July 3, 1963: John Tsitouris allows only two hits in pitching the Reds to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Colt .45s in Houston. Tsituouris walked two, struck out six, and went the distance for the Reds, improving his record to 4-2. The Reds could only muster two hits themselves off Colt pitchers Jim Umbricht, Hal Woodeshick, and Jim Dickson.
The Colts scored first in the third when former Red Johnny Temple singled home Al Spangler who had reached on a two-out single and then stole second base. No other runner reached second base for the Colts in the game. The Reds tied it in the fifth on catcher Johnny Edwards’s sixth home run of the year. The winning run came in the sixth after rookie second baseman Pete Rose led off with a walk. One out later, Woodeshick had Rose picked off first base, but rookie first baseman Rusty Staub missed the pickoff throw and Rose scored all the way from first base on the error.
The win kept the Reds in fourth place, 2.5 games behind the league leading Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds remained in the middle of the pack for much of the season, eventually finishing in fifth place as the Dodgers won the pennant. Tsitouris had his best major league season, going 12-8 with a 3.16 ERA. He was seventh in the league in WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) at 1.073 and hurled three shutouts. It was his only season of double figure wins as he demonstrated uncharacteristically great control. Tsitouris walked only 1.8 hitters per nine innings, almost exactly half of his career average of 3.5. Tsitouris had been acquired from the Kansas City Athletics in exchange for Joe Nuxhall following the 1960 season.
Johnny Edwards was selected to his first all-star game in 1963 and won his first Gold Glove that season. Edwards played in three all-star games for the Reds and won two Gold Gloves. He was a Reds catcher for seven seasons before losing his job to another Johnny, Johnny Bench.
Second baseman Pete Rose (.273, 6 hr, 41 rbi) was selected Rookie of the Year in 1963 in a rather uncontested battle over Mets second baseman Ron Hunt (.272, 10 hr, 42 rbi) and Phillies pitcher Ray Culp (14-11, 2.97 ERA, 176 K’s). Rose had 17 votes, Hunt 2, and Culp 1. Rose could always score runs, including scoring 101 in his rookie season. Rose would score 100 or more runs in nine of his major league seasons, including a Reds record 130 in 1976. Rose would play 19 seasons for the Reds with a lifetime Reds batting average of .307 and 3358 hits as a Red. Rose was selected to 17 all-star games over his career. He won the league MVP award in 1973, finishing in the top five in five different years, and in the top ten in ten different seasons. Included among his major league career records are most games played, most plate appearances, most at bats, most hits, most singles, and most times on base. Over his career, Rose was the regular Reds starter at 1b, 2b, 3b, LF, and RF. He is 39th all-time (major league) in fielding percentage for first basemen, 51st for third basemen, fifth for left fielders, fourth for rightfielders, and 22nd overall for all outfielders.