November 9, 1973: The Reds trade disgruntled outfielder Bobby Tolan and relief pitcher Dave Tomlin to the San Diego Padres for starting pitcher Clay Kirby.

Tolan had been acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals along with reliever Wayne Granger on October 11, 1968 for popular star Reds outfielder Vada Pinson. Pinson played for seven more seasons after leaving the Reds, but he was never the same player he had been as a Red, except for his 1970 season with the Cleveland Indians (.286, 24 homers, 82 rbi, 115 OPS+). Meanwhile, Tolan became an outstanding outfielder for the Reds and probably the most underrated player on the 1970 World Series team.

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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 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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October 3, 1890: Reds owner Aaron Stern sells the Reds to a group of investors, headed by Albert Johnson, who are tied to the newly formed Players League. The Reds temporarily withdraw from the National League just one year after being readmitted to the league following their 1890 banishment.

October 3, 1891: John Reilly smashes three triples in a game for the second time in his career as the Reds defeat the Chicago Colts, 15-9, in Chicago. Reilly is one of only four players, and the only Red, to hit three triples in a game twice in their careers. The win keeps the Reds out of last place as they finish the season 56-81, one game ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

October 3, 1919: The Reds lose the first World Series game in their history, 3-0, to the Chicago White Sox in Chicago. The Reds now lead the White Sox in the Series, two games to one.

Rookie Dickie Kerr pitched a three-hitter and walked one to pitch the White Sox to victory. Kerr retired the last 15 batters of the game allowing only three runners to reach second base during the game.

Dolf Luque pitches one inning in the game for the Reds, becoming the first Hispanic American to appear in a World Series game.

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June 29, 1968: On this day in Reds history, 20-year-old Gary Nolan fires his seventh career shut out and hits his only major league home run as the Reds beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-0, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Nolan had the started the 1968 season on the disabled list and didn’t make […]

May 29, 1971: Geroge Foster is traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Cincinnati Reds for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert.

June 12, 1973: Fred Norman is traded by the San Diego Padres to the Cincinnati Reds for Mike Johnson, Gene Locklear and cash.

The Reds were heavily favored to win the National League again in 1971. The only player they had lost from 1970 was ace starting pitcher Jim Maloney who did not win a game for them in 1970 anyway after damaging an Achilles tendon running the bases during a game. In retrospect, that torn Achilles may have been a precursor to the winter and Bobby Tolan’s injury. Tolan tore his Achilles tendon in a Reds’ basketball barnstorming tour in the offseason.

At first it was thought that Tolan would return at mid-season, so Reds manager Sparky Anderson began testing his existing roster trying to find centerfielders. Continue reading