We’ve reviewed some of the major components of the first two Cincinnati World Championship teams. We know that championship teams need big time players, but it takes more than just stars to win a championship (see Ernie Banks).
Briefly, here’s how the other guys came about….watch for the number of waiver wire and contract purchases…it takes a combination of scouting for waiver wire acquisitions, trades, and, yes, even spending some money to win championships.
1919 Reds–Record of 96-44, with a winning percent of .686–highest in modern Reds history
c–Ivey Wingo and Bill Rariden: Wingo, one of the best catchers of his era, was acquired through a trade with the Cardinals for another catcher (Mike Gonzalez). Rariden was acquired in the Hal Chase trade.
1b–Jake Daubert–acquired in trade with Brooklyn Robins
2b–Morrie Rath: defensive specialist acquired in minor league draft
3b–Heinie Groh: trade with Giants
ss–Larry Kopf: purchased from Philadelphia Athletics
OF–Edd Roush: trade with Giants
OF–Greasy Neale: football Hall of Famer; Reds signed him out of college
OF–Rube Bressler: acquired through minor league draft
OF–Sherry Magee:selected off waivers from Boston Braves
SP-Hod Eller: drafted from minor leagues
SP–Dutch Ruether: selected off waivers from Chicago Cubs
SP–Jimmy Ring: minor league draft
SP–Slim Sallee: selected off waivers from New York Giants
SP–Ray Fisher: selected off waivers from New York Yankees
RP–Dolf Luque: purchased from the Louisville minor league team.
Of the 16 principal players on the 1919 World Championship team, four came from a minor league draft; four were selected off waivers, one was purchased from a minor league team, one was a young free agent signee, and one was purchased from another team. Five were acquired through trades with other teams, and three of these were the stars Roush, Daubert, and Groh.
For the 1940 World Championship team, which finished 100-53 and beat the Tigers in seven games for the World Series title.
C–Ernie Lombardi: acquired in trade with Dodgers
1b–Frank McCormick: 1940 Most Valuable Player, was signed from a Reds tryout camp. McCormick was the face of the Reds’ franchise, a .300 hitter who led the league in hits his first three years in the majors. He finished in the top five in MVP voting in each of his first three full big league years
2b–Lonnie Frey: one of the absolutely best 2b in Reds history, Frey was purchased from the Chicago Cubs
3b–Billy Werber: a defensive standout and a stolen base threat, Werber was purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics.
ss–Billy Myers: acquired in trade with New York Giants for aging infielder and former Yankee Mark Koenig
OF–Mike McCormick: minor league working agreement
OF–Ival Goodman: purchased from St. Louis Cardinals
OF–Harry Craft: appears to have been a Reds free agent signee
SS–Ernie Joost: minor league working agreement
OF–Johnny Ripple: selected off waivers from Brooklyn Dodgers
OF–Morrie Arnovich: acquired in trade with Phillies
C-Willard Hershberger: acquired in trade with New York Yankees
SP–Bucky Walters: trade with Phillies
SP–Paul Derringer: trade with Cardinals
SP–Junior Thompson: free agent signing
SP–Jim Turner: acquired in trade with Boston Bees
SP–Whitey Moore: Reds free agent signee
CL–Joe Beggs: acquired in trade with New York Yankees
For those of you keeping score at home: of the 18 signficant Reds from this team, eight came through trade; four were Reds free agent signees; three were purchased from other teams; two from minor league working agreements; and one off waivers.
The 1940 team was built from working all the angles….
You must keep in mind that farm systems were still in their infancy in the 1940’s. The Cardinals had the best at the time which is one reason the Reds could mine them for talent. The Giants had deep pockets in the teens, and had lots of young players trying out…that’s one reason the Reds could mine them for talent.
The Reds had some “minor league working agreements”, but that usually meant something like the Reds loaned a team some players, or the Reds paid some money to support the team which gave them the rights to obtaining a couple of players at season’s end.
The secret here was to know whom to get, and that hasn’t changed over the years. The most notable thing I saw from these two teams, however, is that very few came from within…many were found on someone else’s scrap heap or from a stockpile of talent.