In his first at-bat as a Cincinnati Red on Opening Day of 1969, Bobby Tolan smacked a home run into the Sun Deck of Crosley Field off Don Drysdale. It was the start of a stellar four-year run for Tolan, who was the heir apparent to the centerfield position vacated with the trade of Reds […]

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 […]

On November 28, 1966 the Reds acquired an itinerant 33 year old relief pitcher from the Braves in the Rule 5 draft. Ted Abernathy had already pitched for four teams with varying success at a time when the role of relief pitchers was rapidly changing. Little did the Reds know that they had just acquired […]

The “save” didn’t become an official statistic in baseball until 1969, although it had been tracked for years. The definition of a save itself was defined in 1960 by Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman but it has been redefined, examined and criticized since. (The first official “save” went to Bill Singer on Opening Day 1969, who […]

All right, you expert Reds fans. What’s the significance of this lineup? Pete Rose Bobby Tolan Tony Perez Johnny Bench Lee May Jimmy Stewart Tommy Helms Darrel Chaney Wayne Granger Those were the Reds on the field on June 30, 1970 during the final inning played at Crosley Field. Cincinnati defeated the San Francisco Giants […]

John Erardi does it again today, with a short interview with former Reds great reliever, Wayne Granger:

The Reds’ acquisition of second baseman Joe Morgan before the 1972 season is regarded as the crowning glory of the late Reds’ general manager Bob Howsam, because it laid the groundwork for the speed-and-power of the Big Red Machine.

But the forerunner of that deal – and arguably the best deal Howsam made up until that time – was before the 1969 season. He traded an aging but still popular superstar, Vada Pinson, for center fielder Bobby Tolan and relief pitcher Wayne Granger from St. Louis.

(snip)

if you ask most Reds fans older than 50 what they remember of Granger, they’d probably say for giving up a grand slam to Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dave McNally in the 1970 World Series, which the Reds lost 4 games to 1. It is the only time in World Series history that a pitcher has hit a grand slam. Even Granger brought up that pitch when he was asked what were his most indelible memories from his three years as a Red, all of them pitching for the late Reds manager Sparky Anderson.

“Sparky came out and said, ‘Throw strikes,’ and so I did,” recalled Granger. “It was a strike, all right, but it was probably the worst pitch in baseball history.”

(snip)

“I gave up some game-winning home runs when I was here,” he recalled. “I probably cost us the pennant in ’69.”

Continue reading

I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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.

Continue reading

October 15, 1892: Bumpus Jones pulls off one of the most improbable events in baseball history and pitches a no-hitter in his first major league game. In the last Reds’ game of the 1892 sesaon, Jones defeats the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-1. It’s one of the only two wins in Jones’s career and the first no-hitter […]

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 11, 1968: The Reds trade popular centerfielder Vada Pinson to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Bobby Tolan and reliever Wayne Granger.

October 11, 1970: The Reds lose Game 2 of the 1970 World Series to the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 6-5, blowing an early lead for the second consecutive day. The Orioles now lead the World Series, two games to none.

The Reds scored three times in the bottom of the first inning off Orioles pitcher Mike Cuellar to take the lead. Pete Rose reached on shortstop Mark Belanger’s error, but was forced out at second base by Bobby Tolan. Tony Perez singled to centerfield with Tolan stopping at second base. Tolan moved to third on a Johnny Bench flyout. Lee May then doubled to centerfield, scoring both Tolan and Perez and with May advancing to third base on an error by Orioles centerfielder Paul Blair. May scored on a Hal McRae squeeze bunt to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. Tolan made it 4-0 in the third with a solo home run.

The Orioles got one run back in the fourth on a Boog Powell home run and then erupted for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead. With one out, three straight singles from pinch hitter Chico Salmon, Don Buford, and Blair scored Salmon and chased Reds starting pitcher Jim McGlothlin. Powell greeted Reds rookie pitcher Milt Wilcox with another single, scoring Buford and making the score 4-3. Frank Robinson flied to right, but Brooks Robinson singled home Blair and then an Elrod Hendricks double scored both Powell and Brooks Robinson, giving the Orioles a 6-4 advantage. Clay Carroll relieved Wilcox on the mound and then he and Don Gullett pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Reds added one more run in the sixth inning on a Johnny Bench home run.

October 11, 1972: The Reds come from being down two games to one to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3. The Reds score two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to win the game and the National League Championship Series.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading