Did you know that Ethan Allen, 1920’s Reds outfielder, was the Yale baseball coach for first baseman and future President, George H. W. Bush? President Bush was captain of his 1948 college baseball team.

Did you know that former Reds catcher, Ivey Wingo, had caught more games in baseball history than any other major league player at the time he retired in 1929? He also threw a ball over the Sphinx in Egypt in 1914.

Did you know that the Reds’ 1939-40 World Series teams won 196 games and that starting pitchers Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters combined to win 94 of them?

Did you know that Reds outfielder Vada Pinson attended the same Oakland high school as outfield teammate Frank Robinson? Pinson hit a grand slam in his second major league game at age 19 and was elected to the all-star team in his first full season in 1959.

Did you know…that back up infielder Chico Ruiz was being used as a starter for a short-time with the Reds when he issued a famous demand to the Reds: “Bench me or trade me.” He later ambushed Braves team mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa and wrestled him to the ground near second base in 1969. He was traded to the Angels in the 1969 offseason for another famous Reds on-field battler, Pedro Borbon.

Speaking of Borbon…did you know that after being traded to the Giants during the 1979 season, Pedro Borbon placed a Dominican voodoo curse on the Reds? The Reds ended up losing the 1979 playoffs to the Pirates, failed to make the playoffs during the 1981 strike season despite having the best record in baseball, and then lost 101 games in 1982. Borbon lifted his curse at an old-timer’s game in the summer of 1990, the last year the Reds won a World Series.

Did you know…that ten different players have played for the Reds in three decades: Ken Griffey, Sr., Edd Roush, Joe Nuxhall, Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Wally Post, Johnny Bench, Ron Oester, Barry Larkin, and Jose Rijo.

Did you know…that on September 27, 1998, the Reds started Stephen Larkin at 1b, Bret Boone at 2b, Aaron Boone at 3b, and Barry Larkin at SS, the only time in major league history that two sets of brothers appeared in the same game for the same team.

Source for this information was “Reds in Black and White” by Reds historian Greg Rhodes and Mark Stang. (Ed.: if you can find this book, buy it immediately. Great reading.)

9 Responses

  1. Steve Price

    Yes, Larkin did…I didn’t update my info. Jose Rijo played in three different decades with the Reds, too. Thank you.

    Hey, that would make for a pretty good team now that I look at it.

    Rose 3b
    Larkin SS
    Roush CF
    Bench C
    Perez 1B
    Griffey RF
    Post LF
    Oester 2b
    Rijo RHP
    Nuxhall LHP

  2. pinson343

    On Ethan Allen: He became the head coach at Yale in 1946, and his 1947 and 1948 teams played in the first National Collegiate Athletic Association baseball championships, losing to Southern California and California in the finals. Mr. Bush was captain of the 1948 team, three of whose players went on to the major leagues.

  3. pinson343

    That Oakland High School is McClymonds High. From Wikipedia: “Some of its many famous alumni include MLB players Vada Pinson, Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, and Curt Roberts, the first African American fielded by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Others include NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, NBA player and coach Paul Silas, and NBA players Joe Ellis, Nate Williams, and Antonio Davis. Still others include Jim Hines, Olympic gold medalist, 100 yard dash record holder, and the first man to break the 10 second barrier, and Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell, one of the greatest street basketball players. Grammy-winning rapper MC Hammer and former U.S. Congressman and Representative, Ron Dellums, are also among McClymonds alumni.”

    Curt Flood was signed by the Reds and played in their minor league system, but the Reds management at the time was afraid to field an all-black OF and so traded Flood to the Cardinals, where he won a bunch of gold gloves and helped lead them to 3 WS.

    The Reds could have had on OF of Robinson, Pinson, and Flood.

  4. pinson343

    Pinson would easily have been the NL Rookie of the Year in 1959 but was disqualified from consideration due to his having had 96 ABs in 1958. The number of ABs that would disqualify rookie status is higher than that now.

    His 1959 stats: 131 runs, 205 hits, 47 doubles, 9 triples,20 HRs, 84 RBIs, 21 SBs,
    .316/.371/.509 in 706 plate appearences, playing in all 154 games.

    Instead McCovey won the 1959 Rookie of the Year, though he only played in 52 games.

  5. Bill Lack

    Didn’t the Reds start an “All Cincinnati native” lineup for a game also?

  6. Mark in CC

    The Rookie of the Year at bats thing came into play with Johnny Bench as well. Bench up in 1967 had 86 AB and took a fould tip off the hand and missed the last few games of the season to keep him under the magic number of 90. So he was eligible to win in 1968

  7. Glenn

    Apparently back in his day, Wingo was thought of as a front line catcher that many teams would have liked to have on their roster. Time has pretty much erased him from the public memory.