Author Archives: JT
January 18, 1938
Everyone knows Curt Flood as the man who challenged baseball’s reserve clause, eventually ushering in the age of free agency. Before he became such a rabble rouser, though, he was actually a very good ballplayer, winning seven Gold Glove awards and appearing on the All-Star roster thrice. Early in his career, Flood played eight games over two seasons for the Reds before a trade sent him to St. Louis. In addition to his skills on the field, he also possessed a talent for the canvas. Just look at this painting of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson.
January 17, 1931
Don Zimmer‘s playing career spanned twelve seasons and 1095 games; only 63 of those games came as a Red. While Topps recognized him as a member of the Reds in their 1962 issue, he wore a Mets cap; his 1963 Topps card called him a Dodger, though the photo is still from his Mets days. The Cards That Never Were blog rectified this a few years ago with a custom 1963 Fleer card, finally picturing Zim in his Reds uniform.
January 16, 1984
The Phillies made Matt Maloney their third round draft pick in 2005; in 2007 the Reds acquired him in exchange for Kyle Lohse. His first two years in Cincinnati were promising, but the wheels fell off in 2011, prompting the club to place him on waivers. The Twins picked him up, but he only spent one season in Minnesota. He next signed with the Red Sox, pitching in their minor league system in 2013, and then returned to the Reds organization in 2014, but he was unable to make it back to The Show. He last played for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League in 2015.
January 15, 1956
Jerry Narron managed the Cincinnati Reds from 2005 through 2007; the team was 157-179 under his tenure. He previously managed the Texas Rangers followed his playing career with the Yankees, Mariners, and Angels. As a rookie, he was the backup to Thurman Munson in 1979, and was the starting catcher the day after Munson’s passing. During pregame ceremonies, Narron remained in the dugout, leaving the position behind the plate empty.
January 14, 1974
The Reds took Mike Frank in the 7th round of the 1997 draft, and he was with the big club the next year. But that would be his only year in the big leagues. In 2000, Frank was shipped to the Yankees with Denny Neagle in exchange for Jackson Melian, Drew Henson, Brian Reith and Ed Yarnall.
January 13, 1962
I first became aware of Kevin Mitchell as a slugging outfielder for the San Francisco Giants in 1989; prior to that he played for the Mets and Padres. He came to the Reds in 1993 via Seattle in exchange for Norm Charlton, and hit 55 dingers in Cincinnati in ’93, ’94, and ’96. The Reds sent him to Boston at the trade deadline in 1996, acquiring Brad Tweedlie and Roberto Mejia from the Red Sox. He later played for the Indians and A’s.
January 13, 1971
Elmer Dessens‘ best WAR values came in two losing seasons for the Reds. In 2001 (10-14) and 2002 (7-8), Dessens posted 4.2 and 4.1 wins above replacement, respectively. After three years with the Pirates, Dessens came to the Reds for three years, then hopped around from the Diamondbacks to the Dodgers to the Royals to the Brewers to the Rockies to the Braves and finally to the Mets. He was 52-64 for his career and his overall WAR was 11.3.
January 12, 1977
Reggie Taylor wore a Cincinnati uniform for 235 of his 260 major league games. He was a first round pick for the Phillies in 1995, and he appeared in 14 games for the Phils before his trade to Cincinnati; he later played 11 games for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
January 12, 1982
Cincinnati was Dontrelle Willis‘ final stop in the major leagues. In 13 games for the Reds, D-Train only won one decision, losing six and posting a 5.00 ERA. Despite his subpar performance, he was a ton of fun to watch and I was rooting for him to turn it around.
January 11, 1959
Lloyd McClendon is best known for his career as a manager and coach, but he spent eight seasons in the big leagues with the Reds, Cubs, and Pirates as an outfielder, first baseman, catcher, and third baseman. Perhaps even more importantly to Mets fans, he was a part of the package that brought Tom Seaver back to New York in 1982.