July 5, 1915: Reds star third baseman Heinie Groh hits for the cycle, going 5-5 with six runs batted in as the Reds sweep a double header from the Chicago Cubs, 12-7, and 8-5. This doubleheader sweep comes the day after the Reds swept another doubleheader, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 1-0 and 3-2. In the 1-0 game, pitcher Gene Dale pitches a one-hitter and drives home the game’s only run to lead the Reds to victory.
Groh is quite possibly the best third baseman in Reds’ history. A fielding genius when fielding mattered at third base due to the “small ball” game of the deadball era complete with lots of bunts and steals, Groh was also an exceptional hitter. Groh was famous for using a “bottle bat” designed for bat control and he had a career batting average of .292 with a lifetime OBP of .373. He led the National League in OBP in both 1917 and 1918 and had OPS+ ratings of over 130 from 1916 through 1919 for the Reds. He was the National League OPS leader of 1919 (OPS of .823) the year the Reds won the World Championship. He held the fielding percentage record for third basemen for decades after he retired. In 1915, Groh batted .290 with three homers, 32 doubles, nine triples, and 50 rbi.
Gene Dale had only one full major league season, that coming for the Reds in 1915, when he went 18-17 with a 2.46 ERA. He played parts of three other seasons and his career totals were 21-28 with a 3.60 ERA. Dale was later banned from baseball when suspected of conspiring to throw games in 1920 while playing for the 1920 Salt Lake City Bees.
The Reds finished the season with a 71-83 record, finishing seventh among eight teams in the league.