This Day in Reds History: So Long, Bubba Crosby

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

On this day in Reds history, former Red Lip Pike died and the Big Red Machine rolled in Philadelphia.

On this day in 1883, former Louisville Grays pitcher Jim Devlin died in Philadelphia. I am well aware that Louisville is not in Cincinnati, but there is no major league team in the Derby City. The Reds have a minor league affiliate there, so I am claiming the history of the Louisville Grays for Cincinnati for the purposes of this segment.

Devlin pitched for the Grays in 1876 and 1877, putting up ridiculous numbers in both years. He led the National League in games, complete games, innings, batters faced, and losses in both seasons. In addition, he led the league in strikeouts in 1876 with 122 and ERA+ in 1877 with a 147 figure. However, Devlin and several other Grays were involved in a game-fixing scandal down the stretch of the 1877 season. NL president William Hulbert banned all of the involved players for life. Devlin petitioned for reinstatement every remaining year of his life, but Hulbert refused to reverse his decision. After his expulsion, Devlin found work as a police officer in Philadelphia before dying of tuberculosis at age 34.

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On this day in 1893, former Red Lip Pike died in Brooklyn. Pike played for the Reds in 1877 and part of 1878. (The Reds club from 1876-1880 was actually not related to either the 1869 Red Stockings or today's Reds.) Pike was a fascinating character. One cannot grasp his legacy by simply poring over his Baseball-Reference page. He was baseball's first accepted professional player and first Jewish player and star. Pike played second base for the Brooklyn Atlantics team that broke the Cincinnati Red Stockings' 93-game winning streak. He played many games at second base even though he was left-handed. New York City's infamous Boss Tweed supposedly admired Pike's play. In 1873, he raced a horse and won. You pretty well get the idea. He is the sort of player and figure that deserves a modern biography and a long look from the Veteran's Committee.

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On this day in 1905, former Red Wally Berger was born in Chicago. Berger is best known as the Boston Braves' slugging centerfielder of the 1930s. Berger led the league in home runs (34) and runs batted in (130) for the Braves in 1935. He joined the Reds in the middle of the 1938 season and played for the Reds through the first part of the 1940. Berger slashed .285/.348/.472 for the Reds while playing predominately left field.

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On this day in 1967, the Reds traded Deron Johnson to the Braves for Jim Beauchamp, Mack Jones, and Jay Ritchie.

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On this day in 1976, the Reds defeated the Phillies in the second game of the NLCS, 6-2. Pat Zachry tossed five innings for the Reds, allowing two runs on six hits including a solo shot by Greg Luzinski. Pedro Borbon picked up a four inning save as he allowed no runs on four hits.

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On this day in 1997, the Reds released pitcher Pete "Cy" Schourek.

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On this day in 2007, then Red Bubba Crosby was granted free agency. BubbaFan is still recovering.

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