This Day in Reds History: Joey Votto debuts

Joe Robbins

On this day in Reds history, Joey Votto made his first appearance in the major leagues.

On this day in 1916, Christy Mathewson pitched his one and only game for the Reds. He allowed eight runs in nine innings of work in what was his last game as a player. The game was also Hall of Famer Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown's last in the major leagues as he pitched one last time for Chicago. Despite Matty's poor outing, the Reds beat the Cubs, 10-8.

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On this day in 1953, former Red Buck Herzog died in Baltimore at the age of 68. Herzog was the Reds' starting shortstop from 1914 to 1916. Cincinnati traded him to the Giants in June of 1916. The Reds received three Hall of Famers in return -- Christy Mathewson, Bill McKechnie, and Edd Roush. It wasn't quite as good as it sounds. Mathewson pitched one game for the Reds and retired from playing. McKechnie was not a Hall of Fame player, but rather a Hall of Fame manager. He had his best run managing the Reds in the late 1930s and early '40s. Roush was an outstanding player and just 23 years old at the time. He slumped to begin the season with the Giants, hitting .188 with few walks and no power in 71 plate appearances. Roush blossomed in Cincinnati, winning the batting title in 1917 and 1919 on the way to a Hall of Fame career.

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On this day in 1969, former Red Terry Crowley made his major league debut with the Orioles. Crowley made many appearances as a pinch-hitter for the Reds in 1974 and '75.

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On this day in 1984, current Reds farmhand Jason Donald was born in Fresno, CA.

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On this day in 1987, Jeff Treadway made his major league debut with the Reds at the age of 24. He started at second base against the Cubs and went two for four with a double. The Reds entered the top of the ninth trailing 3-0 and set to face Lee Smith for the second straight inning. Cincinnati reeled off three singles and a double to tie the game. Treadway was due up, but Pete Rose selected Dave Concepcion to pinch-hit for Treadway. Concepcion singled, and two batters later, Dave Parker hit a sacrifice fly to center to score the go-ahead run. Cincinnati's John Franco worked around two singles in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the Reds' 4-3 victory.

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On this day in 1989, former Red Chuck McElroy made his major league debut with the Phillies.

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On this day in 2001, Corky Miller made his major league debut with the Reds. Miller went oh for three with a hit-by-pitch. The Reds lost to first place Houston, 7-1. Roy Oswalt, then a rookie, shut out the Reds for seven innings and struck out eight batters.

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On this day in 2007, Joey Votto made his major league debut with the Reds at the age of 23. Votto pinch-hit for Gary Majewski, striking out against New York's Guillermo Mota. The Mets went on to defeat the Reds in a slugfest, 11-7.

Votto is in the midst of his fifth consecutive season with an on-base percentage of .400 or greater. In the modern era, Joe Morgan is the only Red to have five or more seasons with an on-base percentage of .400 or greater. No other Red has had five seasons with an on-base percentage that high (in a full season), consecutive or not. Pete Rose "only" managed the feat four times. Morgan had an on-base percentage of .400 or greater in every season from 1972 to 1977. Barring a catastrophe, Votto will match Morgan's achievement next season.

Also on this day in 2007, former Red Wladimir Balentien made his major league debut with the Mariners. In case you haven't heard, Balentien is currently chasing Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB, Japan) single season home run record. The current record is 55, which is held by three players. Balentien hit number 52 last Friday, and his team still has 27 games remaining. He's dominating NPB in a way that only Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds have dominated the major leagues.

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