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Take a look at some of the Reds collectibles I have in my home.

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(Cincinnati Reds)

(Cincinnati Reds)

2023 Season

Season Preview: Reds fans can hardly wait to see how the pitching trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft handle enemy batters in 2023. They are the first wave of young talent due to arrive in Cincinnati over the next few years. In the meantime, the club will depend on veterans Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Wil Myers, and Joey Votto to score runs. It may not be a recipe for success, but it should keep things interesting as new players push their way into the lineup.

2022 Season

Season Recap: The Reds lost 22 of their first 25 games in 2022, and ended up losing 100. There were some bright performances from young players along the way, however. Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft showed they had the stuff to become two of the best pitchers in the NL, and outfielder Jake Fraley hit well after coming back from an injury. The bad news was everything else: Cincinnati fans saw a lot of poor fielding and base-running, and watched opponents score a lot of runs. Their most productive hitter, Brandon Drury, was traded to the Padres in July.

Season Preview: The Reds traded away many of their star players over the winter and more are likely to go in 2022. Two pitchers—Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle—could be difference-makers for other teams, and are likely to bring back valuable prospects in trades. They will join impressive young pitchers Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Reiver Sanmartin, Rookie of the Year Jonathan India, and veterans Joey Votto, Tommy Pham and Mike Moustakas in a lineup that might just surprise a lot of the experts who are predicting a 90-loss season.

2021 Season

Season Recap: The Reds were in the Wild Card race until early September, thanks to amazing years from rookie Jonathan India, old-timer Joey Votto, and slugging outfielder Nick Castellanos. The pitching staff had many bright spots, including Tyler Mahle’ 13–6 record. But key hurlers Luis Castillo and Amir Garrett struggled all year. Cincinnati added several quality arms to its bullpen during the summer, and this should serve the club well in 2022.

August 16, 2021: Joey Votto collected his 2,000th hit in a game against the Cubs. Earlier in August he had been named July’s Player of the Month after homering in seven straight games.

July 30, 2021: Joey Votto slugged a home run for the seventh game in a row. He set a new team record and fell one game short of the major-league record.

May 21, 2021: Jesse Winker hit three home runs in a 9–4 victory over the Brewers. Each of his homers led off an inning for the Reds.

May 7, 2021: Wade Miley pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Only two batters reached base—one on a walk and another on an error—in the 3–0 win.

Season Preview: After one sensational year in Cincinnati, Trevor Bauer left to sign with the Dodgers. However, the Reds still have plenty of quality pitching, including Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo. They also have a power-packed lineup starring Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Castellanos. If their defense pulls together, the Reds will have a winning record in 2021.

2020 Season

November 12, 2020: Trevor Baur won the NL Cy Young Award. The Reds have had five runners-up for the award, but Bauer was the team’s first winner.

Season Recap: Cincinnati’s hitters showed plenty of power, but the lineup ran hot and cold all season. The pitching staff turned out to be the Reds’ strength. Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Raisel Iglesias kept the club in the division race and a red-hot September boosted the Reds into the playoffs. However, they could not score against the Braves in their Wild Card series and lost 2 games to 0.

Season Preview: The Reds added some impressive players to their team in the off-season, including Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, and Shogo Akiyama. They join a talented lineup that includes sluggers Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, and Eugenio Suarez. Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer give the Reds a chance to win whenever they take the mound.

2019 Season

Season Recap: The Reds played like an above-.500 team in 2019 but ended up 75–87. The bullpen ran hot-and-cold and clutch hitters like Joey Votto and Jesse Winker left way too many runners on base. The only batter who played above expectations was Eugenio Suarez, who belted 49 homers. Cincy’s strength turned out to be its starting pitching, which many believed would be its weakness. Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Anthony DeSclafani were consistently good all year.

August 14, 2019: Rookie Aristedes Aquino became the fastest player in history to reach 9 home runs. He hit #9 in his 14th big-league game.

July 13, 2019: The Reds became the first team in history to hit five triples and three homers in the same game in a win over the Rockies.

Season Preview: The Reds look ready to make a big move in the NL Central. They added three good starting pitchers in Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and Sonny Gray—as well as slugger Yasiel Puig—and gave up very little in return. Joey Votto leads a power-packed everyday lineup, but the Reds will probably only go as far as their new arms will take them.

2018 Season

Season Recap: The Reds hit well in 2018, but the team’s pitching could not keep pace. The result was a 95-loss season. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez emerged as a star, with 34 homers and 104 RBIs. Scooter Gennett led the Reds with a .310 average. The bullpen, led by hard-throwing Raisel Iglesias, held its own, giving fans hope for a turnaround in 2019.

Season Preview: The Reds batting order should produce plenty of runs in 2018, thanks to Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Scooter Gennett. But can the pitching prevent runs at the same pace? The staff is led by young Luis Castillo, who had a great year after his call-up in 2017. Behind him is more young talent, including Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, and Amir Garrett. Cincinnati’s ballpark is not kind to inexperienced pitchers. Reds fans hope that this group will find a way to learn and win at the same time.

2017 Season

Season Recap: The Reds were great against the division-rival Pirates and terrible against everyone else. The team’s hitting was very good—six players hit between 24 and 36 home runs—but the starting pitching struggled all year long. Relievers Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen were great, but their chances to close out victories were few and far between.

June 7, 2017: Scooter Gennett hit four home runs in a game against the Cardinals. He was the first player with five hits, four homers and 10 RBIs in a game.

2016 Season

November 1, 2016: The Reds brought up the rear in the NL Central with 68 victories, and began the slow process of rebuilding their team. Cincinnati fans got a glimpse of the future with young stars Adam Duvall, Jose Peraza, Raisel Iglesias and Brandon Finnegan. First baseman Joey Votto had his usual fine year, but it wasn’t enough to power the Big Red Machine.

October 5, 2016: Cincinnati pitcher gave up 258 home runs—by far the most in history. On the plus side, the Reds found themselves three surprising sluggers: Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall. Will they continue to pound home runs in 2017? Will flamethrower Raisel Iglesias be the team’s closer? The team may be ready to turn things around.

June 26, 2016: Peter Rose’s #14 was retired by the team. He was also inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame.

2015 Season

October 14, 2015: Cincinnati had plenty of hitting, but not enough pitching to compete with their NL Central rivals. Todd Frazier put together MVP-type numbers, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce combined for 55 homers, and Eugenio Suarez did a great job filling in for injured shortstop Zach Cozart .

July 19, 2015: Reliever Aroldis Chapman struck out the 500th batter of his career in a game against the Indians. He accomplished this in just 292 innings. No one in history reached 500 strikeouts faster.

July 13, 2015: Todd Frazier edged Joc Pederson of the Dodgers 15–14 in the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby.

April 5, 2015: The Reds have as much talent as any club in baseball, but it has not yet come together, mostly due to injuries. Cincinnati needs All-Star seasons from Billy Hamilton, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Johnny Cueto to compete in the NL Central. If closer Aroldis Chapman can’t get the job done, the team has good power arms in the minors.

2014 Season

November 1, 2014: Many thought the Reds had enough talent to run away with the NL Central, but injuries and poor seasons from key players rocked the ball club and limited Cincinnati to 76 wins. That was a shame, because three young hitters—Devin Mesoraco, Billy Hamilton, and Todd Frazier—became stars. Johnny Cueto won 20 games and Alfredo Simon chipped in 15 wins to lead the pitching staff.

July 11, 2014: Reliever Aroldis Chapman struck out a batter for the 40th time in a row. He broke the record for relievers of 39, set by Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter.

March 31, 2014: All eyes will be on Billy Hamilton in 2014. He is one of the fastest players in history. If he hits well enough to stay in the everyday lineup, the Reds could score a ton of runs. A bad injury to Aroldis Chapman in spring training threw the bullpen into turmoil, but if they stay in the hunt until he comes back, Cincinnati will contend for the division title.

2013 Season

October 1, 2013: The Reds made it to the playoffs despite playing most of the year without their cleanup hitter, Ryan Ludwick. Tony Phillips filled in and had an MVP-worthy season, along with Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto. Cincinnati’s dream of a pennant ended with a loss to Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game.

September 18, 2013: Billy Hamilton stole four bases in his first big-league start. He is the first player to do so in the Live Ball era (since 1920).

July 2, 2013: Homer Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Giants. The most recent no-hitter in baseball was also thrown by Bailey, against the Pirates at the end of the 2012 season.

March 30, 2013: A deep, powerful offense got even better over the winter when Shin-Soo Choo joined the club. Choos, Brandon Phillips, and Joey Votto lead the Reds into battle for the NL Central title. They will need help from a pitching staff led by Mat Latos and Aroldis Chapman.

2012 Season

October 12, 2012: The Reds had a great year. They won the NL Central easily with 97 victories, and got great pitching from starters Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, and Homer Bailey, and reliever Aroldis Chapman. Joey Votto was slowed by injury much of the year, but Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick, and Todd Frazier picked up the slack. Cincinnati won the first two games of the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants, but San Francisco caught fire and swept the final three games to end the Reds’ season.

September 29, 2012: Homer Bailey pitched a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the team’s first no-hitter since Tom Browning threw one 24 years
earlier, in 1988.

August 25, 2012: The Reds retired #11 to honor their newest Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin.

April, 2012: Big Trade! Cincinnati fans got an early Christmas present in 2011 when the team traded for starting pitcher Mat Latos. The Reds gave up prospects Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger, as well as Edinson Volquez. They also signed Ryan Madson to be their new closer. If they get a full season out of fireballer Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati could have an awesome pitching staff in 2012.

More Go-To Guys

This 1909 trading card shows Bob Bescher catching a fly ball. The team’s uniform looks a lot different then than it does today. (Sweet Caporal)

This postcard-sized “Exhibit” card of Bucky Walters was sold in vending machines for a penny. You never knew which player you would get when you put your coin in the slot. (Exhibit Supply Co.)

I always thought Ken Griffey Sr.’s sideburns made him look a movie star. My wife says he’s more handsome than Junior. (Topps, Inc.)

  • Bob Bescher — Outfielder
    Born: 2/25/1884
    Died: 11/29/1942
    Played for Team: 1908 to 1913
    Bob Bescher was a master at getting on base, and then working himself into scoring position. Bescher led the NL in steals four years in a row, including 81 in 1911. That was the league record for more than 50 years.

  • Eppa Rixey — Pitcher
    Born: 5/3/1891
    Died: 2/28/1963
    Played for Team: 1921 to 1933
    Eppa Rixey was 30 when he joined the Reds, but in his first season he set a record by pitching more than 300 innings and allowing just one home run. Rixey was known for outsmarting hitters—he almost never gave them the pitch they were expecting. When he retired, he held the NL record for victories by a left-handed pitcher.

  • Frank McCormick — First Baseman
    Born: 6/9/1911
    Died: 11/21/1982
    Played for Team: 1934 to 1945
    Frank McCormick was a complete player. He hit for a high average, drove in a lot of runs, rarely struck out, and fielded his position well. McCormick was the NL MVP in 1940 and made the All-Star team seven times as a Red. After his career, McCormick spent 11 seasons announcing games for the team on TV.

  • Bucky Walters — Pitcher
    Born: 4/19/1909
    Died: 4/20/1991
    Played for Team: 1938 to 1948
    Bucky Walters won more games than anyone in baseball from 1939 to 1944.In 1939, he led the Reds to the pennant and was named NL MVP. In 1940, Walters won 22 games during the regular season and two more in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

  • Ewell Blackwell — Pitcher
    Born: 10/23/1922
    Died: 10/29/1996
    Played for Team: 1942 & 1946 to 1952
    Ewell Blackwell stood 6–6 and terrified hitters with his sidearm delivery—which earned him the nickname “The Whip.” In 1947, he became the talk of baseball when he pitched 16 complete games in a row. Home run champion Ralph Kiner said Blackwell was the best right-handed pitcher he ever faced.

  • Ken Griffey Sr. — Outfielder
    Born: 4/10/1950
    Played for Team: 1973 to 1981 & 1988 to 1990
    Ken Griffey Sr. batter .303 as a member of the Reds and was an All-Star three times. He entered the 1980 All-Star Game as a substitute for Dave Kingman and got two hits to earn MVP honors. Griffey nearly won the batting championship in 1976. He went 0-for-2 on the final day and lost to Bill Madlock, who got four hits.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. — Outfielder
    Born: 11/21/1969
    Played for Team: 2000 to 2008
    After 11 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Ken Griffey Jr. came “home” to Cincinnati. His father was in the stands when he slugged his 550th homer on Father’s Day in 2004. Griffey was an All-Star three times with the Reds and hit 210 homers for the team.

  • Adam Dunn — Outfielder/First Baseman
    Born: 11/9/1979
    Played for Team: 2001 to 2008
    Adam Dunn dreamed of being an NFL quarterback, but he was too good at baseball to give up the sport. He hit 270 home runs for the Reds in eight seasons and was an All-Star in his first full year with Cincinnati.

  • Jesse Winker — Outfielder
    Born: 8/27/1993
    First Season with Team: 2017
    Jesse Winker was drafted out of high school in 2012 and became a favorite of Cincinnati fans five years later. His patience at the plate and smooth swing made him one of the best left-handed hitters in the game.

More Fun Facts

Even on this card that shows Ewell Blackwell from the chest up, you get an idea of how tall and skinny he was. (Red Man)

Okay, this is easily the weirdest baseball card ever made. It shows Benjamin Harrison’s head stuck on a ballplayer’s body. I have another one with Grover Cleveland—the man Harrison was running against for president. (Author’s Collection)

    The Reds played in two of the most important games in history. They beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the first night game, in 1935, and defeated the Brooklyn Dodger in the first major-league game to be shown on TV, in 1939.

    In 1947, Ewell Blackwell nearly matched Johnny Vander Meer’s record of back-to-back no-hitters. On June 18, he no-hit the Boston Braves. In his next start, Blackwell held the Brooklyn Dodgers hitless until the ninth inning. Eddie Stanky broke up the no-hitter with a single.

    On September 4, 1999, the Reds defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 22–3. They hit nine home runs in the victory to set a new NL record. The Reds shared the old NL record of eight in one game. The following day Cincinnati hitters blasted five more homers to set a new two-day record of 14.

    For many years, a clothing company advertised on the wall of a building beyond the left field fence of old Crosley Field. Any player hitting the sign with a batted ball won a free suit. Slugger Wally Post hit it 11 times.

    In 1981, a labor dispute split the season into two halves. The division winners from each half met in the playoffs to determine who would advance to the National League Championship Series. The Reds won 66 games that season—more than any team in the league. But because they did not finish first in either half, they did not qualify for the playoffs.

    On June 6, 1892, Benjamin Harrison attended a game between the Reds and the Washington Senators. It marked the first time a U.S. President watched a major-league game. The Reds won 7–4 in 11 innings.

    In 1920, the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates played three games in one day. The Reds won the first game 13–4 and the second game 7–3. Pittsbugh won the finale 6–0. The Reds and Pirates took just five hours to play all three games. It was baseball’s last “tripleheader.”

League Leaders

This magazine cover shows the Reds’ sluggers from the mid-1950s—Wally Post, Ted Kluszewski, and Gus Bell. “Big Klu” was the NL home run and RBI champ in 1954. (Sports Illustrated)

Pete Rose loves signing autographs and talking to fans. He was fun to watch when he played. (Author’s Collection)

This Eppa Rixey card came out in the early 1960s, long after he had retired. Some historians claim he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, but when you pile up as many wins as he did, how can Cooperstown keep you out? (Fleer Corp.)

I don’t think anyone enjoyed firing pitches at enemy hitters more than Jose Rijo. He loved everything about being a ballplayer. (Author’s Collection)

  • Home Runs
    1892 — Bug Holliday — 13
    1901 — Sam Crawford — 16
    1905 — Frank Odwell — 9
    1954 — Ted Kluszewski — 49
    1970 — Johnny Bench — 45
    1972 — Johnny Bench — 40
    1977 — George Foster — 52
    1978 — George Foster — 40

  • Batting Average
    1905 — Cy Seymour — .377
    1916 — Hal Chase — .339
    1917 — Edd Roush — .341
    1919 — Edd Roush — .321
    1926 — Bubbles Hargrave — .353
    1938 — Ernie Lombardi — .342
    1968 — Pete Rose — .335
    1969 — Pete Rose — .348
    1973 — Pete Rose — .338

  • Runs Batted In
    1905 — Cy Seymour — 121
    1918 — Sherry Magee — 76
    1939 — Frank McCormick — 128
    1954 — Ted Kluszewski — 141
    1965 — Deron Johnson — 130
    1970 — Johnny Bench — 148
    1972 — Johnny Bench — 125
    1974 — Johnny Bench — 129
    1976 — George Foster — 121
    1978 — George Foster — 120
    1985 — Dave Parker — 125

  • Stolen Bases
    1909 — Bob Bescher — 54
    1910 — Bob Bescher — 70
    1911 — Bob Bescher — 81
    1912 — Bob Bescher — 67
    1940 — Lonny Frey — 22
    1970 — Bobby Tolan — 57

  • Wins
    1922 — Eppa Rixey — 25
    1923 — Dolf Luque — 27
    1926 — Pete Donohue — 20
    1939 — Bucky Walters — 27
    1940 — Bucky Walters — 22
    1943 — Elmer Riddle — 21
    1944 — Bucky Walters — 23
    1947 — Ewell Blackwell — 22
    1961 — Joey Jay — 21
    1981 — Tom Seaver — 14*
    1988 — Danny Jackson — 23
    2006 — Aaron Harang — 16

    * The 1981 season was shortened by a labor dispute.

  • Strikeouts
    1899 — Noodles Hahn — 145
    1900 — Noodles Hahn — 132
    1901 — Noodles Hahn — 239
    1939 — Bucky Walters — 137
    1941 — Johnny Vander Meer — 202
    1942 — Johnny Vander Meer — 186
    1943 — Johnny Vander Meer — 174
    1947 — Ewell Blackwell — 193
    1993 — Jose Rijo — 227
    2006 — Aaron Harang — 216
    2014 — Johnny Cueto — 242*

    * Tied with another player

  • Earned Run Average
    1890 — Billy Rhines — 1.95
    1896 — Billy Rhines — 2.45
    1923 — Dolf Luque — 1.93
    1925 — Dolf Luque — 2.63
    1939 — Bucky Walters — 2.29
    1940 — Bucky Walters — 2.48
    1941 — Elmer Riddle — 2.24
    1944 — Ed Heusser — 2.38
    2020 — Trevor Bauer — 1.73

Playing for the Championship

This program is from the 1940 World Series. It is very patriotic, don’t you think? (Author’s Collection)

1882 Chicago White Stockings Tied 1–1
1919 Chicago White Sox Won 5–3
1939 New York Yankees Lost 4–0
1940 Detroit Tigers Won 4–3
1961 New York Yankees Lost 4–1
1970 Baltimore Orioles Lost 4–1
1972 Oakland A’s Lost 4–3
1975 Boston Red Sox Won 4–3
1976 New York Yankees Won 4–0
1990 Oakland A’s Won 4–0

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