This Day in Reds History: Nice Heinie

"Heinie Groh and his 'bottle' bat" - sabr.org

On this day in Reds history, Heinie Groh was born.

On this day in 1889, Reds Hall of Famer Heinie Groh was born in Rochester, NY. Much like fellow Red Buddy Bell, one could make a pretty good Hall of Fame case for Groh. I'm not sure I could convince myself to vote for him, but I think the position is certainly defensible.

Groh played in a transitional era for third basemen. When he came up in the early 1910's, third base was a defense-first position. Teams bunted so often in that era that you just couldn't afford to put a Miguel Cabrera or Bobby Bonilla at the hot corner. The 1912 NL had eight teams, and the league recorded 1,362 sacrifice bunts in 1,226 games, or nearly 1.1 sac bunts per game. In comparison, the 2012 NL, with sixteen teams, recorded 1,024 sacrifice bunts in 2,592 games, or about 0.4 bunts per game. The modern AL, of course, records even fewer because of the designated hitter.

By the end of Groh's career, one could see the dawn of the modern power-hitting third baseman. Harlond Clift broke onto the scene in 1934 and average 20 home runs a season in his first eight seasons. These transitions often make it difficult to accurately evaluate players. From the start of the modern era to the late '20s when the last deadball players began to fade away, Groh was as good as any third baseman not named Home Run Baker. People have made the Hall of Fame with weaker cases.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 1899, the Reds bought pitcher Jack Cronin from the Detroit Tigers, then of the Western League. As best I can tell, Jack was not related to Joe Cronin the Hall of Fame shortstop.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 1913, Reds Hall of Famer Bubbles Hargrave made his major league debut with the Cubs at the age of 21.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 1925, former Red Harvey Haddix was born in Medway, OH. Haddix pitched for Cincinnati in 1958. I wrote about Haddix's most famous game a few weeks ago.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 1967, the Reds sent corner infielder Len Boehmer to the Yankees in exchange for lefty Bill Henry.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Red Reporter

You must be a member of Red Reporter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Red Reporter. You should read them.

Join Red Reporter

You must be a member of Red Reporter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Red Reporter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker