October 14, 1952: The Reds trade outfielder Cal Abrams, catcher Joe Rossi, and first baseman Gail Henley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gus Bell. Bell becomes a four-time all-star and one of the favorite players in Reds history.

October 14, 1968: During the National League’s second expansion draft of the 1960’s, the Reds lose six players. The Montreal Expos select centerfielder Mack Jones, lefty pitcher Dan McGinn, and infielder Jimy Williams, while the San Diego Padres select lefty pitchers Billy McCool and Fred Katawczik, and catcher Fred Kendall.

Only Jones, McCool, and McGinn played on the 1968 Reds. Jones was the team’s fourth outfielder, and a good one, who batted .252 with 10 homers (124 OPS+). McCool was still only 23-years-old, but had begun losing effectiveness (3-4, 4.97), and McGinn was a 24-year-old lefty prospect. Kendall later became a regular Padres catcher in the early 1970’s, Williams never made it back to the majors (except as a manager), and Katawczik never made the majors.

October 14, 1970: The Reds hold on for one more day as they win the fourth game of the 1970 World Series, 6-5, in Baltimore. Lee May provided the winning runs with a three-run eighth inning home run.

The Reds had scored single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings. Dave Concepcion drove home May with a second inning triple, May scored Bobby Tolan on a third inning single, and Pete Rose homered off Jim Palmer in the fifth inning for the Reds’ first three runs. However, the Orioles had reached Reds starter Gary Nolan for a Brooks Robinson second inning solo home run, and for three runs in the third on run-scoring singles by Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson with Elrod Hendricks singling home the third run off Reds reliever Don Gullett in the same frame. The Orioles made it 5-3 in the sixth when Brooks Robinson singled with one out and scored all the way from first base when Hendricks singled to right field and scored on Pete Rose’s errant throw to third base. Rose had earlier gunned down Brooks Robinson at the plate to prevent a run in the third.

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October 10, 1961: In the National League’s first expansion draft, the Reds lose six players, four to the New York Mets and two to the Houston Colt .45’s.

The Mets selected pitchers Jay Hook and Sherman Jones, infielder Elio Chacon, and popular outfielder Gus Bell. The Colt .45’s selected first baseman Dick Gernert and pitcher Ken Johnson.

The expansion draft didn’t do a lot of damage to the Reds. Johnson was the probably the biggest loss. He had been acquired in trade for reliever Orlando Pena from the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League and made 11 second half starts for the Reds. Johnson was 6-2 with 3.25 ERA for the 1961 Reds, but went on to play 13 major league seasons going 91-106 with a 3.46 ERA (102 ERA+). He became a rotation starter through the 1968 season.

Bell was the surprise loss. One of the most popular Reds since 1951 and a four-time all-star, Bell had become a role player by the 1961 Reds World Series sesason. Bell picked up the first New York Met hit ever in 1962, but batted only .149 in 115 plate appearances before being dealt to the Milwaukee Braves where he played one season on the bench and pinch hit three times in each of the next two seasons.

Hook was a prospect that had not panned out for the Reds. Hook went 11-18 with 4.50 ERA in 1960 as a 23-year-old, but did not pitch well in 1961 going 1-3 with a 7.76 ERA in 62 innings, allowing 14 home runs. After the Mets started 1962 with an 0-9 record before winning the first game in Mets’ history.

October 10, 1967: In more damage control following the aftermath of the Frank Robinson trade, the Reds deal slugging first baseman Deron Johnson to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Mack Jones, outfielder-1b Jim Beauchamp, and reliever Jay Ritchie.

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October 6, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings score 13 runs in the final three innings to erase a 15-5 deficit and beat the Forest Grays of Cleveland, 18-15. It was the biggest comeback win of the year for the team that finished 67-6-1.

October 6, 1880: The Cincinnati Reds are expelled from the National League for selling beer during games and for renting the ballpark to amateur teams on Sunday.

At the time, not all players were not protected by the “reserve clause,” the ruling that binds players to teams. The teams could protect five players (normal roster size was 11) and teams generally protected their pitcher, their catcher, and three other players while other players were essentially free agents at the end of each season. The Reds didn’t protect future Hall of Famer King Kelly, which proved to be a mistake, and they attempted to protect Cal McVey, who instead of being protected, retired. Another star they protected, Deacon White, held out for a better contract. At first, it was a badge of honor to be protected, but then the players realized the teams were using the Reserve Clause to hold down salaries for the unprotected players were signing bigger contracts than the “face of the franchise” type players. The Reds were the first team to fall because of player reactions to the Reserve Clause. The 1879 team that went 43-37 and was expected to contend in 1880, instead limped home at 21-59. The team was losing money and resorted to selling spirits at the ballpark and leasing the ballpark for Sunday use, of which both items were banned by the National League.

The NL ignored the Reds’ practice until the more puritan northeastern teams took issue and started to complain. The Worcester Ruby Legs, who had just joined the league for the 1880 season, complained the loudest and the league sought to reinforcement the two rules. The Reds refused to sign an agreement and were bounced out of the league with the Detroit Wolverines taking their place. The result was that Cincinnati did not have a major league team in 1881 (the only year) and was a founding member of the American Association for the 1882 season in a league often called the “Beer and Whiskey League” for seemingly obvious reasons.

October 6, 1882: The Cincinnati Red Stockings in the first World Series game ever, well, sort of, 4-0, over the Chicago White Stockings in an unauthorized game in Cincinnati.

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July 22, 1995: Former strike replacement player Rick Reed makes his Reds debut and pitches 6 1/3 no-hit innings in a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The players had gone on strike during the 1994 season with a couple of surprise teams in first place. The Reds had an injury filled 1993 season and finished in fifth place in the National League Western Division with a 73-89 record. The divisions were realigned for the 1994, the Reds were healthy, and the Reds were in first place in the National League Central Division when games were halted on August 11. The Reds were 66-48, 1/2 game ahead of the second place Houston Astros. Meanwhile, the Montreal Expos were having their best season ever with a 74-40 record, good enough for first place in the National League East. After a couple of weeks the owners voted to lockout the players and cancel the remainder of the season. Only two owners voted against this: Reds owner Marge Schott and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos (Orioles were second in the American League East).

There was still no agreement between the players and the teams as the 1995 spring training season began. The major league owners decided to hire strike replacement players and proceed with the season. There was much disagreement from baseball management on how to approach the situation. Here’s a report from Jason Robertson at Baseball Almanac.com

Baltimore did not field a strikebreaking team that spring. Team owner Peter Angelos refused to do so due to some connections with other union(s). The Toronto Blue Jays planned on playing regular season games in their spring training home in Dunedin, Florida, due to Ontario labor laws preventing the use of strikebreaking employees. Bob Didier filled in as manager for Cito Gaston during the strike. Tom Runnells was named interim manager of the Detroit Tigers, after Sparky Anderson refused to manage the team and continually insulted the quality of players and the integrity of baseball that spring. Due to Quebec labor laws, Montreal was the only team that could hire strikebreaking players from outside the US or Canada, giving them a larger pool of players to choose from.

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November 3, 1992: Paul O’Neill is traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Joe DeBerry (minors) to the New York Yankees for Roberto Kelly.

Former Reds General Manager Jim Bowden has said this was the worst trade he ever made and he’s probably right.

O’Neill was born in Columbus, Ohio, went to college in Ohio, and the Reds drafted him in the 4th round in the 1981 amateur draft. After two cups of coffee with the Reds in 1985 and 1986, he made the majors for good halfway through the 1987 season, and earned a permanent starting job in 1988 when Dave Parker was traded to the A’s. O’Neill responded with a .252 average and 16 homers, which became about his norm during his five fulltime season with the Reds. He averaged .259 in his time with Cincinnati and hit 96 homers, with a high of 28 homers in 1991. During the 1990 Reds World Championship season O’Neill batted .270 wiht 16 home runs. However, he dropped to .256 and .246 over the two subsequent seasons.

Meanwhile, centerfielder Roberto Kelly had just finished his fourth complete season (sixth overall) for the Yankees in 1992, batting .272 with 10 homers and 28 steals. Continue reading