October 6, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings score 13 runs in the final three innings to erase a 15-5 deficit and beat the Forest Grays of Cleveland, 18-15. It was the biggest comeback win of the year for the team that finished 67-6-1.
October 6, 1880: The Cincinnati Reds are expelled from the National League for selling beer during games and for renting the ballpark to amateur teams on Sunday.
At the time, not all players were not protected by the “reserve clause,” the ruling that binds players to teams. The teams could protect five players (normal roster size was 11) and teams generally protected their pitcher, their catcher, and three other players while other players were essentially free agents at the end of each season. The Reds didn’t protect future Hall of Famer King Kelly, which proved to be a mistake, and they attempted to protect Cal McVey, who instead of being protected, retired. Another star they protected, Deacon White, held out for a better contract. At first, it was a badge of honor to be protected, but then the players realized the teams were using the Reserve Clause to hold down salaries for the unprotected players were signing bigger contracts than the “face of the franchise” type players. The Reds were the first team to fall because of player reactions to the Reserve Clause. The 1879 team that went 43-37 and was expected to contend in 1880, instead limped home at 21-59. The team was losing money and resorted to selling spirits at the ballpark and leasing the ballpark for Sunday use, of which both items were banned by the National League.
The NL ignored the Reds’ practice until the more puritan northeastern teams took issue and started to complain. The Worcester Ruby Legs, who had just joined the league for the 1880 season, complained the loudest and the league sought to reinforcement the two rules. The Reds refused to sign an agreement and were bounced out of the league with the Detroit Wolverines taking their place. The result was that Cincinnati did not have a major league team in 1881 (the only year) and was a founding member of the American Association for the 1882 season in a league often called the “Beer and Whiskey League” for seemingly obvious reasons.
October 6, 1882: The Cincinnati Red Stockings in the first World Series game ever, well, sort of, 4-0, over the Chicago White Stockings in an unauthorized game in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first champions of the newly formed American Association. Able to re-sign several of the 1880 Cincinnati Reds players from the days before their expulsion from the National League, they were the most experienced team in the American Association. They were able to bring back three starting position players and sign eight other players who had previous major league experience.
Third baseman Hick Carpenter, star pitcher Will White, and outfielder Joe Sommer rejoined the team. White finished the year 40-12 with a 1.54 ERA, leading the league in wins and fourth in ERA, Carpenter batted .342 to place second and was third in OBP at .360 and fifth in SLP at .422. Sommer placed fifth in OBP at .333. The Red Stockings finished the season with a 55-25 record and their .688 won lost percentage is the best in Cincinnati club history.
The American Association had placed a ban on post season play, punishable by a $100 fine. To get around this ban, the team “released” their players temporarily from their contracts and had them sign short-term contracts to play a short two-game series against the National League regular season champions, the Chicago White Stockings. The White Stockings had won the regular season and were on their way to play the second place team, the Providence Grays, for a nine-game post season series. They stopped in Cincinnati to play the games against the American Association champions.
For the first game of the Series came on October 6, and the White Stockings played without one of it’s stars, former Red King Kelly. Kelly was a versatile player and was the White Stockings shortstop in 1882. Will White pitched a whale of a game and the Red Stockings won the first game of the set, 4-0. Bid McPhee drove in two of the four sixth inning Red Stockings runs with a triple. This was the first game played the champions of two Major League baseball leagues.
October 6, 1919: The Reds and Hod Eller shut out the Chicago White Sox, 5-0, on a three-hitter, to take a four games to one lead in the 1919 World Series. Eller struck out nine batters, including six in a row, in the second and third innings. Eller had finished second in the NL in strikeouts in 1919.
The Reds scored four times in the sixth inning on a Morrie Rath single, a two-run triple by Edd Roush, and a sacrifice fly by Pat Duncan. Their fifth and final run scored on a Greasy Neale ground out in the ninth inning. The White Sox made an error in each one of the Reds’ scoring innings. The Reds only collected four hits on the day.
October 6, 1940: The Detroit Tigers take a three games to two lead over the Reds with an 8-0 World Series victory in Detroit. Tigers’ pitcher Bobo Newsom pitched a three-hitter for the win. Newsom, also the Game One winner, had his father die of a heart attack at a hotel in Cincinnati the morning following his Game One victory. Tigers star Hank Greenberg went 3-5 with a home run and four rbi in the game.
October 6, 1973: The Reds overcome seven shutout innings from New York Mets ace Tom Seaver to win the first game of the NLCS, 2-1, in Cincinnati.
Seaver had shut down the Reds on four hits and driven in the game’s only run with a second inning double before Pete Rose tied the game with a one-out eighth inning home run. Johnny Bench won it in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out walk off home run. Seaver struck out 13 batters in the game. Reds starter Jack Billingham only allowed three hits and walked three through eight innings.
October 6, 1991: Hal Morris goes 3-3 on the last day of the season, but falls short of the National League batting title. Morris ended the season at .318, one point behind the Atlanta Braves Terry Pendleton’s .319 average. Morris was on deck as the Reds lost the final game of the season, 3-1, to the San Diego Padres. Pendleton did not play the last game of the season.
October 6, 1995: The Reds sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series. The Red win Game 3, 10-1, on the strength of three team home runs, one each by Ron Gant, Bret Boone, and a grand slam by Mark Lewis. David Wells, Mike Jackson, and Jeff Brantley team up to scatter nine hits and strike out ten Dodgers in the game. Reds 1995 batting star Reggie Sanders (seasonal .306, 28 homers, 99 rbi, .954 OPS, 154 OPS+) struck out five times in the game in five trips to the plate, a precursor to the League Championship Series to be played next against the Atlanta Braves.