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This Day in Reds History: Boston's bats vanish as Vander Meer tosses first no-hitter

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On this day in Reds history, Johnny Vander Meer threw the first of his back-to-back no-hitters.

Johnny Vander Meer
Johnny Vander Meer
www.cincinnativiews.net

On this day in 1915, Rube Benton hurled a shutout as the Reds defeated the Brooklyn Robins in 15 innings, 1-0.

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On this day in 1917, Greasy Kneale honked an inside-the-walls wanger to lead the Reds to a 3-2 victory over the Brooklyn Robins.

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On this day in 1929, former Red Frank Thomas was born in Pittsburgh. As you can probably guess, this is not the Frank Thomas who hit baseballs really hard during the 1990s for the White Sox. Rather, this Frank Thomas was a mediocre player best remembered for an infamous encounter with Dick Allen. In 1965, Thomas repeatedly harassed Allen and Johnny Briggs with immature, racist jeers. Allen defended Briggs and himself, but Thomas wouldn't stop.

One day, Thomas and Allen began fighting during batting practice, and Thomas hit Allen on the shoulder with a bat. The Phillies quickly disposed of Thomas after the incident, but mishandled the situation in public, which contributed to Allen's struggles with the media in Philly. Luckily, Allen experienced no long-term shoulder problems and went on to a Hall of Fame caliber career. However, this and other incidents helped create a negative reputation for Allen that would follow him around until his retirement in 1977 (Markusen, Hardball Times).

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On this day in 1938, Reds Hall of Famer Johnny Vander Meer threw a no-hitter against the Boston Bees (Braves) at Crosley Field. Vander Meer struck out four and walked three. Ernie Lombardi homered while Wally Berger and Lew Riggs chipped in with triples as the Reds defeated Boston, 3-0. Vander Meer famously threw another no-hitter in his very next start against the Dodgers in Brooklyn. The latter no-hitter was also the first night game in the history of Ebbets Field.

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On this day in 1963, Reds Hall of Famer Jim Maloney struck out 12 in eight innings to lead the Reds to an 8-3 win over the Mets at the Polo Grounds. Tommy Harper and Vada Pinson both homered for Cincinnati.

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On this day in 1967, the Reds entered the bottom of the ninth trailing the Astros, 4-3. Houston had won the earlier game of the doubleheader, 7-4, and a sweep seemed likely. However, Deron Johnson, Jimmie Coker, and Tommy Helms each singled to load the bases. Leo Cardenas walked to force the tying run home. Don Pavletich then smacked a pinch-hit grand slam to send the fans home happy. Reds won, 8-4.

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On this day in 1968, the Reds traded lefty reliever Ted Davidson, infielder Bob Johnson, and righty Milt Pappas to the Braves for righty reliever Clay Carroll, righty Tony Cloninger, and infielder Woody Woodward. Carroll became a fixture in the Big Red Machine's bullpen, posting a 2.73 ERA (129 ERA+) in 856 innings with the club. He led the majors in saves in 1972 with 37.

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On this day in 1972, the Reds traded catcher Pat Corrales to the Padres for backstop Bob Barton.

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On this day in 1976, the Reds trailed the Cardinals, 7-2, after St. Louis' half of the seventh. Cincinnati rallied in the seventh and ninth innings to win, 8-7. Tony Perez launched a three-run home run off of Al Hrabosky in the final frame to complete the comeback.

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On this day in 1996, the Reds traded righty reliever Chad Fox and a player to be named later to the Braves for outfielder Mike Kelly. Cincinnati later shipped lefty Ray King to Atlanta to conclude the transaction.