September 14, 1950: Reds rookie outfielder Ted Tappe homers in is first major league at bat and becomes the first known major league player to have homered in both his first major and minor league at bats. The pinch home run comes leading off the eighth inning of a 6-3 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first game of a doubleheader. The Reds lost the second game, too, 5-2, as Brooklyn swept the doubleheader
The home run is Tappe’s only home run as a Red and one of only five in his career.
Tappe was signed by the Reds in 1950 at the age of 19 and made his major league debut later that year. According to baseball-reference.com’s bullpen, Tappe went to the College World Series that year and the Reds signed him on the last day of the Series. He was assigned to Charleston and homered in his first at bat there and went on to bat .253 with 11 homers in 70 games.
On September 14, Tappe made his major league debut and became the second Cincinnati Red to homer in his first major league at bat. Tappe appeared as a pinch runner in the second game that afternoon. In 11 games with the Reds over two years, Tappe was 2-9 with a walk. He was traded by the Redlegs to the Chicago Cubs in 1954 and he appeared in 63 games with them (50 at bats). He hit four home runs for the Cubs and finished his major league career with five homers. He played in the minors through 1961.
Clyde Vollmer is the only other Red to homer in his first big league at bat. Vollmer homered on the first pitch he saw on May 31, 1942, in the second game of a doubleheader, a 3-0 Reds shut out of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Vollmer was a 20-year-old rookie outfielder, who batted .093 (4-43) in 12 games in 1942. In four part-time years with the Reds, Vollmer batted .188 with two home runs. Vollmer did play 10 seasons in the majors, batting .251 with 69 home runs. His best season came with the 1951 Boston Red Sox when he hit .251 with 22 homers and 85 rbi.
Only one Cincinnati Reds player has homered in his last at bat in the major leagues. Outfielder Glenn Braggs homered in his last at bat of the 1992 season. On September 10, 1992, with one out in the bottom of the second inning, Braggs connected on an 0-2 pitch against Braves lefty Steve Avery to tie the game at 1-1. Cesar Hernandez replaced Braggs in right field in the bottom half of the inning and Braggs played no more. Braggs finished the season batting .237 with 8 homers and 38 rbi. With the Reds for three seasons, Braggs batted .262 with 25 home runs. For his career, Braggs played seven years and batted .257 with 70 homers.
Of all these teams, the 1942 Reds (Vollmer) finished at 76-76, in fourth place, the 1950 Reds (Tappe) finished 66-87 in sixth place, and the 1992 Reds (Braggs) finished the year 90-72 in second place.
September 14, 1973: The Reds score three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally and defeat the Atlanta Braves, 7-6, in Cincinnati. The win helped maintain a slim Reds 3 1/2 game lead over the second place Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Reds were trailing the Braves 6-4 entering their home half of the ninth inning. With one out, Pete Rose singled to centerfield off Braves starter Roric Harrison. Lefty throwing Tom House relieved Harrison, but walked Joe Morgan forcing Rose to second base. Pinch hitter George Foster, now facing Braves reliever Joe Niekro, flied to left field for the second out of the inning. Johnny Bench walked to load the bases. Phil Gagliano was called on to pinch hit and delivered a two-run single to left to tie the score at 6-6. Bobby Tolan then singled to left, scoring Bench, with the game winning run.
Gagliano had a terrific year off the bench, batting .290 with a .402 OBP in 63 games and 83 plate appearances. A 12-year career utility player, Gagliano played two seasons with the Reds batting .220. In his second season, 1974, Gagliano was only 2-31 for the Reds, but had a .370 OBP due to working the pitchers for 14 walks in 46 plate appearances. In 12 major league seasons, Gagliano batted .238 with 14 homers. Denis Menke had a .368 on base percentage for the 1973 Reds despite only batting .191 as the team’s regular third baseman. Menke had 46 hits and 69 walks for the year. He struck out 53 times.
The 1973 Reds won the National League Western Division title with a 99-63 record, but lost to the New York Mets in the League Championship Series.