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This Day in Reds History: Mike Cameron is 40

On this day in Reds history, Rogers Hornsby was laid to rest, and Mike Cameron was born.

Jim Rogash

On this day in 1963, funeral services were held for Hall of Famer and former Reds manager Rogers Hornsby in Chicago.


On this day in 1973, former Red Mike Cameron was born in La Grange, GA. Cameron played centerfield for Cincinnati in 1999. The Reds traded him and three other players for Ken Griffey, Jr. the following offseason. Despite a proclivity for striking out, Cameron was a productive hitter, because he hit for power and could take a walk. Cameron was also a very good defensive centerfielder although he won only three Gold Gloves.

I always rooted for Cameron, and I still remember talking about his four home run game at school the next day. He barely missed another home run when he flew out to the warning track in his fifth at-bat. I noticed something else interesting about the game from play-by-play: Bret Boone and Cameron both homered twice in the first inning.

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According to Wikipedia, Cameron is one of Marty Brennaman's favorite players. This is hard for me to believe as Marty tends to disdain high-strikeout, low-average players. I cannot find another source for this, and the Wikipedia footnote just redirects you to a Google search. Draw your own conclusions.


On this day in 1981, pitcher Jeff Francis was born in Vancouver. The Reds signed Francis as minor league depth and big league insurance last January. When the Reds had no need of his services in Cincinnati, Francis opted out of his contract and signed with the Colorado Rockies.


On this day in 1987, the Reds traded centerfielder Eddie Milner to San Francisco for right-handed reliever Frank Williams and prospects Mike Villa and Timber Mead.

Also on this day in 1987, a group of free agents missed a deadline to re-sign with their former teams. Among the collection of ten free agents was former Reds manager Bob Boone. Each player was barred from signing until May first of that year unless another team tendered a contract. This event would form the basis for the players' union second collusion grievance (Collusion II) against the owners. At the time, commissioner Peter Ueberroth commanded that owners notify him if they planned to offer contracts longer than three years.


On this day in 1998, the Reds signed Jose Rijo.


On this day in 2004, the Reds signed catcher Javier Valentin.


On this day in 2006, the Reds signed infielder Rich Aurilia.


Kevin Mitchell picked up a point last time.

1) Who were the other nine players involved in Collusion II?

Hint: The last team for which the nine free agents played in 1986 were: Atlanta (2), Montreal (2), Boston, New York Yankees (2), Texas, and Detroit.