This week’s respondents are Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, the inimitable Mary Beth Ellis, and Chad Dotson. Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which particular Reds team was your favorite? Nick D: I was too young to remember the Big Red Machine days, so I will take the 1999 Reds team that won 96 games and missed the […]

Who will be the next Reds Rookie of the Year? Will it be Nick Senzel? Jesse Winker? Shed Long? No one knows for sure. Most Cincinnati Reds who have won that award went on to have pretty good careers. There was Frank Robinson (1956), Pete Rose (1963), Tommy Helms (1966), Johnny Bench (1968). Pat Zachry […]

This week’s respondents are Matt Habel, Steve Mancuso, Jim Walker, Tom Mitsoff, and Chad Dotson. Our Daily Reds Obsession: Who is the best defensive player you’ve ever seen in a Reds uniform? Matt: Billy Hamilton is definitely an easy answer because I have never seen anyone consistently make the plays that he does, let alone […]

Last week, Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with a record 99.3% of the vote. Griffey accumulated most of his Hall of Fame credentials in Seattle from 1989-1999. He was 1997 AL MVP, a 10-time All Star, hit 398 HR and was arguably on pace to break Hank Aaron’s career […]

[This post was written by John Ring, who is the Nation’s correspondent from Afghanistan, where he is serving the entire nation.] It’s all quiet —- some would say too quiet -— on the Reds front. No news on Arroyo. Choo is gone. No trades. Nothing. So while we collectively ponder the state of the current […]

Congratulations to Josh Hamilton, who won the AL MVP Award today (with another former Red, Paul Konerko, finishing fifth in the voting). There have been a number of former Reds who later won MVPs. Let’s explore….

Josh Hamilton
Now we all know that Joey Votto has been named the National League and former Red Josh Hamilton has won the American League MVP award. Too, we all would be happy to have had both Votto and Hamilton in the our lineup together. Knowing what we know now, I suppose that would have solved our outfield problem and we’d have less of a logjam at starting pitcher, and maybe Edinson Volquez wouldn’t have started Game One in the playoffs.

But all that doesn’t matter now. Outside of the Volquez starting game one decision, I still think the Hamilton-Volquez trade was defensible at the time it was made. In saying that, the Ken Griffey (Jr.)Mike Cameron (et al) trade was defensible at the time, too, but didn’t really pan out as well as we hoped.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the Reds are now tied with the Giants for second place as a team in total National League Most Valuable Player Award seasons with twelve. Only the St. Louis Cardinals have more (17).

Hamilton had a truly terrific year, hitting .359 with 32 homers and 100 rbi in only 133 games. He had a .411 OBP and led the majors in slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044). Since leaving the Reds, Hamilton is hitting .315 with 74 homers in three seasons with a .915 OPS (138 OPS+). He’s been a very good player since leaving Cincinnati. In saying all that, Hamilton is not the first former Red that became an MVP following his Reds playing days. There have been others.

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November 16, 2000: In cost cutting moves, the Reds deal away popular semi-regulars catcher Eddie Taubensee and IF-OF Chris Stynes. The 1999 and 2000 Reds were some of General Manager Jim Bowden’s busiest transaction years. Trying to balance the team’s budget around the salaries of stars such as Barry Larkin ($5.3 million), Dante Bichette ($7 […]

November 11, 1981: Reds pitcher Tom Seaver comes the closest of any Reds pitcher to win a Cy Young Award, but loses the vote tallying to Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Fernando Valenzuela by a vote total of 70-67.

Seaver (14-2, 2.54 ERA, 1.118 WHIP) and Valenzuela (13-7, 2.48, eight shut outs, league leading 180 K’s) tied with eight first place votes apiece, with Steve Carlton (13-4, 2.42, ERA) getting five first place votes, and Nolan Ryan (11-5, 1.69 ERA) receiving three. This was the year of the “split-season” as a player’s strike interrupted play halfway through the playing year. The teams did not play the full 162 game schedule (the Reds played 108), thus explaining the lower win totals for the year.

Valenzuela had a remarkable rookie year, hurling shutouts in four of his first five games and in five of his first seven games. He allowed just one run in the other two games, both complete game victories, starting the season 7-0 with an 0.29 ERA, with five shut outs and 61 strikeouts in 63 innings. From May 14 through the end of the season, Valenzuela was 6-7 with a 3.55 ERA, but the terrific start hid the slow finish and the public “Fernandomania” was at a fever pitch for most of the season.

Fernandomania overshadowed a very steady, impressive pitching performance by Seaver. Seaver was 14-2 and was difficult to hit, posting his lowest hits/nine inning ratio of his career (6.5 hits allowed/nine innings). However, he also struck out the fewest hitters per nine innings (4.7/nine innings) of his career, an unusual statistic in lieu of his legendary power pitching of his earlier days.

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November 10, 1932: Donie Bush is named manager of the Reds. Bush had previously managed the 1927-29 Pittsburgh Pirates to great success (246-178, one pennant) and the 1930-31 Chicago White Sox to no success at all (118-189, 7th and 8th place of eight teams)

With the Reds, I suppose Bush demonstrated that it takes talent to win. The Reds finished last with a 58-94 record, 33 games behind the champion New York Giants. It also demonstrates the power of age when it comes to talent. The 1933 Reds had five future Hall of Famers on the team,tied with the 1932 team as having the most at any time in club history. However, none were in their primes. 42-year-old Eppa Rixey was 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 games (12 starts). 33-year-old first baseman Jim Bottomley batted .250 with 13 homers (.706 OPS), 25-year-old catcher Ernie Lombardi batted .283 with four homers, and 27-year-old shortstop Leo Durocher was traded after 16 games. 30-year-old outfielder Chick Hafey had a good year, batting 303 with a .772 OPS (122 OPS+), but it was nowhere near his best slugging seasons.

This was the season that the oldest Red to ever play participated. 49-year-old Jack Quinn pitched his last season, pitching in 14 games covering 15 2/3 innings, going 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA. His last two games came after his 50th birthday. Quinn and Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm are the only players with at least ten games in the season of their fiftieth birthday. Quinn was a spitballer who finished his career 247-218 with a 3.29 ERA in 756 games (443 starts). 1933 was Quinn’s only season with the Reds.

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September 7, 1951: With the battle to avoid last place more boisterous than the battle for first, the Reds take 18 innings to beat the Chicago Cubs, 7-6, in Cincinnati.

The score was tied 3-3 after nine innings and both teams scored three times in the 15th. Cubs starter Bob Rush pitched into the 15th inning, going 14+ innings, allowing 10 hits, walking seven and striking out 10. The Reds won it in the bottom of 18th on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by catcher Dixie Howell. Dixie Howell played parts of four seasons for the Reds and was from Louisville, Kentucky. Dixie’s given name was “Homer.” Homer Bailey’s given name is David. In this game, Reds centerfielder Lloyd Merriman ties a National League record with 12 putouts. Ted Kluszewski reaches base six times, with a home run, a single, and four walks.

The Reds also win in extra innings the next night, 4-3, when centerfielder Bob Usher homers off the left field foul pole to lead off the bottom of the 12th. Harry Perkowski and Howie Fox pitched eight scoreless innings in relief to secure the win.

When the series began, three teams were within a half game of last place, the Reds, the Cubs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates, while the Brooklyn Dodgers held a five game lead over the second place New York Giants. However, the Giants closed the year 17-5 to catch and pass the Dodgers as this was the year of “the shot heard round the world,” with Bobby Thomson’s pennant winning home run. The Reds played well to end the season, too, finished 11-8, and placed sixth in the league.

September 7, 1974: In one of the most courageous moments in Reds history, Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan refuses to leave the game despite having a sprained ankle and hits a tie-breaking two-run home run in the eighth inning as the Reds defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5.

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February 10, 2000: Ken Griffey, Jr., is traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Cincinnati Reds for Jake Meyer (minors), Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez and Brett Tomko. To add to the transaction above, please keep in mind that Greg Vaughn was granted free agency on October 28, 1999, and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil […]

April 5, 1996: Eduardo Perez is traded by the California Angels to the Cincinnati Reds for Will Pennyfeather. November 10, 1997: Dmitri Young traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Cincinnati Reds for Jeff Brantley. February 5, 1998: Roberto Petagine is traded by the New York Mets to the Cincinnati Reds for Yuri Sanchez […]