September 29, 1879: From baseball-reference.com’s bullpen:
Baseball’s reserve clause is born. National League owners, seeking to limit player salaries, led by Boston’s Arthur Soden come to a secret agreement whereby five players on each team will be “reserved” – off limits to all other clubs. The reserve clause will be in effect for the 1880 season. The owners tell the newspapers that they have agreed upon a uniform contract with no salary advances.
I don’t think they could get away with that today….
September 29, 1919: Also from baseball-reference.com’s bullpen:
Arnold Rothstein decides to finance the World Series fix. The plan calls for Nat Evans to give a $40,000 advance to Sport Sullivan to give to the players with an additional $40,000 to be put in a safe at the Hotel Congress in Chicago, IL. Evans takes $29,000 and bets on the Cincinnati Reds, giving Chick Gandil only $10,000.
The 1919 Reds were an incredible 96-44 during 1919. The Chicago White Sox were 88-52.
September 29, 1940: The Reds win their 100th game of the season, the first time in Reds history, with an 11-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on the last day of the season. Shortstop Billy Myers was 2-5 with four rbi and Bucky Walters improved his record to 22-10, pitching three innings as the starting pitcher in the game.
September 29, 1956: Smoky Burgess’s 12th home run of the year enables the Reds to tie the major league record of 221 team home runs in a season. Burgess’s two run eighth-inning ignites a Reds comeback as they overcome a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-6. The Reds score five more in the ninth to give reliever Hersh Freeman’s 14th win of the season (14-5, 18 saves, 3.40 ERA).
September 29, 1964: The Reds are shut out by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0, dropping them into a first place tie with the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the Philadelphia Phillies to drop the Phillies one game behind the leaders.
The Reds reach Pirates starter Bob Friend for 11 hits and two walks, but cannot score as they leave 11 runners on base. The Pirates score their two runs in the top of the ninth inning on a Bill Mazeroski single off young 19-year-old rookie Reds starter Billy McCool. It was only McCool’s third start of the year. McCool went 8 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and two walks before being relieved by John Tsitouris after the two runs scored.
September 29, 1968: From “Day by Day in Cincinnati Reds History” by Floyd Conner and John Snyder:
Pete Rose claims the National League batting title on the final day of the season, edging out Matty Alou .335 to .332. Rose went 1-for-3 in a 3-0 Reds’ victory over the Giants at Crosley Field, while Alou went 0-for-4 for the Pirates. The day before, Rose took the lead in the batting race with a 5-for-5 day against Gaylord Perry.
September 29, 1990: The Reds clinch the National League Western Division title when the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the San Francisco Giants, 4-3. The Dodgers-Giants decision was announced during a rain delay of a Reds 3-1 loss to the San Diego Padres.
September 29, 1993: Tim Pugh pitches 8 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball before giving up a single to the Padres Billy Bean in a Reds 8-0 win over San Diego. Pugh finished the year 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA. In six years (five with the Reds), Pugh was 25-28 with a 4.97 ERA.
The 1993 Reds were beset by injuries and finished the year 73-89, in fifth place, 31 games behind the pennant winning Atlanta Braves. The poor Reds season overshadowed two outstanding individual performances for the Reds. Star pitcher Jose Rijo had possibly his major league season, going 14-9 with a 2.48 ERA (163 ERA+) and led the league with 227 strikeouts. He finished fifth in Cy Young voting that season. For his career Rijo pitched 14 seasons, ten with the Reds. As a Red he was 97-61 with a 2.83 ERA (139 ERA+). Overall, he was 116-91 with a 3.24 ERA. From 1990-1993, Rijo went 58-33 and never had an ERA over 2.70, striking out about 7.5 batters per nine innings over that span.
Offensively, Kevin Mitchell played only 93 games due to injury, but when he played he was nearly unstoppable. He batted .341 with 19 homers, 64 rbi, 21 doubles, .385 OBP, .601 SLP, .986 OPS (194 OPS+) in those 93 games. He was even better in 1994, batting .326 with 30 homers, 77 rbi, .429 OBP, .681 SLP, 1.110 OPS (185 OPS+) in only 95 games. He only played 95 games to injury and the contract labor dispute in the shortened season. Mitchell was one of the most productive hitters in Reds history during the three seasons he played for the Reds: .332 Batting Average, 55 homers, 167 rbi, 131 runs scored in only 225 games. His OBP as a Reds was .414, with a .631 SLP, 1.045 OPS, 172 OPS+. For his career, Mitchell batted .284 with 234 home runs and a 142 OPS+.
September 29, 2000: Ron Villone ties a team record when he strikes out 16 Cardinals in nine innings in a Reds 2-1 win in St. Louis. This was the last game Villone pitched for the Reds. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later in November less than two months later. The Rockies later sent two minor leaguers, Jeff Taglienti and Justin Carter. Neither played made it past the AA minor league level.
Villone tied the strikeout record set by Noodles Hahn in 1901 and tied by Jim Maloney in 1963. Maloney has the Reds single game strikeout record, having struck out 18 in an 11-inning game in 1965. In 2000, Villone was 10-10 with a 5.43 ERA, and only struck out 77 batters in 141 innings, including the 16 on this one day.
In two seasons with the Reds, Villone was 19-17 with a 4.82 ERA A former Seattle Mariners first round draft choice, he played 15 major league seasons, playing for 12 different major league teams (plus playing for the Mariners and Astros twice). He finished his career 61-65 with a 4.73 ERA.