In recent years (with the exception of 2015, of course), the Cincinnati Reds representatives haven’t had success in All-Star games. On Tuesday, Zack Cozart broke an 0-for-25 streak with a single to left field. It was the first hit by a Cincinnati Red in an All-Star game since Scott Rolen singled in Anaheim in 2010. But in the long, storied history of the Reds, the franchise has more than a few impressive All-Star moments.

Here are some of the best Reds All-Star moments, in no particular order:

Johnny Vander Meer shines

One month after Vander Meer pitched back-to-back no-hitters, he started the 1938 All-Star game at Crosley Field and pitched three innings of one-hit baseball. The National League would go on to win 4-1. The game lasted a brisk one hour, 58 minutes.

Adam Duvall’s Home Run Derby performance

Duvall was named to the All-Star team in San Diego in 2016 and opted to participate in the Home Run Derby, after hitting 23 homers in the first part of the season. Duvall hit 11 homers and defeated hometown Padre Wil Myers in the first round, but fell to former Red and then-defending champ Todd Frazier in the second round 16-15. Despite the loss, Duvall provided a nice highlight for Reds fans in an otherwise dull season.

Ballot stuffing in Cincinnati

Reds fans have been known lately for voting incessantly to ensure the hometown guys are represented in the starting lineup (see: Frazier in 2015 and Cozart this season), but it was nothing like the 1957 All-Star Game, held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. At the time, fans could create their own ballots and send them to MLB. With the local newspapers and businesses printing ballots to encourage voting, Cincinnati fans worked hard to make sure their favorites were selected. When the final votes were tallied, Reds fans had voted eight Reds starters into the lineup. First baseman Stan Musial of the Cardinals was the only non-Red to be voted in. The commissioner at the time, Ford Frick, did not approve of the mass voting and appointed Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to start. MLB would then take away the opportunity for fans to vote, and would not reinstate it until 1970.

The Famous Play

Riverfront Stadium was barely three weeks old when it hosted the 1970 All-Star Game, and it was a classic affair. The National League scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie it at four, where it stood until the twelfth inning. With two outs, Pete Rose was on second and tried to score on a single up the middle by Cubs right fielder Jim Hickman. The throw went to home plate and Rose bowled over Ray Fosse in an attempt to score. Fosse dropped the ball, Rose scored and the National League won, much to the delight of the Cincinnati fans. It was later discovered that Fosse injured his shoulder on that play, though he played the rest of the 1970 season.

2015 All-Star Week in Cincinnati, and the Todd Frazier Show

I might be biased because I was able to experience this week firsthand, but if I had listed these five moments in order of the best moments, it would be #1. All-Star week in 2015 was nothing short of awe-inspiring, from Kyle Schwarber winning MVP in front of family and friends in the Futures game to the best player in baseball, Mike Trout hitting a leadoff home run in the All-Star game. There was a certain buzz in the Cincinnati air that week, and it’s one I’ll remember forever. Baseball was the talk of the town. Everywhere I went, people were talking baseball. It was like a dream, and I had to remind myself to take it all in.

And of course, the Home Run Derby in the first year of the new timed format, and which almost got rained out that evening. Instead, Frazier thrilled over 42,000 fans in attendance, as he beat Josh Donaldson on a “buzzer-beater” home run and Joc Pederson in bonus time to take the title.

After Monday night, some on Twitter were calling the 2017 Home Run Derby the best one yet. Yes, Aaron Judge put on an incredible show, but there’s nothing like the atmosphere of a sold-out ballpark when the hometown guy has a chance to win the Derby. It’s why I was rooting for Giancarlo Stanton on Monday and why the 2015 Home Run Derby was the best one. No one left GABP on that night, and the adrenaline helped fuel Frazier to the win. It was a magical night by the river, and even though I was not fortunate enough to attend, I’ll remember it forever.

14 Responses

  1. Gonzo Reds

    Well, this year at least Cozart got a hit. Votto is 0-10 at All-Star games although he worked a walk in the last inning this year to bring the winning run to the plate.

    Speaking of Cozart, I’m reading that the Reds are now talking contract extension with him. True, he’s 32 at the height of his value right now, something we whiffed on with Todd Frazier after his HR contest show. However, the flip side is that I’m not convinced we have an immediate replacement 2B/SS combo ready quite yet, Cozart is the #2 hitter we’ve been missing (since we refuse to bat Votto there), is a great defender, and perhaps the whole donkey show made him a fan favorite as well as a close friend of Votto’s and we want to keep both camps happy. So… perhaps a team friendly extension is just as valuable for team chemistry as what we could get for him?

    • Ashley Davis

      The Reds are in an interesting situation with Cozart. On one hand, his trade value has never been higher and with him being a free agent at the end of the year, the Reds could get a couple good prospects in return. At the same time, if Cozart is open to a three year deal with a little bit of a “hometown discount”, the Reds might want to consider it. Three more years gives the Reds two veterans in the lineup (him and Votto) before Votto gets too old. It will be intriguing to watch over these next couple of weeks to see what happens.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        If a deal is there and he gets traded in the next couple of weeks, would he and the Reds consider revisiting the idea of a return to Cincinnati during the off season once he is a free agent. I supposed that would also be predicated on the assumption that he doesn’t get a monster deal from another team but between his age and his injury history, I don’t have any idea what he will command on the free agent market.

      • Gonzo Reds

        I think if he is traded we’ll throw several youngsters at the 2B/SS/3B positions to see what sticks and then bringing him back won’t be an option. It’s only an option if he signs now at a discount and stays (probably his preference since the donkey will be at his mother’s place outside Nashville). You probably see I included 3B and wonder what about Suarez?! Well, I’m keeping in mind that moving Suarez to another position to make room for our top prospect Senzel is a consideration as well.

      • Chuck Schick

        How can you say his trade value has never been higher? He’s a 2 month rental, coming off the DL, in the midst of a 4 week period of ” mean reversion”. He’s also injury prone. He has little to no trade value. GM’s aren’t going to give up anything of value just because Cozart had a .500 BABIP in April-May.

      • Chuck Schick

        There seems to be a consistent narrative by many that an established player’s “trade value” can be wildly enhanced by short term performance. Teams actually look under the hood…’s overall carer….one’s injury history aren’t forgotten because they were hot for a few weeks.

        If you were a GM, in a non desperation situation, would you risk anything of value to rent Cozart? Would you put your job on the line for a guy who’s career numbers indicate he will likely underperform for the remainder of the season (mean reversion is mean) and has trouble staying on the field?

    • Chuck Schick

      Cozart is an average player who was able to string together 2 great months in the midst of a contract year. He isn’t going to give the Reds a team friendly discount. The
      “mutual interest” is a sign that there is no trade market for him and Cozart is concerned that UFA won’t produce an avalanche of offers. He’s a nice player, but its likely that no other team believes that he is anything more than an average player that was hot for 2 months.

      • IndyRedMan

        The Giants have been very successful lately but yet they ended up paying pretty dearly for renting Mike LEake. You never know? Cozart has 33 walks in 66 games! His hitting may come-n-go but I think patience is a skill that he can continue to utilize! Personally, I think they sign him for 2 years with a payout option for 2020. Or possibly 3 with a club option for 2021 but that’s pushing it imo? Knowing how Bob C. is….I give it no more then about a 20% chance that they trade him.

      • Chuck Schick

        You can’t compare the trade value of a solid starter who rarely misses time to an average short stop who seems to get hurt every year. You’re comparing apples to jack hammers

      • IndyRedMan

        Ok…maybe not the best comparison but my point is that someone could find value in an All-Star shortstop. It is possible. If they wanted Cozart then we might have a punchers chance to get someone helpful in return….sort of like Leake/Duvall. Heck…we picked up a guy with a possible Cy Young type arm in Castillo for Straily. Literally everyone on this site was convinced Straily actually sucked and we’d be doing good to move him for a Single A kid that might be a borderline top 100 prospect.

  2. Reds Fan In FL

    ASG MVPs – 67 Perez as previously mentioned, 72 Morgan, 76 Foster, 80 Griffey, 82 Concepcion. Personally, Concepcion’s MVP in the ASG was the highlight of that year for me given how bad the Reds were after their great run from 1970-1981.

    • Jeffery Stroupe

      Johnny Bench hitting one 3 miles in 1971.