Reds general manager Dick Williams thinks you should be optimistic about the upcoming season: “The last couple of years, we were preaching that we would have to make tough decisions, trade players, restock the system,” Reds general manager Dick Williams said. “I think people are starting to see the fruits of that labor. They’re starting […]

Even some longtime Reds fans have forgotten over time about the big one that got away from wearing a Cincinnati uniform — Vida Blue. That’s right, Vida Blue. In one of his final moves as the Reds General Manager, Bob Howsam traded for the star lefthanded pitcher of the Oakland A’s in December of 1977. […]

Former Reds pitcher and Christian radio host Frank Pastore, 55, died¬†Monday,¬†from injuries sustained in a November motorcycle accident — an accident that Pastore anticipated on-air just three hours before his death. According to thechristianpost.com, Pastore was on his way to his southern California home after the November 19 broadcast of “The Frank Pastore Show,” his […]

December 11, 1985: The Reds acquire former Cy Young Award winner John Denny and relief pitcher Jeff Gray for formed Reds closer Tom Hume and outfielder Gary Redus.

1985 was Pete Rose’s first full season as Reds manager and the Reds placed second in the National League Western Division race with an 89-72 record, 5 1/2 games behind the Dodgers. The Reds pitching staff finished fourth from the bottom in the league with a 3.71 ERA, while the Dodgers led the National League with a 2.96 ERA so the Reds decided to get some more pitching.

Returning from the 1985 Reds staff was rookie 20-game winner Tom Browning (20-9, 3.55 ERA) and ace Mario Soto (12-15, 3.58 ERA, 214 K’s). The only other Reds starter with more than 15 starts in 1984 was Jay Tibbs (10-16, 3.92 ERA) who would be dealt in a few days to the Montreal Expos in a deal that netted the Reds Bill Gullickson (14-12, 3.52 ERA for the Expos).

The Reds needed another starter and Denny had won the National League Cy Young Award for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983 when he was 19-6 with a 2.37 ERA, his finest major league season (runner-up was the Reds’ Soto who was 17-13, 2.70). The Reds had hoped that a rotation of Soto, Denny, Browning, and Gullickson would give them one of the best rotations in the league.
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November 21, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings were no more. On this date, the Cincinnati Base Ball Club announced it would only use amateur players for the 1871 season. From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

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October 2, 1877: The Reds finish one of their worst season in Cincinnati baseball history, by losing to the Chicago White Stockings, 13-1. The 1877 Reds, who had disbanded and restarted at mid-season, finish the year 15-42 in last place, 25 1/2 games behind the first place Boston Red Caps. The Red Caps were remnants of the original Cincinnati Red Stockings team, led by George Wright and managed by brother Harry Wright. The 1877 Reds won-loss percentage of .263 was tied for second worst of all time.

The 1877 Reds were led by superstar Charley Jones, who batted .310 with an .819 OPS (168 OPS+) in 55 games. He had the second highest WAR (wins above replacement rating) in the league in 1877 (3.2), not that he knew that at the time since it’s a recently developed metric. Shortstop-manager Jack Manning batted .317 (OPS+ 151) and outfielder-manager Lip Pike (142 OPS+) also had strong years. The Reds used three different managers during the season. Pitching was the Reds’ downfall as their staff ERA (4.19) was nearly a run worse than any other team in the league.

October 2, 1892: The St. Louis Browns score eight runs in the top of the first inning, but the Reds come back to win the first game of a double header, 12-10. The Reds also win the second game, 4-1, to sweep the Browns. The 1892 Reds go on to finish in fifth place.

October 2, 1919: The Reds win the second game of the 1919 World Series, 4-2, over the Chicago White Sox in Cincinnati. The Reds now led the best of nine series, two games to one.

The Reds struck for three runs in the fourth inning when White Sox starter Lefty Williams ran into control problems. Williams, who had averaged 1.8 walks/9 innings for the season, walked three Reds hitters in the inning leading to three Reds runs on a single by Edd Roush and a triple by Larry Kopf. The Reds added an insurance run in the sixth when Greasy Neale singled home Roush. The White Sox scored their two runs in the seventh when Ray Schalk singled to score two, aided by two Reds throwing errors on the play.

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September 9, 1946 The Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers play a 19-inning 0-0 tie in Brooklyn, the longest 0-0 game in major league history. The game is eventually stopped due to darkness and replayed from the beginning on September 20 with the Dodgers winning, 5-3.

Using the “Game Score” statistic, Reds lefty Johnny Vander Meer pitches the best Reds game ever in this game (measurements available since 1920) by pitching 15 shutout innings, allowing only seven hits and walking two while striking out 14. His game score was 115 (second highest: Jim Maloney’s 106 vs. New York Mets in 1965; Tom Browning’s 1989 perfect game is 16th highest for Reds with a 94). While not receiving a decision in the tie game, Vander Meer is later the losing pitcher when the game is replayed, going five innings and allowing five hits, five walks, and four runs.

According to “Redleg Journal“:

“The Reds twice had a runner cut down at the plate. In the fifth inning, right fielder Eddie Lukon tried to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run and was thrown out. In the 15th, Dodger right fielder Dixie Walker threw out Reds center fielder Dain Clay when Clay tried to score from second on a single.”

Sidenotes: According to baseball-reference.com, Lukon’s nickname was “Mongoose” and Clay had the nicknames “Sniffy” and “Ding-a-Ling;” Vander Meer was “the Dutch Master.” Harry Gumbert (nicknamed “Gunboat”) pitched the final four innings of the game for the Reds, allowing one hit and striking out two.

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July 5, 1970: Rookie Wayne Simpson allows only four hits, striking out seven in defeating the Houston Astros, 3-1, in Houston. The victory was Simpson’s 10th consecutive win, improving his record to 13-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 18 starts halfway through his freshman season.

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Wow, talk about a timely “this date in Reds history,” only in a better world. Well, not that much better, since the 1981 season will be our “tainted” season; we had baseball’s best record, but didn’t make the playoffs due to the strike and the split season format. On May 28, 1981, Reds’ reliever Doug […]

I’m always down for some fun at the expense of Tom Kite’s Hume’s glasses. Chris

February 15, 1988: Jeff Montgomery is traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals for Van Snider.

November 27, 1991: John Wetteland is traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Tim Belcher to the Cincinnati Reds for Eric Davis and Kip Gross.

December 11, 1991: John Wetteland is traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Bill Risley to the Montreal Expos for Willie Greene, Dave Martinez and Scott Ruskin

November 17, 1992: Trevor Hoffman is drafted by the Florida Marlins from the Cincinnati Reds as the 8th pick in the 1992 expansion draft.

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May 9, 1983: John Franco is traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Brett Wise (minors) to the Cincinnati Reds for Rafael Landestoy. December 6, 1989: John Franco is traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Don Brown (minors) to the New York Mets for Kip Gross and Randy Myers. The Reds have had a rich […]