October 1, 1919: The Reds win their first World Series game in their history, 9-1, over the Chicago White Sox at Redland Field in Cincinnati.

The baseball game story: The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Reds’ leadoff hitter Morrie Rath was hit by a Eddie Cicotte pitch to start the game. Jake Daubert singled Rath to third base and Rath scored on a Heinie Groh sacrifice fly. The White Sox tied the game in the top of the second when Chick Gandil singled home Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The Reds broke it open in the fifth. With one out, Pat Duncan singled to right, but was forced out at second base on a grounder by Larry Kopf. Greasy Neale reached on an infield hit and Ivey Wingo followed with a single, scoring Kopf and advancing Neale to third with Wingo advancing to second base on the throw. Pitcher Dutch Ruether then tripled, scoring two more runs. Rath followed with a double to score Ruether and than Rath scored on a single to right, with Rath advancing to second base on the throw to the plate, the Reds now leading 6-1. The White Sox finally pulled their 29-game winning ace Cicotte, with reliever Roy Wilkinson inducing Groh to fly out to centerfield to end the inning.

The Reds added two insurance runs in the seventh inning when Daubert led off with a triple and scored on a Groh single. Edd Roush reached first safely with Groh advancing to third base when first baseman Gandil mishandled the throw on a sacrifice bunt. Groh then scored on a force out, giving the Reds an 8-1 lead. The Reds scored their ninth and final run in the eighth inning when pitcher Ruether hit his second triple of the game, scoring Neale to provide the Reds winning 9-1 margin.

As a pitcher, Ruether allowed only six hits, and the run allowed was unearned. At the plate, Ruether was 3-3 with a walk, two triples, and three rbi.

Additional story: Baseball’s eyes were alarmed as word got out that the betting odds had changed drastically in the days leading up to the Series. While the Reds had a much better seasonal record (96-44 versus 88-52) the American League was considered to be the stronger league at the time as they had won all but one World Series event during the 1910’s (the only NL team to win was the 1914 Boston Braves). The White Sox had been a 3-1 favorite to win, but had become an 8-5 underdog by the time the Series began.

Cicotte was an ace pitcher, who finished the year 29-7 with a 1.82 ERA, only walking 49 and hitting two batters in over 306 innings pitched. His ERA+ was 176 for the season. He was one of baseball’s best pitchers and had been for a decade. The “signal” that the “fix was on” was to hit the Reds leadoff batter, and Cicotte did just that in plunking Rath to start the Reds first inning, especially since Cicotte had hit only two batters all season. He hadn’t hit more than three batters in a season since 1911 when he hit four in 220 innings and it was the first time Rath had been hit by a pitch all season in 624 plate appearances. The pitch must have really been inside.

It is interesting that the White Sox first runs came through the efforts of Jackson and Gandil. Most of us know that Jackson was considered to be in on the plot, but Gandil is usually considered to have been one of the ringleaders. However, Jackson reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop Kopf, and Gandil was caught stealing immediately after singling home Jackson. You also may note in the scoring notes above that Reds runners advanced to second base twice on throws from right field to the plate on run scoring plays (where was the cutoff man–usually the first basemen on flies to right?). One of those runners (Wingo) scored and the other was Rath was stranded at second base when the Reds’ best hitter, Groh, flied out to centerfield. You may also note that Gandil mishandled the throw on Roush’s sacrifice bunt allowing Groh to advance from first to third on the bunt attempt. Pitcher Ruether’s two triples are also suspect. Ruether did hit three triples that season and batted .261, so it’s possible they were legitimate, but his first one was a big blow to the outfield to allow the Reds to gain their big 6-1 lead. Cicotte even walked Ruether to open the third inning and Ruether had only drawn four walks all year.

All in all, the White Sox played really bad baseball and the Reds played well. It’s a shame that the World Series is tainted for I think the Reds team was much better than many have given them credit. You have to be a good baseball team to finish a 140 game season with a winning percentage of .686. The Reds had two exceptional players in Groh and Roush, a polish, steady leader in Daubert, experienced catching, a superb pitching staff that posted a team ERA of 2.23, 24% better than the NL overall ERA of 2.91, and an excellent manager in Pat Moran who knew how to handle a pitching staff and stressed defense and discipline.

October 1, 1964: Reds third string catcher Jimmie Coker, playing in just his tenth game of the year, goes 3-4 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and two rbi to lead the Reds to a 5-4 win over Pittsburgh. The win pulled the Reds to within 1/2 game of the first place St. Louis Cardinals who were idle on this day.

The Philadelphia Phillies were also idle, leaving them 2 1/2 games behind, but the San Francisco Giants also won, pulling them to within three games of the Cardinals with three games to play.

By scoring two runs in the second inning of this game, the Reds ended an ill-timed 34-inning shutout streak.

October 1, 1965: The Reds stop a pennant-ending five-game losing streak by crushing the San Francisco Giants, 17-2, in San Francisco.

As late as September 26, the Reds were three games out of first place with an 88-67 record. The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were tied for first and the Reds remaining seven games were against the Dodgers and Giants. The Reds lost six of these last seven games to finish in fourth place, eight games behind the Dodgers. The Giants finished two games behind, and the Pittsburgh Pirates finished ahead of the Reds, three games out of first place.

In the Reds 17-2 win, they were led by Deron Johnson who was 4-6 with a homer and four rbi. Frank Robinson was 3-6 with a homer and three rbi, and Pete Rose was 3-4 with a homer and four rbi. The first base platoon of Gordy Coleman and Tony Perez combined to go 4-6 with a double, a homer, and four runs scored.

October 1, 1972: Don Gullett and Clay Carroll combine for a two-hitter as the Reds defeat Doug Rau and the Dodgers, 1-0, in Cincinnati. The Reds only had three hits in the game and the Dodgers didn’t get their first safety until there was one out in the eighth inning off Gullett.

The only run of the game came in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Rose singled to centerfield to start the inning, the Reds’ third hit of the game. Julian Javier sacrificed him to second and Rose advanced to third base on a passed ball by Dodger catcher Joe Ferguson. Ferguson had just moved to catcher from right field that inning after the Dodgers had pinch hit for their “defensive” catcher Steve Yeager in the top half of the inning. Rose then scored on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Bench for the only run of the game.

Meanwhile, Gullett was cruising. He retired the first 14 batters in the game before Bobby Valentine reached on error by Reds third baseman Denis Menke. He retired the next eight in order before walking Valentine with one out in the eighth. Bill Russell singled to left, but Gullett induced pinch hitter Wes Parker to hit into a double play to end the inning. Carroll relieved Gullett in the bottom of the ninth and gave up a single to Bill Buckner to start the inning. Willie Davis struck out and then Manny Mota hit into a game-ending double play as the Reds won.

The 1972 Reds won the National League Western Division with a 95-59 record, 10 1/2 games ahead of the second place Dodgers. The Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates three games to two in the League Championship Series before losing in seven games to the Oakland A’s in the 1972 World Series.

October 1, 1978: From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

The Reds win the final game of the 1978 campaign with a 10-8 decision in 14 innings against the Atlanta Braves at Riverfront Stadium. The contest ended on George Foster’s 40th homer of the season. Sparky Anderson created some controversy when he pulled Pete Rose from the game with the Reds leading, 8-3, in the eighth inning. Atlanta tied the game with five runs in the ninth. Rose had 198 hits on the season, and his benching cost him four plate appearances for a shot at his yearly goal of 200 hits. It was an unusual game all-around. Johnny Bench clubbed a grand slam of Mickey Mahler in the third inning. The Reds used 24 players, including Paul Moskau and Mike LaCoss as pinch-hitters. Atlanta pitchers walked a National League record 16 batters and Reds pitchers combined to strike out 19 Atlanta hitters.

Little did anyone know at the time, but this was Anderson’s final game as Reds manager, and Pete Rose’s last contest in a Cincinnati unform until 1984.

Dan Dumoulin was the winning pitcher in relief for the Reds, his only major league decision. The Reds won their last seven games to finish the season 92-69, in second place, 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Foster had a super year, batting .281 with 40 homers, 120 rbi, and a .906 OPS (151 OPS+). Johnny Bench played only 120 games, but hit .260 with 23 homers and 73 rbi (129 OPS+). Tom Seaver had an “unlucky year,” going 16-14 with a 2.88 ERA (125 ERA+) and 226 strikeouts. Doug Bair was phenomenal out of the bullpen, finishing the year 7-6 with 28 saves and a 1.97 ERA (182 ERA+).