September 19, 1883: Within nine days, Cincinnati Red Stockings star first baseman John Reilly twice hits for the cycle and becomes the first Cincinnati player to homer twice in the same game.
The hot streak began on September 10, when Reilly hit two inside-the-park home runs as the Red Stockings defeated the Pittsburgh Alleghenies, 12-6. Reilly was second on the team in home runs with nine in 1883, trailing team leader Charley Jones who had 10.
His first cycle came on September 12, 1883, when he and left handed third baseman Hick Carpenter both went 6-7 in a 27-5 win over the Pittsburgh. The Red Stockings collected a club record 33 hits in the game. Charley Jones had five hits in the game. This is the only game in major league history that two players from the same team had six hits in the same game. Three other Cincinnati players have collected six hits in a game: Tony Cuccinello (1931), Ernie Lombardi (1937), and Walker Cooper (1949).
Reilly’s second cycle came seven days later on September 19 as the Red Stockings defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 12-3 in Cincinnati. For the season, Reilly led the Red Stockings with a .311 batting average, a .485 SLP, an .810 OPS, and an OPS+ of 150. He scored 103 runs in only 98 games and collected 79 rbi.
Reilly hit for the cycle a team record third time in 1890, which also is tied for the major league record with Bob Meusel and Babe Herman. Reilly played his entire career with Cincinnati, and coincidentally, Meusel played one year for the Reds, and Herman played two seasons with the Reds. Meusel and Herman did not hit for the cycle while with the Reds, but for other teams. Other Cincinnati players to hit for the cycle are Bid McPhee (1887), pitcher Tom Parrott (1894), Mike Mitchell (1904), Heinie Groh (1915), Harry Craft (1940), Frank Robinson (1959), and Eric Davis (1989).
The 1883 Red Stockings finished in third place with a 61-37 record, nine games behind the Philadelphia Athletics. Jones also had a big year for them, hitting .294 with 10 homers, 80 rbi, and 84 runs scored in 90 games. His OPS was .799 (OPS+ of 147). Will White was the star pitcher, going 43-22 with a 2.09 ERA (156 ERA+).
For Reilly’s career, in ten seasons, he batted .289 with 740 rbi and an OPS+ of 128. Reilly is third on the Reds career triples list with 135 and holds the seasonal records for most triples with 26 in 1890.
September 19, 1964: The Reds stay in the crazy 1964 pennant race by splitting a doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals. Frank Robinson wins the first game with a three-run walk off home run before the Cardinals shut out the Reds in the second game, 2-0, to earn the doubleheader split.
The Reds entered the day in third place, trailing the Philadelphia Phillies by seven games. The second place Cardinals were in second, six games behind the Phillies and the fourth place San Francisco Giants were one game behind the Reds (eight games behind the Phillies). The Cardinals struck first in this game, scoring five runs in the third inning off Reds starter Bob Purkey. The Cardinals big blows of the inning were homers by Mike Shannon and Ken Boyer.
The Reds reached Cardinals ace Bob Gibson for three runs in the sixth when Deron Johnson blasted a three-run home run. The Reds drew within one run in the eighth when Marty Keough homered with two outs to make the score 5-4.
Reds pitcher Sammy Ellis pitched out of trouble in the top of the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ellis struck out Dick Groat and Tim McCarver flied to left field to end the inning setting the stage for Robinson’s heroics.
Gordy Coleman, pinch hitting for Ellis, led off the bottom of the ninth with a double. Speedy outfielder Tommy Harper was sent into the game to run for Coleman. Pete Rose sacrificed the tying run to third base with one out. Chico Ruiz struck out looking, but Vada Pinson worked a walk to put the winning run on first base. But, it didn’t matter as Robinson delivered his 27th home run of the year to give the Reds a 7-5 victory.
A silent hero in the game was Reds reliever Bill Henry who pitched 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief baseball. For the year, Henry was 2-2 with an 0.87 ERA.
The Cardinals won the night cap, 2-0, as Ray Sadecki pitched eight shutout innings in winning his 18th game. Both Cardinals runs were unearned and came in the top of the second inning off Reds starter Billy McCool. 19-year-old rookie McCool was making his first start of the year after 34 relief appearances. With one out, Bill White singled to right field and Julian Javier reached on an infield single. Both runs scored on a double steal attempt when an a throwing error by Reds catcher Don Pavletich. McCool allowed seven hits, walking no one and struck out seven in his first major league start.
The Phillies lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 16 innings on this day, while the Giants were busy beating the Pittsburgh Pirates. So, at day’s end, the Cardinals and Reds both gained one-half game while the Giants pulled one game closer to the Phillies. In the year of the Phillies season-ending flop, the Reds would eventually move into first place for three days before season’s end before finally finishing in second place, one game behind the champion Cardinals.
The 1964 Reds allowed the fewest runs in the league, 3.5 runs per game. Starting pitchers Jim O’Toole (17-7, 2.66) and Jim Maloney (15-10, 2.71) anchored the starting staff. Henry, Ellis (10-3, 14 saves, 2.57), and McCool (6-5, 2.42) made for an outstanding relief staff. Robinson was the hitting leader, batting .306, 29 homers, 96 rbi, with a .943 OPS (160 OPS+).