This Day in Reds History: Famous firsts

Thank you, Mr. Escalera. - Cincinnativiews.net

On this day in Reds history, two brave men shattered Cincinnati's color barrier.

On this day in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings defeated the Cincinnati Amateurs, 24-15, in what was the first professional baseball game ever played.

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On this day in 1884, Reds Hall of Famer Jake Daubert was born in Shamokin, PA. Daubert played first base for Cincinnati from 1919 to 1924. In that span of time, he slashed .301/.352/.409 (109 OPS+) in over 3500 plate appearances.

Also on this day in 1884, former Red Germany Smith made his major league debut with Altoona Mountain City in the Union Association (UA), which frankly probably wasn't big league quality although many sources (including Baseball-Reference) include it with the other major leagues. The UA folded after one season.

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On this day in 1892, Cincinnati made baseball history again when the Reds beat the St. Louis Browns (Cardinals) in the first ever Sunday game in the National League.

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On this day in 1954, utility player Nino Escalera made his major league debut with the Redlegs. Escalera collected a pinch hit in his one at-bat, but something much more important happened with his appearance: He broke the Reds' color barrier and became the first black player to appear for the club. In the very next at-bat, Chuck Harmon made his major league debut when he pinch-hit for pitcher Corky Valentine. That appearance by Harmon was the first by a black American for the Reds as Escalera is from Puerto Rico.

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On this day in 1956, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson made his major league debut with the Redlegs. He went two for three with a double and a walk in a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals. Fellow Hall of Famers Luis Aparico and Don Drysdale also made their big league debuts on this date, which makes it the only day on which three Hall of Famers debuted.

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On this day in 1965, former Red Art Shamsky made his major league debut with Cincinnati. He struck out in a pinch-hit appearance in an 8-0 loss to the Cardinals. Shamsky is best known amongst baseball nerds for his incredible performance on August 12th, 1966. His outstanding play on that day deserves its own post in the future.

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On this day in 1995, the Reds signed catcher Benito Santiago.

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On this day in 1996, former Reds player and current coach Miguel Cairo made his major league debut with the Blue Jays. The Pharaoh went one for four with a double and a run in a 5-1 loss to the then California Angels.

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On this day in 2002, former Red Austin Kearns made his major league debut with Cincinnati. He went one for three with an RBI and a walk in a 7-2 loss to the Astros.

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