September 12, 1943: Reds pitcher Elmer Riddle ties his career high of 19 wins by tossing a one-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a doubleheader. The Reds lost the second game, 7-0, when Pirates rookie, Xavier Rescigno (known as “Mr. X”), fires a four-hitter in response.
Riddle outdueles Pirate ace, Rip Sewell, in game one to get the victory. Sewell, Riddle, and the Cardinals Mort Cooper would all jointly share the major league leading total of 21 wins. Riddle had only appeared in 15 games during his 1940 rookie year with the Reds, going 1-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 33 innings. He exploded in 1941, going 19-4 and leading the majors in winning percentage (.824) and ERA (2.24). His ERA+ was 162 and he finished fifth in the MVP voting.
Riddle slid back a bit in 1941, going 7-11 with a 3.69 ERA, but he rebounded in 1943 to finish the year 21-11 with a 2.63 ERA and finished seventh in MVP voting. He played seven years with the Reds, going 52-34 with a 3.20 ERA. For his career, Riddle was 65-52 with a 3.40 ERA. 13 of his 65 career wins were shutouts; 10 of his 52 Reds wins were shutouts.
The only Pirate hit in this game was an eighth inning one-double by star third baseman Bob Elliott. Riddle walked one and struck out four. Sewell scattered 10 hits and walked four as the Reds left nine runners on base. The 1943 Reds finished in second place with an 87-67 record, 18 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
September 12, 1950: Redlegs star pitcher Ewell Blackwell hurls a one-hitter, but loses, 3-1, to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Chicago. It was Blackwell’s second one-hitter in his previous three starts, having one-hit the Cubs, 5-1, in Chicago on September 2.
Dodgers’ youngster Carl Erskine started and allowed only three hits in the game for the Redlegs. The Redlegs scored first when Ted Kluszewski unloaded with a home run to centerfield to give the Redlegs a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers tied it in the bottom of the fourth when Pee Wee Reese drew a walk and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Reese advanced to third when Gene Hermanski singled to right field, the only Dodger hit of the game. Reese scored on a Duke Snyder fielder’s choice ground ball.
The Dodgers scored their winning runs in the seventh inning. Catcher Bruce Edwards was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Billy Cox reached base when Blackwell threw away Cox’s sacrifice bunt attempt, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Edwards scored on a wild pitch, and pitcher Erskine drew a walk. Reese grounded into a fielder’s choice when Erskine was caught in a rundown between second and third, with Cox holding at third base and Reese advancing to second. Cox scored when Hermanski grounded out to second base with Cox scoring.
The 1950 Redlegs finished in sixth place with a 66-87 record. For the season, Blackwell was 17-15 with a 2.97 ERA (143 ERA+). Kluszewski was the star hitter, batting .307 with 25 homers and 111 rbi (124 OPS+).
September 12, 1954: Ted Kluszewski drives in nine runs in a doubleheader as the Redlegs sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11-5 and 13-2. Kluszewski has six rbi in the first game and three runs batted in the night cap.
In the first game, the Redlegs take a 10-0 lead by the middle of the seventh inning when they scored three times in each of the third, fourth, and seventh innings, and one in the sixth. Kluszewski hit two home runs in the game and pitcher Joe Nuxhall homered and hit a sacrifice fly in the game. Nuxhall had only given up one run through eight innings, but gave up four in the ninth before holding on.
The second game was even more of a route as the Redlegs had built a 13-0 lead through the middle of the fifth inning. The Redlegs had no home runs in the game (and only three doubles) as they collected a total of 15 hits and seven walks to produce the 13 runs. Kluszewski, Gus Bell, and Johnny Temple each had three hits.
Starting pitcher Fred Baczewski only faced five batters for the Redlegs, walking two, striking out one with one batter reaching by error. He was relieved by Jerry Lane who pitched 7 1/3 innings of relief baseball, allowing six hits and two runs, walking three and striking out no one. Cliff Ross pitched the ninth inning for the Dodgers and retired them in order. Ross’s appearance was only one of four he made for his career, pitching 2 2/3 innings with no one reaching base. Lane went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in three 1954 appearances. He pitched 11 games in two seasons with the Reds, going 2-4 with a 3.32 ERA.
1954 was Kluszewski’s best year, batting .326 with 49 home runs and 141 rbi. The home runs and rbi led the majors, and the batting averege was fifth in the league behind leader Willie Mays with .345. Kluszewski finished second in the league MVP voting for his performance. For his career as a Redleg, Klu batted .302 with 251 home runs and 886 rbi. For his entire career, Kluzewski batted .298 with with 279 home runs.
The Redlegs finished fifth in the National League with a 74-80, 23 games behind the champion New York Giants.