This Day in Reds History: The "Pretzel Battery"

Heinie Peitz - Wikimedia.org

On this day in Reds history, one-half of the "Pretzel Battery" was born.

On this day in 1870, former Red Heinie Peitz was born in St. Louis. Predominately a catcher, Peitz played for the Reds from 1896 through 1904. During that time, he slashed .279/.346/.364 (98 OPS+) in 3002 plate appearances. While in St. Louis at the start of his career, Peitz was frequently teamed with pitcher Ted Breitenstein. This tandem was deemed the "Pretzel Battery" (Wikipedia). According to Bill James, they were given the nickname when a fan saw them in a saloon eating pretzels and drinking beer together. The man supposedly said, "Hey, look who's back there. It's that pretzel battery, Breitenstein and Peitz" (New Bill James Historical Abstract, 421). Peitz and Breitenstein were also teammates on the Reds for four seasons.

After his major league playing days were over, Peitz played for and managed the Louisville Colonels of the American Association for a brief period. He led the Colonels to the AA pennant in 1909. Peitz lived in the Cincinnati area until he died in 1943 at age 72.

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On this day in 1955, the Redlegs traded catcher Hobie Landrith to the Chicago Cubs for centerfielder-turned-pitcher Hal Jeffcoat. The trade was a good one for the Redlegs as Landrith was not much more than a replacement level backup while Jeffcoat turned in four decent seasons in Cincinnati.

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On this day in 1961, the Washington Senators sent pitcher Dave Sisler to the Reds to complete an earlier trade between the two teams. On September 16, 1961, the Reds had traded lefty Claude Osteen to Washington for a player to be named later. This was a horrendous trade for Cincinnati as Sisler was out of the major leagues after just one season for the Reds while Osteen had a long and productive major league career after the trade.

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On this day in 1977, former Red Bob Meusel died in Downey, CA. Meusel played only one season in Cincinnati. He was best known for his time as a member of the championship Yankees teams of the 1920s. Meusel had a cannon for an arm and hit fifth behind Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the Yankees' Murderers' Row lineup.

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On this day in 1978, the Reds fired Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson after nine seasons with the team. While in Cincinnati, Anderson compiled a 863-586 (.596) record with five division titles, three second place finishes, four pennants, and two World Series championships.

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On this day in 2007, the Reds signed closer Francisco Cordero.

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-ManBearPig, Kevin Mitchell, and RijoSabes all earned a point yesterday.

1) In which seasons did the Tigers win AL East titles with Sparky Anderson as manager?

2) In which year did Bob Meusel lead the American League in home runs and runs batted in?

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