It seems to me that July has brought some of the Reds’ most memorable moments in their history. This will be the first of a small series highlighting some memorable July moments. These memories are brought to you courtesy of a couple of books: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Day by Day in Reds HistoryÃ¢â‚¬Â by Floyd Conner and John Snyder and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Redleg JournalÃ¢â‚¬Â by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder.
As luck would have it…all of these things happened on July 1st…
July 1Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.1917, Fred Toney pitches two complete games (both three-hitters) as the Reds sweep the Pirates, 4-1 and 5-1. Toney finished 1917 with a 24-16 record and a 2.20 ERA in 340 innings.
July 1Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.1934, the Reds lose an 18-inning game against the Cardinals, 8-6. The RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Tony Freitas battled Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean to a 5-5 tie through 17 innings before the Cardinals broke through in the 18th against Paul Derringer to win. Freitas finished the year 6-12 with a 4.01 ERA, completing 5 of his 18 starts. Dean went 30-7 with a 2.66 ERA. Trivia: according to baseball-reference.com, the most similar player to Freitas is current Reds’ announcer and former pitcher Chris Welsh.
July 1Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.1956, all-time Reds great Ted Kluszewski slugs three home runs in a 19-15 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis. The score was tied 13-13 after nine innings before the Reds scored six in the top of the tenth to break it open.
July 1Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.1970, Tommy Helms makes Riverfront Stadium history as he hits the first homer in stadium, a fly ball that hit the left field foul pole, clearing the wall by inches. It was HelmsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only homer of the year. Helms was the unlikely slugger to christen Riverfront as 1970 was the career year for RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ sluggers Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Bobby Tolan, and Bernie Carbo.
July 1Ã¢â‚¬Â¦1973Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.back up catcher Hal King becomes one of the folk heroes in RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ history when he powers a ninth inning three-run homer to beat the Dodgers 4-3 at Riverfront. The Reds trailed the Dodgers by 11 games on this day, and this is the hit that is credited with lighting the RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fire as they won first place by 3 Ã‚Â½ games over the Dodgers, before losing to the barely .500 Mets in the league championship series. King, a little used third string catcher, had been acquired in the off-season from the Texas Rangers for sore-armed pitcher Jim Merritt, who had won 20 games for the 1970 Reds. King played parts of two seasons for the Reds, gathering only 69 plate appearances during that time. He batted .186 with four homers in 1973. King had another huge homer eight days later when he hit a sixth inning pinch hit grand slam in an 11-6 Reds win over the Expos.