The oldest professional baseball to reside in just one city for the duration of their existence, the Cincinnati Reds are one of the all-time classic teams of Major League Baseball. Originally part of the National League in the 1870s, the team was booted from the league for their refusal to ban beer from the stadium. They would play for a decade in the American Association before rejoining the NL in 1889.
While the early years of the Reds were largely without success, they did house some excellent players, including Cy Seymour and Sam Crawford. In 1919, Cincinnati would win their first NL pennant due to excellent play by Edd Roush, Hod Eller, and Heinie Groh. In the 1919 World Series, the Reds beat the Chicago White Sox to earn their first championship, though the experience was slightly marred by the “Black Sox” scandal when it was determined that several members of Chicago had thrown the Series.
But the glory of a title would be short-lived as the team stuttered through the 1920s and eventually went bankrupt in 1931, as the Great Depression began to ravage American businesses. The team was saved by new owner Powel Crosley, Jr. and began to improve towards the end of the decade. A revamped farm system and smart moves soon paid off as a core of stars like Johnny Vander Meer, Frank McCormick, Bill Werber, and Harry Craft. Vander Meer in particular became a legend after pitching the only pair of back-to-back no-hitters in MLB history! But the team constructed magical feats as well.
The Reds won the pennant in 1939 and went on the capture a second World Series championship in 1940. It would be over 3 decades before the Reds won another title. During the 1950s, the team briefly changed their name to the Cincinnati Redlegs, and even became the team where legendary hitter Frank Robinson got his career started. The Reds were competitive and managed to win the pennant in 1961, though they fell short to the New York Yankees in the Series.
But the 1970s were a grand time for the Reds, who were eventually dubbed “The Big Red Machine”. With a new home at Riverfront Stadium, and a new manager in George Anderson, Cincinnati became a dominant force. Led by superstars like Pete Rose, Don Gullett, Pedro Borbon, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Gary Nolan, and Clay Carroll, the Reds would capture 4 pennants and 2 World Series titles in the decade. 1976 was especially notable as Cincinnati was able to sweep the Yankees!
The team went into decline throughout the 80s but was able to establish a dominant championship-winning season in 1990, where Lou Piniella managed a side that boasted Chris Sabo, Jose Rijo, Barry Larkin, and Eric Davis. The Reds led the NL West from day 1 for the entire season and swept the Oakland Athletics to earn one of the most impressive World Series titles in baseball history!
Recently, the Reds have remained competitive though another title remains elusive. Great players have come and gone, including Ken Griffey Jr. and their current star Jay Bruce. Playing at the beautiful Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati still proudly hails as one of the sport’s most traditional clubs! They have won a few NL Central Divisional titles in recent seasons but haven’t progressed far in the playoffs. Perhaps the seasons ahead will bring another World Series to the Cincinnati Reds!
AAA Sports Memorabilia has a great selection of autographed Cincinnati Reds collectibles, including autographed Cincinnati Reds 8x10 photos, bats, gloves, and jerseys. Some of the most popular players from the Cincinnati Reds include: Aaron Boone, Adam Dunn, Andy Kosco, Barry Larkin, Bernie Carbo, Bob Tolan, Brett Boone, Cesar Geronimo, Chris Sabo, Dave Concepcion, David Wells, Don Newcombe, Frank Robinson, Glenn Braggs, Jeff Reed, Joe Morgan, Joey Votto, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Sr., Leon Durham, Lou Pinella, Mario Soto, Pat Perry, Pete Rose, Reggie Sanders, Sparky Anderson, Tim Layana, Todd Benzinger, Tom Seaver, Tony Perez, Tracy Jones and many others.