This week’s respondents are Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, the inimitable Mary Beth Ellis, and Chad Dotson.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which particular Reds team was your favorite?

Nick D: I was too young to remember the Big Red Machine days, so I will take the 1999 Reds team that won 96 games and missed the playoffs after losing a frozen tie-breaker game to the Mets at Riverfront. The lineup featured Barry Larkin, Sean Casey, slugger Greg Vaughn, Mike Cameron , Aaron Boone, Dmitri Young and Pokey Reese. The pitching staff was cobbled together with the likes of ace Pete Harnisch, Brett Tomko, Ron Villone, rubber-armed Scott Sullivan, Denny Neagle, Rookie of the Year Scott Williamson and closer Danny Graves. The team had a lot of personality and a contagious joy both on and off the field. They had a losing record the year before but everything fell into place and that 1999 team was one of the best squads Cincinnati has fielded since the glory days of the 1970’s.

Nick C: The 2012 team was my favorite. They were loaded with talent and blessed with healthy pitching until the playoffs. Recent teams have made me appreciate the 2012 Reds more. Every night, I thought they had a chance to win because of the rotation. The Reds had four guys throw over 200 innings that year. That’s remarkable in light of where the Reds rotation has been since. The offense wasn’t bad either. Four guys had at least a 120 wRC+. Jay Bruce belted 34 homeruns, and Joey Votto, even with his injury, hit .337 with a .474 OBP. If Votto was fully healthy for the playoffs, I wonder if the series with the Giants would have been different. It only takes a swing or two to make a difference, and Votto swings are the best.

Mary Beth: First I typed the 1990 World Series team, then I erased it, because, as Chris Sabo so eloquently pointed out, they got the money. Then I typed the 1984 team, then I erased that too, because such pain must not be mocked.

My favorite team is in my favorite corner of the Reds Hall of Fame -— the 1999 one-game playoff wonders. I will forever thank whoever thought to snuggle them into the corner of Glory Days gallery, next to all the World Championship trophies and rings. When I worked there, I always gathered school tours around me and told them about this team which lost. But before they lost, they did an awful lot of winning when no one expected them to.
That can’t be erased.

Chad: How can I choose? I love them all equally! Even the 2003 team, which lost 93 games and was an abomination to the ancient sport of base ball, had some great players to watch, like Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, Junior Griffey, and Stephen Smitherman.

Aaaahh…who am I kidding? The wire-to-wire 1990 Reds are my favorite.

34 Responses

    • gaffer

      They were a great team, only reds team other than 1990 that just played to the situation all the time. Cueto injury was like Kenyon Martin or Dalton in 2015, just a nail to the heart.

  1. GW

    1973 Reds. Fell behind Dodgers by 12 1/2 or so games around July 4th and then played every game like it was the 7th game of the WS till they caught them in September. Unlikely contributors, never say die attitude in every game. I particularly recall 2nd game of a DH in Atlanta where they came back from 5-6 run deficits 3 times before winning the game. Pete Rose beat out a gb to second base with 2 out in the 9th the tie the game. That was the 73 Reds.

    • JB WV

      That was the year Mets fans threw batteries at Pete during the playoffs.

      • Bill Lack

        Couldn’t hit Matlack or Koosman. Against Matlack in game 2, had 2 hits, both by Andy Kosco. Game 3, Grimsley gives up 5 in an inning and 2/3.

  2. Sandman

    Technically I was alive when the reds won the 1976 world title (I was born 9/30/76) so I guess I could say that team/BRM. But I obviously didn’t see those/that team(s) play. So I’ll go with the only reds team that I saw play that DID win a WS title…the 1990 Reds.

    • Michael E

      Ditto. 1990 was as magical as it was completely surprising. Few saw it coming. Even fewer thought they would maintain the lead and even less sweeping the vaunted As in the World Series. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that. Half of MLB franchises would kill for a season like that in their history.

    • Michael E

      I still had my “How Sweep it is” T-shirt with Jose Rijo on it up till a few years ago. I might still have it, not sure, have to pull out the stuff from bottom drawer.

      • Michael E

        Oops, just said sweep on it. Search google images for Jose Rijo Sweep t shirt.

  3. Sandman

    It saddens me that any Reds fan born after 1990 has not seen this team win a world series championship.

  4. Sandman

    The only 2 WS that the reds have won during my lifetime have been sweeps. I don’t know what I would do if the reds ever went 5 or more games to win a WS.

    I might just go bonkers if the Reds ever LOST a WS!!!! Too horrible a thought. Gonna put it out of my mind.

    • Ernest Howerton

      76 team swept the Yankees,which was so dominant

    • Bill Lack

      IMO, ’70 team got beat by a better team, too much pitching. The ’72 team, that one hurt, I’ve never forgiven Bobby Tolan for game 7, I didn’t sleep all night after that game/series.

  5. Ethan L

    The 2012 team by far. That winning streak was fun. I was on a study abroad in Mexico during it. I remember logging in to get the recaps and occasionally tracking it live. Then I drove from Salt Lake to SF for Game 1. It was a blast. Then my heart was broken.

    The 99 team was good. I was a little too young to appreciate it. I was Al Leiter light up the Reds (or shut down the Reds) on the hill. I was so frustrated. I went with a friend’s dad. The dad reported to my mom that I needed to learn some manners, etc. b/c I was quite vocal (in a negative way). I was just so frustrated at that game. As a 9 y/o, I didn’t know how to express myself in a healthy way.

  6. Sean Lahman (@seanlahman)

    The 1988 team was my favorite, because there was such a great collection of young talent just starting to gel. Larkin, Davis, Sabo, Daniels, Rijo, Danny Jackson…

    • Sean Lahman (@seanlahman)

      Forgot to mention that Reds also hosted the All-Star Game that year, Sabo was Rookie of the Year, and Browning threw a perfect game. And Danny Jackson should have won the Cy Young Award.

    • Michael E

      Danny Jackson was AWESOME that year. Only a Hershiser 56 inning scoreless streak stole the Cy Young. So sad.

      On a plus note, I was in high school and called the Dodgers in 5 over As before it started. All my homeroom friends were sure the As would take ti scoring 10 runs every game, but as usual, always go with good pitching beats good hitting.

      Add in Gibson memory, one of the best MLB moments ever and timely hitting from Mickey Hatcher and Mike Marshall types and Dodgers smoked em.

      Sorry to talk about Dodgers, I was always rooting for ANY NL team in the WS, pre-interleague play. Now I find it less exciting sadly. I miss the leagues being separate, but FA made it kind of interleague anyway, so I see why they did it.

  7. TR

    1976 when the Reds swept the Yankees in the World Series. That was payback for the NYY’s defeat of the Reds in the 1939 and the1961 WS.

  8. Matt Esberger

    I have to go with the 90 team even with the fast start was unexpected and had no right beating much less sweeping Oakland. I was too young to appreciate the BRM year’s. The 99 team would be a close second and wish we could rewind back and not trade Mike Cameron for Jr and if the fortunes of the early aughts would have been different.

  9. Ron

    1961. I’m old. It was the first year I paid much attention to baseball. The years before we’re not hapless, but not good either. Following that team was an everyday thing. They won the NL Pennant and cemented my love of Reds baseball forever.

    • TR

      1964 was an exciting year also with the Reds, Phillies and Cards in a close finish. The Reds and Phillies finished in a tie for second place, each one game out with 92-70 records. The Cards won and took the WS. The Reds had an outstanding pitching staff with Joey Jay, Jim Maloney, Jim O’Toole, Bob Purkey and others. Young Pete Rose and Tony Perez were on that team, and Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson had great years. The Reds also lost their great manager, Fred Hutchinson, that year.

      • Daytonnati

        Don’t forget Cool Billy McCool and Sammy Ellis.

  10. cfd3000

    1990. So unexpected, yet glorious from Findlay Market to Oakland and back home again. When Eric Davis homered off Dave Stewart in the first inning of game one to set the favored A’s on their heals I knew the miracle would become reality. What a team, what a year.

    1975. That’s a long time ago, but I’m a Reds fan because of Johnny Bench and the BRM. Growing up in western Massachusetts it was blasphemy to root against the Sox, but as a young catcher I did just that. And then they played what is arguably the greatest World Series ever. Bench, Rose, Morgan, Fred Lynn, Bernie Carbo and Jim Rice. And amazing, indelible moments like the Ed Armbrister (non) interference play, the most incredible game 6 ending when Fisk waved it fair over the green monster, and then Joe Morgan capped the comeback in game 7. Magic!

    2018. The most exciting Reds team is always the one about to take the field. Except on Dusty Baker getaway Sundays. But that won’t happen next year so I can’t wait!

  11. KDJ

    Ah, that 2012 team. They would have swept the Giants had Phillips not TOOTBLANed at third for the first out in the third game.
    And the first game . . . Cueto gets injured by pulling back a pitch when batter steps out of the box during the windup. Argh!

  12. Jeffery Stroupe

    1970, my first heartbreak as a 9 year old. Loved those uniforms. And Lee May

  13. Scotly50

    The Big Red Machine. It was waaaay past my bedtime when Fisk hit that heartbreaking HR to send it to a game 7.

  14. sixpacktwo

    Other than the Big red machine, I would say the 1956 Reds that won 91 out of 154 games. That was frank Robinsons rookie year. Fun to watch. in Crosley field.

  15. gaffer

    1999 was such a flawed team, but somehow made it interesting. I loved them but in a bad news bears way.

  16. Eric

    I was four years old in 1975, but I still remember the Big Red Machine – the fever reached all the way down to the toddlers in those days. Magical.

    1990, though…wowzers…being 19 years old and getting to watch your team go wire-to-wire and sweep the Bash Brothers and Eck? Paul O’Neill throwing out Canseco at third base…all the way from right field on a frozen rope? Unforgettable, baby!

  17. jveith1991

    2012. As Nick C. wrote, if only Votto had been healthy all year. Not only would the Reds have likely advanced to the NLCS (Games 3 and 5 of the NLDS had scenarios where one swing would have resulted in a Reds win), but Votto would certainly have gotten his 2nd NL MVP award. He was having a monster season up until he became injured and wasn’t the same when he returned.

    Of course, the Reds failing to get past the NLDS in 2012 wasn’t Votto’s fault. It was Walt Jocketty’s. He failed to do anything more than acquire Broxton at the trade deadline. If Jocketty could have added just more more bat at the deadline that year (to upgrade CF, for example), who knows…