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This Day in History: Reds trade for Tinker

On this day in Reds history, the team acquired Joe Tinker in a trade with the Cubs.

Joe Tinker
Joe Tinker

On this day in 1854, former Red and Hall of Famer Charley "Old Hoss" Radbourn was born in Rochester, NY. Despite dying over 100 years ago, "Old Hoss" is still active on Twitter.


On this day in 1912, the Reds and the Cubs completed an eight-player swap. Chicago shipped catcher Harry Chapman, right-hander Grover Lowdermilk, and Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Tinker to Cincinnati. In return, the Reds sent right fielder Mike Mitchell, outfielder Pete Knisely, infielder Red Corriden, third baseman Art Phelan, and righty Bert Humphries to the Windy City. The most notable among the five departed Reds was probably Mitchell who had led the league in triples in both 1909 and 1910 with 17 and 18 three-baggers respectively.

Not surprisingly, Tinker was the crown jewel of Cincinnati's acquisitions. He played well in 1913, hitting .317 with power for an OPS+ of 128, which is damned fine for a shortstop. Tinker also managed the team. Cincinnati sold Tinker to the Dodgers after the 1913 season, but he jumped to the upstart Federal League due to a salary dispute with Brooklyn owner Charles Ebbets. He spent two seasons with the Chicago* team of the Federal League. After the Federal League folded, Tinker returned to the Cubs for seven games in 1916 before retiring from major league ball. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946. Tinker was plagued by a variety of afflictions in his later years and even had his left leg amputated in 1947. He died in 1948 at the age of 68 from complications from diabetes (Wikipedia).

*The team was first known as the Chi-Feds and later the Whales. The Chicago Federals built a brand new ballpark on the city's northside, which was then known as Weeghman Park. We know it as Wrigley Field.


On this day in 1923, the Reds purchased pitcher Carl Mays from the Yankees.


On this day in 1959, former Red and Hall of Famer Jim Bottomley died in St. Louis at the age of 59.


On this day in 2012, the Reds sent Didi Gregorius to Arizona and Drew Stubbs to Cleveland as part of a three-way trade. Cincinnati acquired Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Donald, and cash in the deal.


The finest muffins earned the point yesterday. Ernie Lombardi was the first Red to win the MVP award.

Joe Tinker is best known today as part of the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double play combination that was immortalized by Franklin P. Adams in "Baseball's Sad Lexicon." In honor of that famous verse, I'm going to try something a little different with the trivia questions today in an attempt to mix things up.

1) Complete the blank lines in the poem:

These are the saddest of possible words:
'Tinker to Evers to Chance.'
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double-
'Tinker to Evers to Chance.'

2) What is gonfalon? -- either in the context of the poem or in general.