This Day in History: Happy birthday to two recent Reds catchers

Kevin C. Cox

On this day in 1881, Billy Maharg was born in Philadelphia. He made just two plate appearances in his career. One of them came as a replacement player for Detroit when the Tiger regulars went on strike to protest Ty Cobb's suspension in 1912. In 1916, he was a trainer and driver for the Phillies. He made a token appearance in Philly's final game of the season. What's his connection to Cincinnati? He was a small-time gambler who worked with Sleepy Bill Burns to fix the 1919 World Series. The two men eventually approached kingpin Arnold Rothstein in order to raise more money to pay off the crooked Sox players. Do you notice anything unusual about his last name?

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On this day in 1908, former Red Gee Walker was born in Gulfport, MS. Walker played both baseball and football at Ole Miss. His best seasons in the majors came with Detroit in the mid-1930s.

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On this day in 1974, Cincinnati bought outfielder, first baseman, and pinch-hitter Terry Crowley from the Rangers. He played for the Reds in 1974 and '75. Crowley had a 15-year major league career yet only twice made more than 200 plate appearances in a season and never made 300 or more plate appearances.

Also on this day in 1974, former Red Jason LaRue was born in Houston.

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On this day in 1977, former Red David Ross was born in Bainbridge, GA. Who would you rather have, Ross or LaRue? They're both solid defenders. Ross has been a better hitter, but LaRue had 1,000 more plate appearances in his career than Ross has so far. I think I would take Ross because of his bat, but what do you think?

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On this day in 1997, the Reds acquired lefty Joey Eischen from the Padres for a player to be named later. The Reds later sent minor league first baseman Ray Brown to San Diego to complete the deal.

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On this day in 1998, the Reds lost outfielder Midre Cummings to the Red Sox when Boston claimed him off of waivers.

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On this day in 2006, the Reds released Cincinnati native Tuffy Rhodes.

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On this day in 2008, the Reds sent right-handed reliever Brad Salmon to Kansas City for a player to be named later. The Royals later sent minor league righty Henry Arias to Cincinnati to finalize the trade.

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Kevin Mitchell is Batman and badenjr each earned a point yesterday.

1) Tuffy Rhodes hit 55 home runs in Japan in 2001 to tie the single-season record. Whose record did he tie? (The record has since been broken by former Red Wladimir Balentien.)

2) Today would be the 120th birthday of the only player to ever turn an unassisted triple play in the World Series. Who is he? I don't know of a Reds connection to this player. It's just a fun trivia question in general.

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