryan Price would return to the Reds as their manager has now concluded. He will be back next year for sure, with an option year included. To most involved with Redleg Nation, we see that as eminently fair. Price hasn’t had the benefit of really playing with a full deck […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 20, 1972: Pete Rose hit the first pitch of the game for a home run and the Reds later overcame a 4-2 deficit in defeating the Oakland A’s, 5-4, to stay avoid elimination in the 1972 World Series. The Reds now trailed the A’s three-games-to-two through five games. Rose’s first inning homer gave the […]

October 11, 1968: The Reds trade popular centerfielder Vada Pinson to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Bobby Tolan and reliever Wayne Granger.

October 11, 1970: The Reds lose Game 2 of the 1970 World Series to the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 6-5, blowing an early lead for the second consecutive day. The Orioles now lead the World Series, two games to none.

The Reds scored three times in the bottom of the first inning off Orioles pitcher Mike Cuellar to take the lead. Pete Rose reached on shortstop Mark Belanger’s error, but was forced out at second base by Bobby Tolan. Tony Perez singled to centerfield with Tolan stopping at second base. Tolan moved to third on a Johnny Bench flyout. Lee May then doubled to centerfield, scoring both Tolan and Perez and with May advancing to third base on an error by Orioles centerfielder Paul Blair. May scored on a Hal McRae squeeze bunt to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. Tolan made it 4-0 in the third with a solo home run.

The Orioles got one run back in the fourth on a Boog Powell home run and then erupted for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead. With one out, three straight singles from pinch hitter Chico Salmon, Don Buford, and Blair scored Salmon and chased Reds starting pitcher Jim McGlothlin. Powell greeted Reds rookie pitcher Milt Wilcox with another single, scoring Buford and making the score 4-3. Frank Robinson flied to right, but Brooks Robinson singled home Blair and then an Elrod Hendricks double scored both Powell and Brooks Robinson, giving the Orioles a 6-4 advantage. Clay Carroll relieved Wilcox on the mound and then he and Don Gullett pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Reds added one more run in the sixth inning on a Johnny Bench home run.

October 11, 1972: The Reds come from being down two games to one to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3. The Reds score two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to win the game and the National League Championship Series.

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September 4, 1916: Reds manager and Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson makes his one and only appearance on the mound for the Reds and, ahem, “fires” a 15 hit-complete game to beat another Hall of Fame pitcher (and former Red) Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and the Cubs, 10-8.

The win is an important one, for the Reds were in last place at the time and remained in sole possession of last place until the last day of the season when a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled them into a tie with the St. Louis Cardinals at 60-93, 33 1/2 games behind the first place Brooklyn Robins.

Mathewson was once property of the Reds, but for only a few days in November of 1900. Mathewson had joined the New York Giants in 1900 and went 0-3 with a 5.08 ERA in six games before being dispatched back to the minor leagues. The Reds drafted him from a minor league team in early November, but Reds owner John T. Brush traded him back to the Giants on November 15 for Hall of Fame pitcher Amos Rusie. Rusie had been one of baseball’s biggest pitching stars of the 1890’s, winning more than 20 games every season that he played from 1890-98 and winning more than 30 games in four straight seasons. He sat out 1899 and 1900 in a contract dispute with the Giants, but reported to the Reds after the trade. However, he only pitched three games with the Reds, going 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in 22 innings and then he retired. Rusie’s final record was 234-163 with a 3.07 ERA. In five separate seasons, he led the major leagues in K/rate per nine innings, hitting a high of 6.01 in 1891.

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