The trade deadline rapidly approaches, and I expect the rumor mill to start spitting out nonsense at any moment. The Reds could use some help in a couple of areas, and we’re already hearing that they’ll look for relievers (again), but get ready for the silly season. That’s not why I’m gathering you here today, […]

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 […]

October 27, 1997: Just twelve days after releasing Steve Parris, the Reds re-sign the 30-year-old starting pitcher, who proceeds to have the best three seasons of his major league career and help anchor the pitching staff for the 1999 Reds team that won 96 games, the most Reds wins since the 1976 Big Red Machine […]

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 22, 1903: “Turkey Mike” Donlin ties a major league record by tripling in four consecutive at bats during a doubleheader split with the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati.

Donlin’s first triple came in the last at bat of a first game 12-7 Reds loss and then he tripled in his first three at bats of the second game Reds 8-1 victory. For the afternoon, Donlin had six hits in seven at bats. For the season, Donlin’s only full season in Cincinnati, Donlin batted .351 with 25 doubles, 18 triples, 7 homers, and 67 rbi, a .420 OBP, and a .936 OPS (155 OPS+). He was second in the league in OPS, triples, home runs, and runs created. He may be one of the best Reds’ talents you’ve never heard of and a piece of one of the greatest collections of Reds outfield talent in Reds history.

Donlin was quite the character. The Reds signed him as a free agent in 1902 while he was in jail for assaulting an actress. When he was released, he finished the 1902 season by playing in 34 games and hitting .287. He was one of baseball’s best players in 1903, and was hitting a robust .356 in 1904 when the Reds traded him to the New York Giants. His OPS+ at the time of his trade was 162, so he was producing. However, Donlin was also an actor and would frequently take leaves of absence during his baseball career to pursue his other craft. Over 12 major league seasons, Donlin batted .333 with an OPS+ of 144, but he played only 1049 games (averaging about 85 per year) during his career.

The 1903 Reds finished in fourth place in the National League with a record of 74-65, 16 games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. Center fielder Cy Seymour was a hitting machine for the Reds, batting .342 with 25 doubles, 15 triples, seven homers (OPS+ of 134) and third baseman Harry Steinfeldt had his best season as a Red, batting .312 and leading the league with 32 doubles (OPS+ of 136). Hall of Fame first baseman Jake Beckley had another good season in his last year with the Reds, batting .327 with an OPS+ of 126. In seven seasons with the Reds, Beckley batted .325 with 251 extra base hits, 530 rbi, and an OPS+ of 128. Hall of Fame manager-outfielder Joe Kelley also played well, batting .316 with a .402 OBP (OPS+ of 124) playing a utility role in 105 games for the Reds.

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On May 19, 1999, the Reds partied like it was, well, partied like it was 1999, scoring 24 runs on 28 hits, including six homers in bashing the Colorado Rockies, 24-12. It probably would not surprise you to know that this game was played at Coors Field. Jeffrey Hammonds led the onslaught with three home […]

February 2, 1999: Greg Vaughn is traded by the San Diego Padres with Mark Sweeney to the Cincinnati Reds for Josh Harris (minors), Damian Jackson and Reggie Sanders.

July 31, 1999: Juan Guzman is traded by the Baltimore Orioles with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Jacobo Sequea (minors) and B.J. Ryan.

October 28, 1999: Greg Vaughn is granted Free Agency.

October 29, 1999: Juan Guzman is granted Free Agency.

December 13, 1999: Greg Vaughn is signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

January 8, 2000: Juan Guzman is signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The Reds had finished first in the first two years of the newly created National League Central in both 1994 and 1995, but then finished at .500 in 1996 and below .500 in both 1997 and 1998. After having the second highest payroll in the National League in 1995, the Reds’ payroll was being continually slashed and Reds General Manager Jim Bowden was having to find creative ways to bring quality players to the Reds. The Reds often opened spring training with a myriad of players hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and showing a return to form to get another chance in the major leagues.

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