This Day in Reds History: The world welcomes Eric the Red

Jonathan Daniel

On this day in Reds history, Cincinnati acquired Deion Sanders.

On this day in 1924, the Reds bought second baseman Hughie Critz and outfielder Chick Shorten from the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association.

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On this day in 1962, Reds Hall of Famer Eric Davis was born in Los Angeles. From June 1986 to May 1987 (or basically one season), Davis posted a line of .314/.407/.638 (!), 123 runs, 42 HR, 111 RBI, 86 SB (!!), and only 11 CS in 141 games (h/t to Sean Smith a.k.a. AROM). A couple of years ago, Dan Szymborski used his ZiPS projection system to see what Davis' career would have looked like if Eric the Red could have stayed healthy after the 1990 season.

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On this day in 1971, the Reds traded shortstop Frank Duffy and righty Vern Geishert to the Giants for George Foster. This deal is surely on the short list of the greatest trades in Cincinnati history. Duffy was a slick fielder, but couldn't hit a lick -- a nice player to have, but nothing special. Geishert never appeared in another professional baseball game after the deal. As you all know, Foster went on to become a key cog in the Big Red Machine and won the 1977 NL MVP award with a huge season.

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On this day in 1976, former Red Jerry Hairston, Jr. was born in Des Moines, IA.

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On this day in 1994, the Reds traded outfielder Roberto Kelly and lefty prospect Roger Etheridge to the Braves for Deion Sanders. Sometimes I wonder why Prime Time wasn't a better baseball player. He was a fair player, but not an outstanding one by any means. Was it due to the fact that football was his primary sport? Sanders was so fast that he could have been a very good player without hitting for much power at all. He was a good baserunner, though he probably could have been more selective with his steal attempts. Sanders walked a fair amount, but he struck out a bit too much and had a fairly low batting average on balls in play (.298 career).

I only saw Sanders play once. I'm about 99% certain it was this game, and I remember I was more excited to see Deion Sanders than Barry Larkin, Rickey! Henderson, and Tony Gwynn. That was probably due to the fact that Sanders played two sports, which seemed unfathomably cool at the time. Sanders singled to lead off the game for the Reds and promptly stole second and third with ease. He was so fast that it seemed like he could have done that whenever he wanted, but you can't steal first base, and I suppose that explains why he was never a star.

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On this day in 2003, former Reds farmhand Bubba Crosby made his major league debut with the Dodgers at the age of 26. He pinch hit for Guillermo Mota in the top of the seventh at Coors Field. Crosby singled on a liner to center to drive in Mike Kinkade.

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