Decade of the 1950’s:

Record: 741-798 .481

The Reds were a mediocre team over the course of the decade, finishing 4th, 5th, or 6th every year except 1956. The Brooklyn/LA Dodgers dominated the NL in the decade wining five pennants and two World Series.

Best Team: The 1956 Reds shocked the experts by finishing third, just two games behind the pennant-winning Dodgers. Their 221 HRs tied the ML record and made them folk heroes in Cincinnati.

Worst Team: The Reds of the 1950s did not have a truly awful team, but the 1953 Reds claim the honor. They finished 6th and trailed the Dodgers by 37 games.

Player of the Decade: From ’53-’56 Ted Kluszewski was the best first baseman in baseball. During those four years, “Klu” averaged 43 home runs, 116 RBIs, 102 runs scored, a .315 average and only 35 strikeouts.

Pitcher of the Decade: Only Ken Raffensberger, Joe Nuxhall, and Brooks Lawrence won more than 50 games in the decade. Nuxhall gets the nod as the pitcher of the 1950s over Raffensberger. Nuxhall won more games (83/54) although Raffensberger had more compete games (59/53) and a lower ERA (3.62/3.91). Nuxhall was also the better hitter. In 1953, “Hamilton Joe” hit .327 with a .377 OBP and a .551 SLG, percentages that rivaled Kluszewski’s.

All “Reds trivia” posts come from Greg Rhodes and John Snyder’s fabulous book, “Redleg Journal” (see link for purchasing) and are used with Greg’s permission.

Thanks again to Greg Rhodes for permission to use his material.