We at The Nation have lost The Big Bopper. We lost a beloved player, a guy who played every day without a gripe, played hurt and never got involved in drama on or off the field. We lost a big, strong quiet leader who had a connection with Cincinnati Reds fans. We have lost Lee […]

To me, 2016 was a disastrous baseball season for the Cincinnati Reds. They finished in last place. They were no-hit. They blew leads. Their bullpen wasn’t just bad but historically bad. And while it’s true that no one expected anything from the Reds last year, it was still a painful thing to watch or listen […]

All the speculation on whether Bryan Price would return to the Reds as their manager has now concluded. He will be back next year for sure, with an option year included. To most involved with Redleg Nation, we see that as eminently fair. Price hasn’t had the benefit of really playing with a full deck […]

The phone rang tonight just as the Reds were about to start a game. I answered it and an authoritative voice said, “Bristol here.” It was Dave Bristol calling me. I can only imagine how a young Tony Perez or Johnny Bench would have responded to that voice during the 1967 season at their early […]

(This is the third in a series of articles about Cincinnati Red 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 […]

October 13, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings lose to the Chicago White Stockings for the second time in the season, 16-13. From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder: The two defeats to the White Stockings ended hopes that the Reds had of being considered champions for the 1870 season. Asa Brainard held the […]

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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August 25, 1965: 23-year-old Tony Perez takes a big step toward establishing his career clutch hitter reputation as he unloads a 9th inning three-run pinch home run off Milwaukee Braves reliever Billy O’Dell in a Reds 7-4 victory in Milwaukee. The Perez home run marks the fourth time in 1965 that the Reds defeat the Braves in Milwaukee on last inning home runs off Braves star reliever O’Dell.

O’Dell was one of the Braves’ best pitchers in 1965. Acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the offseason for catcher Ed Bailey, O’Dell was 10-6 for the Braves with a 2.18 ERA (161 ERA+) and 18 saves. He appeared in 62 games and pitched 111 innings out of the bullpen. He had been a starting pitcher for the Giants, winning 19 games in 1962, but the Braves got him to protect leads for young starters Tony Cloninger (24-11, 3.29) and Wade Blasingame (16-10, 3.77). O’Dell did this very well, except for when pitching against the Reds. Against the 1965 Reds, O’Dell was 0-4 with a 5.14 ERA (for his career, O’Dell was 7-8 vs. the Reds with a 3.71 ERA).

Here’s 1965 game by game:

June 25: Don Pavletich connects for a two-run 11th inning home run with Deron Johnson aboard to give the Reds a 3-1 victory over O’Dell and the Braves. The Reds had scored once in the top of the first on a Johnson single, but the Braves tied it in the fourth when Joe Torre homered off Reds starter Sammy Ellis (Ellis would win 22 games this 1965 season). O’Dell had entered the game to start the tenth inning in relief of Dick Kelley and had retired the first four batters he faced before Johnson singled. One-out later, Pavletich homered to give the Reds their 3-1 lead. Ellis retired the Braves in order in the bottom of the 10th to finish his complete game victory for the Reds. The win kept the Reds in second place, 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves were fourth at this time, five games behind.

June 27: The Reds’ Frank Robinson leads off the top of the ninth inning with a home run off Braves reliever Billy O’Dell to break a 9-9 tie and give the Reds a 10-9 victory in the first game of a double header in Milwaukee. Reds reliever Billy McCool struck out one batter and retired two more on foul flies to save the game for the Reds.

The Reds had built a 9-1 lead on the strength of home runs by Deron Johnson, Tony Perez, and Tommy Harper by the middle of the sixth inning. However, the Braves erupted for eight runs off Reds starter John Tsitouris in the sixth to tie the game at 9-9. Two Reds errors and six Braves hits, including home runs by Frank Bolling and Joe Torre, enabled the Braves to tie the game. McCool was the winning pitcher, pitching 3 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball to get the win.

The Reds won the second game, 10-2, to sweep the doubleheader as Vada Pinson hit a grand slam home run in the fourth and Robinson followed Pinson with a solo shot. Jim Maloney went the distance for the victory. The win moved the second place Reds to within one game of first place, while the Braves were now 4 1/2 games behind the Dodgers.

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July 20: I’ve been trying to avoid listing several events on the same day, but July 20 deserves an exception.

First, probably the most important event was July 20, 1916, when the Reds traded for three Hall of Famers on the same day. The Reds traded their shortstop player-manager Buck Herzog and outfielder Red Killefer for future Hall of Fame outfielder Edd Roush, infielder and future Reds Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie, and Hall of Fame pitcher and newly appointed Reds manager for 1916, Christy Mathewson. One of the most important acquisitions in Reds history, Roush becomes one of the very best deadball hitters of all-time, leads the Reds to a 1919 World Series victory, accumulates a .323 lifetime batting average, and is named to baseball’s Hall of Fame. For more info, please read the link above (three Hall of Famers).

July 20, 1894: one of the more unusual and disturbing “rooter” (fan) events in Reds history occurs in a 7-6 extra inning victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. This story is better left told by the Greg Rhodes and John Snyder, authors of “Redleg Journal“:

“Aided by zealous bleacherites, the Reds pull out a dramatic 7-6 win over the Pirates at League Park in the ten innings. Pittsburgh scored in the top of the tenth to take a 6-5 lead, but a homer by Farmer Vaughn tied the game and then Germany Smith followed with another ball into the bleachers. According to the ground rules of the day, Pittsburgh left fielder Elmer Smith was permitted to jump into the stands to retrieve the ball and attempt to retire the Cincinnati baserunner on a throw back to the infield. Several overzealous fans held Smith down, and center fielder Jake Stenzel rushed to his teammate’s defense. The outfielders slugged their way free, but vacated the premises in a hurry when a fan displayed a revolver hidden in a coat pocket, and threatened to use the weapon if the Pittsburgh players continued their pursuit of the elusive horsehide.

There was certainly a much different code of sportsmanship in operation a year ago. The Enquirer termed the incident ‘excusable.’ ‘It would be a poor (fan), indeed.’ opined the paper, ‘who would not turn a trick to help out the home team….They would not have been loyal Cincinnati rooters had they acted any other way.’

For those keeping score of old-timer’s nicknames: Farmer Vaughn’s given name was Henry; Germany Smith’s given name was George; Elmer Smith’s given name was Elmer, but he sometimes went by Mike; and Jake Stenzel’s given name was Jacob. Prior to play the outfield for the Pirates, Elmer Smith had been a Reds pitcher, winning 34 games for the 1887 Reds and leading the American Association with a 2.94 ERA. Red Killefer’s given name was Wade. Christy Mathewson was known as “Big Six.” Buck Herzog’s given name was Charles. McKechnie was known as “the Deacon” for his low-key disposition.

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July 10, 1970: Reds shortstop Woody Woodward hits the only home run of his nine-year major league career in an 11-9 loss to the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a doubleheader. The Reds won the second game, 3-1, to avoid being swept and break a four game losing streak. The four game losing […]

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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July 2, 1961: Reds first baseman Gordy Coleman gathers eight hits including two doubles and a game-winning home run as the first place Reds sweep a doubleheader from the Braves at County Stadium in Milwaukee. In the first game, Coleman went 5-6 and won the game with a three-run homer in the top of the […]