This Day in Reds History: The world welcomes Jose Rijo

On this day in 1884, former Red Bert Niehoff was born in Louisville, CO.

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On this day in 1890, former Red Jocko Halligan made his major league debut with the Buffalo Bisons of the Players' League. The Bisons had Hall of Famers Connie Mack and Deacon White. Buffalo also had a guy named Dummy Hoy, who was a good player that spent several seasons in Cincinnati. Despite a good core on paper, Buffalo allowed nearly 1,200 runs in 132 games, or more than nine runs per game. The team finished 36 - 96. Halligan would play 87 games for the Reds over the following two seasons before drifting out of the major leagues. He played in the minor leagues until 1909 when he was 40 years old.

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On this day in 1947, Cincinnati bought centerfielder Tommy Tatum from the Dodgers. Tatum hit .273/.333/.341 in almost 200 plate appearances with Cincinnati that season before spending the rest of his career in the minor leagues.

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On this day in 1952, the Reds sent first baseman Dick Sisler and shortstop Virgil Stallcup to the Cardinals for third baseman Eddie Kazak and outfielder Wally Westlake.

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On this day in 1964, the Reds purchased reliever Ryne Duren from Philadelphia. Duren was known for his tremendous fastball, which he could barely control, and his thick spectacles. He struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings in an era where the league struck out fewer than six hitters per nine. However, he also walked six batters per nine innings versus a league average of about three.

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On this day in 1965, Jose Rijo was born in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. What was Rijo's best season? Well, that's a pretty easy question. I think most people would say 1993 when he threw 257 innings with an ERA of 2.48 (162 ERA+). Okay, tougher question, what was his second best season? Was it 1990 when he had 2.70 ERA (148 ERA+) in just under 200 innings? Or was it 1991 when he tossed 204 innings with a 2.51 ERA (153 ERA+) and led the league in winning percentage? Or was it 1992 when he posted a 2.56 ERA (143 ERA+) in 211 innings? Or was it 1988 . . . You get the idea. When he was healthy, Rijo was a consistently fantastic pitcher. I wish I had been able to watch him pitch in his prime.

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On this day in 1994, Cincinnati claimed right-hander Rick Reed off the waiver wire from the Pirates.

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