On this day in 1881, Reds Hall of Famer Tony Mullane made his major league debut with the National League's Detroit Wolverines at the age of 22.
On this day in 1912, Cincinnati's Art Fromme tossed a one-hitter to lead the Reds to a 2-0 victory over Christy Mathewson and the Giants.
On this day in 1917, former Red Peanuts Lowrey was born in Culver City, CA.
On this day in 1918, Christy Mathewson resigned as manager of the Reds to join the Army as a commissioned officer.
On this day in 1942, the Reds performed their best Cubs impersonation at Wrigley Field. The Reds loaded the bases in the top of the eleventh, but hit into a triple play to end the inning. Chicago's Bill Nicholson hit a game-winning circuit clout in the bottom of the inning to give the Cubs a 5-4 victory.
On this day in 1951, former Red Buddy Bell was born in Pittsburgh. I looked at Bell's Hall of Fame case last month. He had the misfortune of being a very good third baseman in an era of great third baseman. The careers of Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Wade Boggs overlapped with Bell's. Darrell Evans, Ron Cey, and Sal Bando also played in the same era.
Why is it that players at certain positions seem to flourish in the same era? Is it luck? Is it an illusion? Or are there factors that favor positions at specific points in time? The 1970s and '80s saw all of these productive third basemen while the '40s and '50s had Eddie Mathews, but not much else at the position. Catchers also thrived in the astroturf era -- Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, Ted Simmons, Lance Parrish, Thurman Munson, and Gene Tenace all played in the '70s. Perhaps the most notable example of this (imaginary?) phenomenon is center field in the 1950s. Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, and Larry Doby all patrolled center field in the postwar era.
On this day in 1978, Joe Morgan smacked his 200th home run to become the first member of the 200 home run and 500 stolen bases club.
On this day in 1984, the Reds shipped left-handed reliever Bill Scherrer to Detroit for cash and a player to be named later. The Tigers dispatched righty Carl WIllis to Cincinnati in September to finalize the deal.
On this day in 1985, the Reds sent infielder Tom Foley, catcher Alan Knicely, and a player to be named later to Philadelphia for catcher Bo Diaz and pitching prospect Greg Simpson. The Phillies later acquired right-hander Freddie Toliver from the Reds to finish the trade.
On this day in 1995, former Red Mike Cameron made his major league debut with the White Sox at the age of 22. Cameron did every little thing well in order to extract every bit of value from his career. He had a batting average of only .249, but walked 72 times per 162 games for an on-base percentage of .338. His .195 isolated power mark gave him a slugging percentage of .444. Cameron was a good defender and ran the bases well, too. His four home run game is one of my favorite baseball moments. In the game, he homered twice in the first inning, homered in his next two at-bats, was hit by pitch in his fifth plate appearance, and flew out to the warning track in his final at-bat.