This Day in Reds History: "Baseball's Black Prince"

Hal Chase - Wikimedia.org

On this day in 1883, former Red Hal Chase was born.

On this day in 1883, former Red Hal Chase was born in Los Gatos, CA. "Prince Hal" played for the Reds from 1916 through 1918. In 1916, he led the league in average (.339), hits (184), and OPS+ (155). He was a highly regarded player, but Chase threw his career away by associating with gamblers and possibly fixing games. Chase earned the nickname of "Baseball's Black Prince" due to his illicit behavior. His stint with the Reds ended when manager Christy Mathewson and owner August "Garry" Herrmann ran Chase out of Cincinnati in early 1919 for charges related to throwing games. Despite these troubles, Babe Ruth picked Chase as his first baseman on the Bambino's all-time team in 1948 (The Spokesman-Review, Mar. 30, 1948 via Google News).

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On this day in 1898, Reds president John T. Brush responded to criticism from the press concerning his proposition to penalize players for on-field cursing. Brush said that sportswriters were writing dishonestly about the problem.

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On this day in 1934, the National League loaned the Reds and new owner Powel Crosley $50,000 at a 4.5 percent interest rate.

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On this day in 1970, the National League packs up its offices in Cincinnati. The league will move its headquarters to San Francisco over the next 10 days.

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On this day in 1977, the Reds signed amateur Steve Christmas. He would appear in only nine games for Cincinnati.

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On this day in 1985, Logan Ondrusek was born in Hallettsville, TX.

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On this day in 1997, former Red Bobby Adams died in Gig Harbor, WA at the age of 75. Adams played second and third base for Cincinnati from 1946 into the 1955 season when the Redlegs sold him to the White Sox in July. He was never a star, but Adams provided solidly average production for close to a decade in the Queen City. In over 4,000 plate appearances for Cincinnati, Adams slashed .272/.341/.372 (91 OPS+) with average defense per dWAR.

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On this day in 2004, the Reds signed amateur pitcher Marcos Mateo.

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On this day in 2005, Barry Larkin announced his retirement.

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MC Reds Hot, ams78, UncleWeez, and kcgard2 each earned a point yesterday.

1) In the modern era (1901-present), only six batters have led the National League in OPS+ with a mark of 155 or lower. Hal Chase did so with a 155 OPS+ in 1916. Who are the five others? A point will be awarded for each batter.

Hint: The five batters accomplished this feat in the following seasons:

1) 1918

2) 1919

3) 1926

4) 1956

5) 1984 & 1986

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