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 […]

Most of you have never heard of Ken Johnson. He toiled in the major leagues for 13 seasons, pitched for some bad teams and was what you would call a “late bloomer.” He died in obscurity on November 15, 2015. He was 82 years old. His death was routinely ignored, much as his career was. […]

(This is the second in a series of articles about Cincinnati Reds pitchers to throw no-hitters. Twelve Red hurlers have thrown no-hitters, including Homer Bailey’s gem against the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Bailey’s no-hitter was the first thrown since Mr. Perfect, Tom Browning, beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 in 1989, retiring all 27 hitters […]

December 15, 1900: The infamous Frank Robinson trade to the contrary, the Reds make the worst trade in franchise history when they deal future Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson to the New York Giants for end-of-the-line Hall of Fame pitcher Amos Rusie.

You can read it about it in more detail here. Suffice it to say, Rusie was 0-1 as a Red, making three appearances for them in his last games as a major leaguer. He won 246 games before joining the Reds (246-174, 3.07 ERA career). Mathewson won one game for the Reds, in 1916 after the Reds reacquired him to manage the team. Between 1900 and 1916, Mathewson won 372 games while with the Giants (373-188, 2.13 ERA career, 1-0 with the Reds).

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November 12, 1908: The Reds begin a month-long 12-game tour of Cuba, becoming the first Major League team to play there. On this first game, the Reds defeated the Havana team 3-1.

The Reds, who were 73-81 in 1908, won six of eleven games against local Cuban teams and lost once on the tour to the Brooklyn Royal Giants, a Negro League team also barnstorming in Cuba.

The real payoff for the team came through the names Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida who played for the Cuban Almendares team. Marsans and Almeida later joined the Reds and made their National League debuts on July 4, 1911, becoming the first natural born Cubans to play in a National League game.

The Reds had been initializing pursuing third baseman Almeida, who only agreed to come if outfielder Marsans could come as an interpreter and play, too, since Almeida spoke very little English. Bringing Marsans was a good idea, too, since he was the better player. Almeida played three seasons for the Reds, batting .270 in 102 games as a part-time player.

Marsans became a very good player, finishing eighth in the National League in batting average at .317 (109 OPS+) and had 35 steals. In four seasons with the Reds, Marsans batted .300 with 96 steals in the deadball era (99 OPS+). Marsans jumped to the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League in 1914 and the Reds sued Marsans for breach of contract. Marsans only played 45 games for the Terriers over two years before jumping back to the St.Louis Browns of the American League. In eight total major league seasons, Marsans batted .269 (89 OPS+).

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November 2, 1881: The American Association is founded to compete with the National League. The motto for the league is “Liberty to All” with founding members the Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Brooklyn Atlantics, Louisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Alleghenys, and the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The American Association will become known as the “Beer and Whiskey […]

October 9, 1876: The first National League Cincinnati Reds team finished the worst season in Reds history with an 11-0 lost to the Hartford Dark Blues. The Reds, or Porkopolitans as they were sometimes called, went 9-56, a .138 won-loss percentage, and finished 42 1/2 games behind the first place Chicago White Stockings.

The first Reds team had a genuine superstar, Charley Jones, who batted .286 with a .724 OPS (154 OPS+) and was second in the league with four home runs. Those were the only home runs the Reds hit all season. Jones was the only Red to have a slugging percentage over .279. Over the next decade, Jones became one of baseball’s best known and very best players with several teams signing him to contracts, but that’s another story. The Reds most common pitcher (carefully chose the word “common”) was Dory Dean who finished the season 4-26 with a 3.73 ERA (ERA+ 59). He led the team in games pitched and innings pitched despite missing the first two months of the season. His .133 winning percentage is the worst ever by a one-year pitcher with a minimum of 20 decisions.

At least the Reds finished the season. The New York Mutuals and the Philadelphia Athletics quit the season with two weeks to go and found their teams expelled from the National League. The nation’s two largest cities did not have major league baseball teams for at least the next five seasons. Philadelphia did not get another major league baseball team until 1882 when the American Association granted them a franchise. The National League granted a franchise to Philadelphia in 1883 in response to the AA move. The National League and American Association both granted New York franchises for the 1883 league seasons.

October 9, 1898: The Reds’ Dusty Miller collects eight hits in a Reds doubleheader with the Cleveland Spiders. The Reds won the first game, 12-5, but the second game resulted a 6-6 tie with the game called after seven innings due to darkness.

In the first game, Miller was 5-5 with five singles against Hall of Famer Cy Young. In the second game, he had a single, a double, and a triple. For the season, Miller batted .299 and led the Reds with 99 runs scored and 90 rbi. Miller played seven major league seasons, five with the Reds. His best Reds season was 1895, when he batted .335 with 10 homers, 112 rbi, 103 runs scored, 31 doubles, 16 triples and an .888 OPS (124 OPS+). The best hitter for the 1898 Reds was Mike Smith, a former 34-game winning pitcher for the Red Stockings in 1887. Smith batted .342 with an .858 OPS (139 OPS+).

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October 5, 1939: Yankees pitcher Monte Pearson holds the Reds hitless for seven and 1/3 innings as the Yankees shutout the Reds, 4-0, to take a two game to none lead in the 1939 World Series.

The Yankees reached Reds starter Bucky Walters for five hits in the third inning, plating three runs, and later added a Babe Dahlgren fourth inning home run to account for all their scoring. The Reds’ Billy Werber was the Reds’ only baserunner before the eighth inning, drawing a fourth inning leadoff walk. However, Werber was erased trying to steal second base as Lonnie Frey struck out. The Reds got their first hit on an Ernie Lombardi single in the eighth inning. Werber got the Reds’ only other hit, a ninth inning single.

October 5, 1940: The Reds’ Paul Derringer pitches a five-hitter to win his first World Series game in six starts as the Reds evened the 1940 World Series at two games each with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Derringer had previously started two World Series games in the 1931 classic while with the St. Louis Cardinals and the 1939 Series with the Reds as well as the opening game in the 1940 Series before notching his first WS victory in this game. His career walk rate was 1.9 in regular season play, but he averaged 4.6 walks per nine innings during his postseason career and he walked six in this 1940 victory. Four different Reds had two hits in this game with Ival Goodman collecting two rbi.

October 5, 1961: The Reds even the 1961 World Series game at one game apiece as Joey Jay pitches a four-hitter while Gordy Coleman and Johnny Edwards each collect two rbi in a 6-1 win over the New York Yankees.

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October 4, 1902: The Pittsburgh Pirates set a new major league record with 103 wins as they defeat a disinterested Cincinnati Reds team, 11-2, in Pittsburgh. Rain had dampened the grounds in Pittsburgh and the Reds did not want to play, but the Pirates insisted on playing the game to have a chance at playing the record. The Reds played many players out of position in protest of playing the game.

Pitchers were first baseman Jake Beckley and star outfielders Mike Donlin and Cy Seymour. Seymour and player-manager Joe Kelley were reported to have been smoking cigarettes in the game. The catcher was pitcher Rube Vickers who set a modern major league record (still standing) of six passed balls in one game.

October 4, 1919 Jimmy Ring fires a three-hitter as the Reds take a 3-1 World Series lead over the Chicago White Sox with a 2-0 victory.

Both Reds runs came in the fifth inning when they took advantage of two errors by White Sox starting pitcher Eddie Cicotte. With one out, Reds outfielder Pat Duncan reached second base when Cicotte threw wildly to first base after fielding Duncan’s ground ball. Larry Kopf then singled to left to score Duncan and was safe at second base when Cicotte dropped a throw at second base as Kopf was trying to stretch the single into a double. Greasy Neale then doubled to left field to score Kopf and provide the last run of the game.

Ring walked three and struck out three, while Cicotte allowed five hits and walked no one.

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September 27, 1898: Jake Beckley (read more from September 25), handles a record 22 chances at first base in one game, with 21 put outs, one assist, and no errors to set a major league record in a win over the Cleveland Spiders. Beckley holds the major league record for career putouts at first base. […]

August 15 has proven to be a day of several interesting items: August 15, 1919: The Reds sweep a doubleheader from the New York Giants, 4-3 and 4-0, to give them a six 1/2 game lead in first place. Four days later they begin a ten-game win streak to seal first place on their way […]

July 23, 1962: Lefty Jim O’Toole retires the first 22 batters he faces before settling for a one-hitter in a Reds 3-0 shut out over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the sixth straight Reds win and kept them in fourth place, 9 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Through five innings, O’Toole and Pirate […]