August 19 has at least three significant stories to tell in Reds history:
August 19, 1911: Reds outfielder Mike Mitchell hits for the cycle as the Reds win the second game of a doubleheader against the eventual National League champion New York Giants and their pitching ace, Christy Mathewson.
Mitchell was quite the power hitter for his time and had a terrific throwing arm. According to baseball-reference.com
Mitchell reached the majors with the Cincinnati Reds in 1907 and as a rookie set a record with 39 outfield assists, a mark that was not broken until Chuck Klein recorded 44 in 1930. In 1909, he hit .310 and led the NL with 17 triples. Additionally, both his batting average and OPS+ were second-best in the circuit. Once again, he paced the National League in triples in 1910, this time with 18. The next summer, he recorded a career-best 22 three-baggers but finished second to Larry Doyle’s 25. However, on August 19th of that year, he managed to hit for the cycle off New York Giants ace Christy Mathewson.
Keeping in mind that home runs were still a rarity in Mitchell’s time, he is probably one of the more unknown Reds stars in their history. He had a rather short career and didn’t begin playing in the majors until he was 27-years-old. I’m reluctant to say “reach the majors until he was 27” for farm systems weren’t systematic in his day as they are now. A player normally joined a team and then would play until discovered by more competitive teams, whether major or minor league, and then would have to be dealt or purchased between organizations. Mitchell had a career batting average of .278 with a career OPS+ of 118. He is seventh on the Reds’ career triples list and his 1911 total of 22 remains tied for second best in a season for the Reds.
August 19, 1965: Jim Maloney fires his second 10-inning no-hitter of the year as the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
Well, I say it was Maloney’s second no-hitter of the year. He lost a June 14 game to the New York Mets, 1-0, holding the Mets hitless through 10 innings before giving up an 11th inning leadoff home run to Johnny Lewis. Baseball rules have since been changed so that the June 14th game is no longer classified a no-hitter since the Reds eventually gave up a hit (the Pirates Harvey Haddix’s 12 perfect inning game lost in the 13th is no longer classified as no-hitter either).
Whatever the case, Maloney was far from perfect on August 19. He walked 10 batters and hit one in the game, loading the bases three times with the Cubs leaving ten runners on base. Maloney struck out 12 in the game with Leo Cardenas winning the game with a 10th inning home run that hit the left field foul pole. Maloney threw 187 pitches in the game.
Maloney had one of his best seasons in 1965, going 20-9 with a 2.54 ERA (148 ERA+). He had one other 20 win season in 1963, when he went 23-7 with a 2.77 ERA. He struck out 200 or more batters four consecutive seasons with a high of 265 in 1963. For his career, Maloney was 134-84 with a 3.19 ERA before injuries sidelined him at age 31. He threw one additional no-hitter, in 1969 against the Houston Astros. In that game he walked five and struck out 13. About Maloney’s legend, here’s a quote from baseball-reference.com’s bullpen section:
“The only thing I knew about him was when he popped up on the scoreboard in Cincinnati, ‘This Day in Reds History’. Seems like he is in every other one Ã¢â‚¬â€ Jim Maloney threw 10 shutout innings; Jim Maloney threw another no-hitter; Jim Maloney struck out 25 or something.” – Homer Bailey, describing what he knew about Maloney before meeting him.
August 19, 1974: Joe Morgan connects for two home runs and seven rbi’s in consecutive innings as the Reds clobber the Philadelphia Phillies, 15-2, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.
Morgan flied out in the first inning, but socked a three-run homer off Philies starter Wayne Twitchell in the second inning, and then clubbed a grand slam home run in the third off reliever Tom Underwood to give the Reds an 11-0 lead. The Reds added three more runs in the third, giving them a 14-0 lead and manager Sparky Anderson pulled Morgan from the game.
For the season, Joe Morgan batted .293 with 22 homers, 58 stolen bases, and 120 walks, leading the National League with a .427 OBP. His two MVP seasons were to follow: in 1975, he batted .327 with 17 homers, 94 rbi, 67 steals and 132 walks; in 1976, he batted .320 with 27 homers, 111 rbi, 60 steals (only caught nine times), and 114 walks. In addition to his hitting, Morgan won five consecutive Gold Gloves from 1973-77. For his career, Morgan batted .271 with an .819 OPS (OPS+ of 132). With the Reds, Morgan batted .288 with an .885 OPS (OPS+ of 147).
From baseball-reference.com’s bullpen is a tribute to Morgan and his accomplishments:
A fierce competitor renowned for his baseball smarts, Joe Morgan could single-handedly beat opposing teams with his multi-faceted skills. An MVP Award Winner in 1975 and 1976, he was a terror on the basepaths, topping the 40-steal plateau nine times during his career. His skilled batting eye enabled him to lead the National League in on-base percentage and walks four times each. Morgan also packed considerable power into his compact frame, leading all Hall of Fame second basemen with 266 home runs, hitting 268 overall.
Named to the Rawlings All-Time Gold Glove Team.
Morgan was rated the #1 second baseman of all time by Bill James in his New Historical Baseball Abstract.
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 9, 1990 by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Broadcaster on ESPN and has been paired with Jon Miller for many years now. Quote: “When he’s healthy, he’s the finest ballplayer I ever played with. He could win ballgames in more ways than anybody.” Johnny Bench.
Morgan’s 27 homers in 1976 were the record for a Reds second baseman until Brandon Phillips broke it in 2007.
Joe Morgan is the only player to homer twice on his 40th birthday.