Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of the National League.

Founded: 1869, 1882, or 1890, depending on the account. See below.
Formerly known as: The Red Stockings in the 19th century; the Redlegs, during the 1950s when the term "Red" carried connotations of communism.
Home ballpark: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Uniform colors: Red and white, trim Black
Logo design: a red "C" with the word "REDS" inside
Wild Card titles won (0): none
Division titles won (8): 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1990, 1995
American Association pennants won (1): 1882
National League pennants won (9): 1919, 1939, 1940, 1961, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1990
World Series championships won (5): 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990

Table of contents
1 Franchise history
2 Players of note
3 External link

Franchise history

The beginning

The original Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first openly all-professional team, was founded in 1869. The Red Stockings won 130 games in a row between 1869 & 1870, before the Brooklyn Atlantics defeated the Red Stockings. Early stars for the Red Stockings included the Wrights, George & Harry. The Red Stockings were a charter member of the National League in 1876, but was expelled from the league later, in part for violating league rules by serving beer to fans at games.

When the American Association, a rival league, began play in 1882, it included a team from Cincinnati, which was also called the Red Stockings. By some accounts, the AA team switched leagues in 1890; by other accounts, the AA team folded the same year the new NL team started, and the new team simply signed many of the AA team's star players. The Red Stockings wandered through the remainder of the 1890s signing local stars & aging veterans.

At the turn of the century, the Reds (shortened from the Red Stockings so not to be confused with the Boston AL entry, now shortened to Red Sox) had hitting stars like Sam Crawford and Cy Seymour. Seymour's .377 average in 1905 was the first individual batting crown won by a Red. In 1911, Bob Bescher stole 81 bases which is still a team record.

From opening of Redland Field to the Great Depression

In 1912 Redland Field, built on the corner of Findley and Western on the city's west side opened for the Reds. By the late 1910s the Reds began to come out of the second division. The 1918 team finished 4th, and then new manager Pat Moran led the Reds to a NL pennant in 1919. The 1919 team had hitting stars led by Edd Roush and Heinie Groh while the pitching staff was led by Hod Eller and Harry "Slim" Sallee, a lefthander. The Reds finished ahead of John McGraw's New York Giants, and then won the world championship in 8 games over the Chicago White Sox.

By 1920, the "Black Sox" scandal put a asterisk by the Reds first championship. In the remainder of the 1920s and early 1930s the Reds were second division dwellers for most of those years. Eppa Rixey, Dolf Luque and Pete Donahoe were pitching stars; the offense never quite lived up to the pitching. By 1931 the team was bankrupt, thanks to the Great Depression, and Redland Field was in a state of disrepair.

Revival of 1930s

Powell Crosley, a electronics magnate who produced radios, refrigerators and other household items, bought the Reds out of Bankruptcy in 1933 and hired Larry McPhail to be the General Manager. Crosley also started WLW Radio in Cincinnati and was doing quite well as a civic leader. McPhail began to grow the Reds' minor league player players and expanding the Reds' base. The Reds throughout the 1930s became a team of "firsts". Crosley Field (formerly Redland Field) became the host of the first night game in 1935. Johnny Vander Meer became the only pitcher in major league history to throw back-to-back no-hitters in 1938. Thanks to Vander Meer, Paul Derringer, & shortstop-turned-pitcher Bucky Walters, the Reds had a solid pitching staff. The offense came around in the late 1930s. Ernie Lombardi was the 1938 NL MVP, First baseman Frank McCormick was the 1940 NL MVP. Other position players included Harry Craft, Lonny Frey, Ival Goodman and Lew Riggs. By 1938 the Reds were out of the second division finishing 4th. By 1939 they were National League champions. The Reds were swept by the New York Yankees in 4 straight. In 1940, they repeated as NL Champions and for the first time in 21 years, the Reds captured a World Series beating the Detroit Tigers 4 games to 3.

From WWII to the Big Red Machine

World War II and age finally caught up with the Reds. Throughout the remainder of the 1940s and the early 1950s, Cincinnati finished mostly in the second division. In 1944, Joe Nuxhall, age 15, pitched for the Reds on loan from Hamilton High School. Ewell Blackwell was the main pitching stalwart before arm problems cut short his career. Ted Klusewski was the NL home run leader in 1954. The rest of the offense was a collection of over-the-hill players & not-ready-for-prime time youngsters.

By 1956, the Reds began the most successful portion of their clubs history. Led by NL Rookie of the year Frank Robinson, the Reds hit 221 HR to tie the NL record. By 1961, Robinson was joined by Vada Pinson, Wally Post, Gordy Coleman and Gene Freese. Pitchers Joey Jay, Jim O'Toole and Bob Purkey led the staff. The Reds captured the 1961 NL flag, holding off the Milwaukee Brewers & the San Francisco Giants. However for the Reds, 1961 was the year New York Yankee Roger Maris hit 61 HR and they took the Reds in 5 games in the World Series. The rest of the 1960s were successful on the field, but didn't produce any championships. They won 98 games in 1962 (paced by Purkey's 23) but finished 3rd. In 1964, they lost the pennant by one game. The farm system produced players such as Jim Maloney (the Reds pitching ace of the 1960s), Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench and Gary Nolan. All this set up for a fantastic run known as the Big Red Machine. Crosley Field, home to over 4500 baseball games, played its final game on June 24 1970. In its place, a new stadium, and a new Reds dynasty.

In 1970, little known George "Sparky" Anderson was hired to manage the Reds. Together with general manager Bob Howsam, the Reds began the 1970s with a bang. Riverfront Stadium, a 52,000 seat multi-purpose venue on the shores of the Ohio River opened its doors. The Reds began the season winning 70 of their first 100 games. Johnny Bench, Lee May, Tony Perez, Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan were the early Red Machine offensive leaders. Gary Nolan, Jim Merritt and Jim McGlothlin led a pitching staff which also contained veteran Tony Cloninger and youngsters Wayne Simpson and Don Gullett. The Reds breezed through the 1970 season, won the NL West & captured the NL Flag. By the World Series, the Reds pitching staff ran out of gas and the veteran Baltimore Orioles beat the Reds in 5.

After the disastrous 1971 season (the only season of the '70s where the Reds had a losing record) the Reds reloaded by trading Lee May and Tommy Helms for Joe Morgan, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Denis Menke. The 1972 Reds won the NL West & defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in an exciting 5 game series, the Reds played the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Six of the Seven games were won by one run, but the A's won in seven. The Reds won a third NL West flag in 1973 but lost the NL flag to the New York Mets. The Reds won 98 games in 1974 but finished second.

In 1975, the Reds won 108 games and won the NL West. They swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in three games to win the NL Flag. In the World Series, the Boston Red Sox were the opponents. Splitting the first four games, the Reds took Game 5. Game 6 is still one of the most memorable games played. The Reds were up 6-3 with 5 outs left when the Red Sox tied the game on former Red Bernie Carbo's three-run home run. After a few close-calls either way, Carlton Fisk hit one off the foul pole in left to give the Red Sox a 7-6 win. Joe Morgan's RBI single in Game 7 gave the Reds their first championship in 35 years. In 1976, the Reds swept throughout the NL West and proceeded to go 9-0 in the playoffs. The Reds won the NL title from the Philadelphia Phillies, winning game 3 in their last at-bat. The New York Yankees never really caught up to the Reds losing 4 straight. The Reds became the first NL team in 50 years to win back-to-back World Series Championships.

The last four years of the '70s were turmoil and change. By 1979 Tony Perez, Don Gullett, Pete Rose. Sparky Anderson, Gary Nolan and others had left the Reds. The Reds did manage to win the 1979 NL West behind the pitching of Tom Seaver. In 1981 the Reds had the best record in baseball, but thanks to a players strike, they finished second in both halves of the season. By 1982 the Reds were a shell of the Red Machine. They lost 100 games in 1982. Johnny Bench retired in 1983.

The 1980s and onwards

In 1984 the Reds began to move up. Depending on trades and some minor leaguers, the Reds escalated up. In 1984 Dave Parker & Tony Perez were in Cincinnati uniforms. By the end of 1984, Pete Rose was hired to be the Reds player-manager. From 1985 to 1989 the Reds finished second 4 times. Among the highlights, Pete Rose became the all-time hits leader, Tom Browning threw a perfect game, and Chris Sabo was the 1988 National League Rookie of the Year. In 1989, Pete Rose was banned from baseball by Commissioner Bart Giamatti, who declared Rose guilty of "conduct detrimental to baseball".

In 1990 the Reds under new manager Lou Pinella shocked baseball by leading the NL West from wire-to-wire. They started off 35-12 and maintained their lead throughout the year. Led by Sabo, Barry Larkin, Eric Davis & Billy Hatcher in the field and by Jose Rijo, Tom Browning and the Nasty Boys of Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers on the mound, the Reds took out the Pirates in the NLCS & swept the shocked Oakland Athletics in four straight. By 1995 the Reds were in the NLCS again, but lost to the Atlanta Braves. In 1999 they won 96 games, but lost to the New York Mets in a one game playoff. Riverfront Stadium in 2002 was demolished, paving the way for the Great American Ball Park. In 2003, the father-son combo of GM Bob Boone and third baseman Aaron Boone was broken when Bob was relieved and the upset Aaron traded to the New York Yankees.

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Current stars

Not to be forgotten

Retired numbers

External link