Which Cincinnati Red … ?

Who was this long-ago speedster for the Cincinnati Reds?

Who was this long-ago speedster for the Cincinnati Reds?

By Glen Sparks

I am starting a new set of quizzes.  Each one will focus on a different team. First up is the Cincinnati Reds, a fitting choice. The Reds were the first professional baseball team, traced by some to 1869, just four years after the end of the U.S. Civil War. The answers are in bold at the bottom. Good luck!

    1. This ironman pitcher won 40 games to help the Reds secure the American Association pennant in 1882.
    2. This center-fielder led the National League with a .377 batting average in 1905, the first Reds player to win a batting crown.
    3. From London, Ohio, this Reds outfielder was one of the great base stealers of his time. He stole 81 bases in 1911, still a team record.
    4. This Reds outfielder led the team in hitting with a .357 batting average during the infamous Black Sox World Series of 1919.
    5. In 1938, this Reds left-hander enjoyed one of the greatest—and never since repeated—weeks in baseball history
    6. This Hamilton, Ohio, native made his debut as a Reds pitcher at the tender age of 15 years, 316 days.
    7. On a hot, humid day in Cincinnati, this Reds slugger tore the sleeves off his uniform before the game and went bare-armed up to bat.
    8. One of the hardest throwers in baseball, this right-hander won 23 games in 1963 and struck out 265 batters
    9. This most valuable infielder came to the Reds after the 1971 season in exchange for Lee May, Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart (the utility man, not the great actor).
    10. This former Reds’ hurler was once married to the daughter of Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal.

 

  • Will “Whoop-la” White completed all 54 of his starts and went 40-12 for the ’82 Reds, who finished 55-25. In his career, the right-handed White completed 394 of 401 starts.
  • James “Cy” Seymour. A .303 hitter lifetime, Seymour played for five teams in his 16-year career, including five seasons for the Reds. The left-hander also doubled as an occasional pitcher, going 61-56.
  • Bob Bescher. Bescher led the N.L. in steals from 1909-1912 and had 428 lifetime thefts. Bescher also played for the New York Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians.
  • Alfred “Greasy” Neale. Neale also drove in four runs in the Series and scored three times. The 1919 Series, of course, is most famous because several members of the Chicago White Sox agreed to fix the games. The Reds won the best-of-nine match-up 5-3. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, one of the accused conspirators, led all hitters with a .375 average. He was 5-12 with men in scoring position and drove in six runs.
  • Johnny Vander Meer. The so-called Dutch Master went just 119-121 in his 13-year big-league career. The left-hander certainly was masterful, though, on June 11, 1938, when he no-hit the Boston Bees (late, the Boston Braves and now the Atlanta Braves) at home and four days later when he no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers, in the first-ever night game at Ebbets Field. He is the only pitcher to ever throw back-to-back no-hitters in the major leagues. And, so, you may be wodering about his next start. Well, Vander Meer hooked up again against the Bees, this time in Boston. He had a no-hitter for 3 1/3 innings until Debs Garms broke it up with a single. Vander Meer, just 23, finished that sophomore season 15-10 with a 3.10 ERA (118 ERA+). He made four All-Star teams as a Red but also suffered many arm problems.
  • Joe Nuxhall. Nuxhall gave up five runs in his Cincinnati debut on June 10, 1944, at Crosley Field against the Cardinals. He was sent down to the minors after the game and did not return to the big club until 1952. He eventually pitched 16 seasons in the majors, 15 of them with the Reds. He went 135-117 lifetime and made two All-Star teams. Nuxhall later worked as a Reds broadcaster.
  • Ted Kluszewski. One of the strongest men in baseball, Big Klu said the heat and his large biceps inspired the wardrobe change in 1947. He said the tight sleeves on his uniform constricted his swing. Kluszewski made four All-Star teams and hit 279 career home runs with a .298 batting average.
  • Jim Maloney. The hurler graduated from Fresno (Calif.) High School just a few years before the great Tom Seaver. Maloney won at least 20 games twice for the Reds and struck out more than 200 hits four straight years (1963-66). He led the N.L. in shutouts in 1966 with five. Maloney went 134-81 in 11 seasons with the Reds (1960-70) and 0-3 in his final year, 1971 with the California Angels.
  • Joe Morgan. Besides Morgan, the Reds got outfielder Cesar Geronimo, pitcher Jack Billingham and utility players Denis Menke and Ed Armbrister in one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history. Morgan won the N.L. MVP in 1975 and ’76 and was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1990.
  • Jose Rijo. Rijo compiled a 116-91 won-loss mark in a 14-year career that was marred by injuries. The right-hander retired after the 1995 season and attempted a two-year comeback in 2001 and ’02. He pitched mostly for the Reds, finishing fourth in the N.L. Cy Young voting in 1991 and fifth in 1993. Unfortunately, his additional claim to fame as Marichal’s son-in-law ended after he and Mrs. Rijo were divorced.
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