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Throwback Madness: Round 1/Game 8

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1976 vs. 1911

Cincinnati Reds Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Team: 1976

Seed: 2

Record: 102-60, finished 1st in 6-team National League West. Swept the Phillies in the NLCS and the Yankees in the World Series.

Did this team matter?: On the short list for the greatest team in MLB history. This team mattered. I think my favorite stat about this team is that although the full year record was really good, when the 8 regulars were all in the starting lineup the team went 69-19, which would have been a pace for 127 wins over 162 games.

Performances to remember: I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to truly wrap my mind around Joe Morgan’s peak. In 1976, on a team full of contemporary stars and future hall-of-famers, Morgan’s OPS outdistanced every other teammate by at least 125 points. At a key defensive position, he won a Gold Glove. He was, in a non-ironic usage of the word literally, good at everything: he hit for power (62 extra base hits), he was trouble on the bases (60 steals, 9 times caught, only 2 GIDP), he had an amazing batting eye (.320 batting average, 114 walks, 41 strikeouts), and he won the aforementioned Gold Glove (although some of the advanced defensive metrics suggest Morgan was no longer at his defensive peak by 1976). He led the league in OBP and Slugging percentage (.320/.444/.576, OPS+ of 186). He was good for a bWAR of 9.6, despite missing 20 games. At some point, the numbers are so incredible that one struggles for appropriate words.

Wikipedia says: “As of 2018, the Reds are the only team in baseball history to sweep through an entire postseason since the addition of divisions.”

Uniform notes: Pullover double-knit polyester jerseys with elastic banded pants!

My fashion-conscious, non-baseball-fan tween of a daughter says: “Oooh, I like the belt thingy. There aren’t any buttons like all the others.”

Team: 1911

Seed: 15

Record: 70-83, finished 6th in 8-team National League.

Did this team matter?: I can’t find any evidence to think that this team mattered.

Performances to remember: In 1907, pitcher Bobby Keefe threw 57 innings of decent baseball, mostly in relief, for the New York Highlanders. In an era which facilitated a greater number of bullpen arms, it’s easy to imagine Keefe with a long and consistent career. Instead, he was buried in the minors for a few years before re-surfacing with the Reds in 1911. He was the Reds’ best pitcher in 1911, part-starter and part-reliever over 234 innings with a 2.69 ERA (123 ERA+). He had the league’s 8th best WHIP. That’s a good season! The following year, he was a bust: 5.24 ERA in 68 innings and was out of the game. Weird career.

Wikipedia says: “After making some trades over the off-season, the Reds entered the 1911 season with a goal of winning the National League pennant.”

Uniform notes: All white at home, all blue on the road, with red socks for both versions. The wishbone C logo on the front of the jersey gives the impression of having been drawn quickly in MS Paint.

My fashion-conscious, non-baseball-fan tween of a daughter says: “I like the blue. Where’s the pocket? I like the logo on the side.”

Poll

Who wore it better?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    1976 Reds
    (61 votes)
  • 32%
    1911 Reds
    (30 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now