June 18, 1975
Felix Heredia pitched in the majors for ten years, finishing 128 games, but only saved six. He spent most of the 2003 season with the Reds, collecting five wins to go with a 3.00 ERA.
June 14, 1926
Before there was Madison Bumgarner, there was Don Newcombe. “Newk” was well-known for his offensive prowess, hitting seven homers in 1955. He was the Rookie of the Year for the Dodgers in 1949, and won both the Cy Young and MVP award in 1956 when he won 27 games for Brooklyn. He came to Cincinnati in 1958 and played 66 games for the Reds between 1958 and 1960; he finished his career in 1960 with Cleveland.
June 14, 1967
The big league draft is such a crapshoot. The Reds selected Hunter Greene with the second overall pick just a few days ago, and hopefully he turns out to be a future resident of Cooperstown, New York. Not only is the draft a crapshoot, it’s an extremely long process. Jerry Spradlin was a 19th round selection in 1988, the 488th player overall taken that year. He is one of only three 19th rounders from that draft to make the majors (Mike Durant and Mandy Romero were the others).
June 8, 1963
Scott Ruskin only lasted four seasons in the majors, but played for three teams. He split his rookie campaign between Pittsburgh and Montreal; played the entire 1991 season for the Expos, then finished out his career with two years in Cincinnati.
June 6, 1943
Merv Rettenmund was a part-time outfielder for the Big Red Machine in 1974 and 1975. He collected two World Series rings: one with Baltimore (1970) and one with the Reds (1975). Rettenmund began his coaching career with the Angels shortly after retiring as a player in 1980. In 1985, his daughter Cynthia appeared on a game show called Break the Bank.
June 6, 1957
Max Venable played for four major league teams: the Giants, Expos, Reds, and Angels. Following his MLB career, Venable played two more seasons in Japan, then returned to the States as the manager of the Idaho Falls Braves in 1994. Athletics is in the Venable blood; one son, Will Venable, played from 2008-2016 for the Padres, Rangers, and Dodgers, while his younger son, Winston Venable, played for the NFL Chicago Bears and was later a CFL All-Star as a member of the Montreal Alouettes.
June 2, 1981
Sportswriter LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported in December that Jared Burton was attempting a comeback. Burton last played in the minors in 2015, and was suspended for 50 games in 2016 for a second positive test of an unspecified “drug of abuse.” According to one report, “his suspension will start when he signs with a big league organization.” Good luck with that.
June 1, 1984
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Wilkin Castillo as an amateur free agent way back in 2002, and he was sent to Cincinnati along with Dallas Buck to complete a deal for Adam Dunn in 2008. Castillo appeared in 22 games in 2008 and 2009, before going back the Reds’ AAA affiliate in Louisville. He never made it back to the majors…at least not yet. Castillo is still toiling away in the minors, and is currently in the Yankees’ system after spending time with the farm systems for Atlanta, Colorado, Los Angeles, Pittsburg, and Toronto.
May 27, 1948
Gary Nolan was a big part of the Reds teams of the 1970s, winning 110 games for Cincinnati from 1967 through 1977 with a 3.02 ERA.
May 26, 1960
Rob Murphy was an effective middle reliever for the Reds in 1986 and 1987, collecting 2.5 and 2.3 WAR. His effectively dipped a bit in 1988, and the Reds traded him to Boston with Nick Esasky for Todd Benzinger and Jeff Sellers. He fared better his first season in Boston, then started bouncing around the league. Besides the Reds and Red Sox, Murphy played for the Mariners, Astros, Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers, and Marlins.