This Day in Reds History: A great day for great players

Andy Lyons

On this day in Reds history, a notable Red was born, and another won the NL MVP Award.

On this day in 1897, former Red Andy High was born in Ava, IL. High played third base for Cincinnati at the tail end of his career in 1932 and 1933. Although he was a good hitter in his earlier years, High slashed only .192/.279/.248 (47 OPS+) in his 270 plate appearances for the Reds. High had two nicknames. The first was "Handy Andy". The second, "Knee", was presumably a pun on his last name. "Knee" High certainly qualifies as a "Retrobermanism" in my book.

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On this day in 1967, the Reds traded outfielder Tommy Harper to the Cleveland Indians for righty reliever George Culver, outfielder Bob Raudman, and first baseman Fred Whitfield.

Also on this day in 1967, the Reds traded players to be named later to the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Ron Tompkins. The Reds agreed to send rightfielder Floyd Robinson and pitcher Darrell Osteen to the A's later that same day to complete the trade.

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On this day in 1968, the Reds traded shortstop Leo Cardenas to the Minnesota Twins for lefty starter Jim Merritt. While Cardenas had been a productive member of the Reds, Merritt was a disappointment in Cincinnati. In 1969, the southpaw led the league in home runs and earned runs allowed (in the bad way) while posting a 4.37 ERA (75 ERA+) in 251 innings. Merritt rebounded a bit in 1970 (4.08 ERA, 103 ERA+ in 234 innings), but slumped again in 1971. The Reds traded him to the Texas Rangers following the 1971 season. He spent parts of three years in Arlington before the Rangers released him.

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On this day in 1969, former Red and future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. was born in Donora, PA. As crazy as this sounds, the Kid is only the second best lefty outfielder born in Donora, PA on November 21.

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On this day in 1970, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose won Gold Glove Awards. Charlie Hustle mostly played right field during the 1970 season.

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On this day in 1973, Pete Rose won the NL MVP Award over the Pittsburgh Pirates' Willie Stargell. The Hit King led the league with a .338 batting average while also posting an on-base percentage of .401 and a slugging percentage of .437 (138 OPS+). Additionally, Rose led the league in hits with 230. He also scored 115 runs and drove in another 64. The final vote was close as Stargell had much better power numbers than Pete (44 HRs, 119 RBI, .646 SLG, and a 186 OPS+ for Pops). However, if Rose robbed anyone then the victim was fellow Red Joe Morgan. Little Joe slashed .290/.406/.493 (154 OPS+) with 67 steals (only 15 CS) and his usual excellent defense at second base. Morgan did place fourth in the awards voting. Bobby Bonds finished third with a strong season of his own. Atlanta's Darrell Evans also had an outstanding season, though he finished 18th.

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On this day in 1982, Reds Hall of Famer Frank McCormick died in Manhasset, NY. McCormick won the MVP in 1940 for the World Series champion Reds. He led the league in hits with 191 and in doubles with 44. McCormick slashed .309/.367/.482 (132 OPS+) while driving in 127 runs. I wrote about McCormick's major league debut in a previous entry.

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On this day in 1983, the Reds traded catcher Steve Christmas to the Chicago White Sox for infielder Fran Mullins.

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On this day in 1990, the Reds lost former 20-game winner Danny Jackson as the lefty free agent signed with the Chicago Cubs. However, the Reds re-signed fellow lefty free agent "Mr. Perfect" Tom Browning on the same day.

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Trivia:

ams78 earned another point yesterday.

1) While Pete Rose won only one MVP Award, he finished second in one other season. In which season did Pete Rose finish second in MVP voting?

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