This Day in Reds History: Farewell, David Wells

Al Bello

On this day in Reds history, former hitting coach Chris Chambliss was born, and Cincinnati traded away David Wells.

I am adding a few non-Reds items today, because they caught my eye. I hope you enjoy them.

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On this day in 1906, National League umpire Hank O'Day proposed that the league begin using rubber strips to mark the batter's box instead of chalk lines. O'Day reasoned that batters could not erase rubber strips as they did (and do) chalk lines. The suggestion failed to gain traction and was never implemented.

O'Day spent five seasons in the NL as a pitcher in the 1880s before jumping to the Players' League in 1890. He played a few seasons in the minor leagues after 1890, but retired from playing in 1893 due to arm injuries. The former pitcher umpired in the NL from 1895 through 1927, though he took two years off to manage. In 1912, he managed the Reds to a 75-78 record. O'Day umpired in 1913, but came back as a manager for the Cubs in 1914. After Chicago posted 78-76 record that season, he returned to the umpiring profession for good. In his long career, he called 10 World Series, second only to Bill Klem who umpired 18 Fall Classics. The Veterans' Committee elected O'Day to the Hall of Fame earlier this month on the third of December.

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On this day in 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee agreed to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000 cash ($75,000 deferred). The New York owners also agreed to guarantee a $300,000 loan for Boston. Frazee put up Fenway Park as collateral. One of Yankee owners at the time was none other than Jacob Ruppert, who was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this month along with Hank O'Day.

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On this day in 1948, former Cincinnati hitting coach Chris Chambliss was born in Dayton, OH. Chambliss was with the Reds from 2004 through 2006.

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On this day in 1950, longtime futility infielder Mario Mendoza was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. His ineptitude at the plate made him famous as the namesake of the "Mendoza Line" (a .200 batting average). Word has it that several recent Cincinnati bench players had a shrine to Mendoza in the clubhouse.

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On this day in 1995, the Reds traded lefty David "Boomer" Wells to the Baltimore Orioles for outfield prospect Trovin Valdez and centerfielder Curtis Goodwin. I have no idea what Cincinnati was thinking. Wells was expensive and had only one year left on his deal, but Goodwin was worse than Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras. I thought that Valdez must have been extraordinarily toolsy as his minor league numbers are horrific. However, the Orioles drafted him in the 27th round of the 1993 draft, and he never played in the majors.

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At the time of this writing, no one had correctly answered either of yesterday's questions (understandably, with yesterday being Christmas). There is no time limit, so feel free to answer those as well.

1) Who was the losing pitcher in David Wells's perfect game?

2) How many strikeouts did David Wells record in his perfect game?

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