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Category Archives: Cincinnati Reds

Cesar Geronimo – 1973 Topps #156

CesarGeronimo_73topps#156_a César Francisco Gerónimo Zorrilla (born March 11, 1948), known as César Gerónimo, is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball, who was a member of the famed Big Red Machine of the Cincinnati Reds during the 1970s. He batted and threw left-handed. In 1967, Gerónimo was signed by the New York Yankees, who tried to make him a pitcher. Two years later he made his major league debut with the Houston Astros. After the 1971 season, he went to the Cincinnati Reds in an eight-player deal. Among them, Joe Morgan. A winner of four consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1974 to 1977, Gerónimo was the outstanding defensive center fielder of five divisional championship series and the 1975-76 World Series Champion Cincinnati Reds.CesarGeronimo_73topps#156_b In the former Series, he caught Carl Yastrzemski’s fly ball for the final out. He played the last three seasons of his career with the Kansas City Royals.
In his fifteen seasons, Gerónimo batted .258, with 51 home runs and 392 RBI, 460 runs scored, 977 hits, 161 doubles, 50 triples and 82 stolen bases. He was also the 3,000th strikeout victim of both Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” he joked.
After retiring he worked for the Japanese Hiroshima Carp, as a coach in their Dominican baseball academy. He currently resides with his family in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In July 2008 he was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.


Bob Tolan – 1973 Topps #335

BobTolan_73topps#335_a Robert Tolan (born November 19, 1945) is a former center and right fielder in Major League Baseball. Tolan, who batted and threw left-handed, played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also played one season in Japan for the Nankai Hawks. Tolan was a reserve outfielder during his years with the Cardinals, where he won a World Series title in 1967. He also played on the 1968 National League champions, losing to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series in seven games, after leading three games to one. The day after the final game of this Series Tolan was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with reliever Wayne Granger for veteran outfielder Vada Pinson. As their centerfielder, often batting second behind Pete Rose and in front of Alex Johnson in the Reds lineup, Tolan in 1969 hit .305 and established career highs in home runs and runs batted in. In the first year both leagues were split into two divisions, the Reds finished third in the National League West, four games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves. The “Big Red Machine”, which also featured future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Tony Pérez, was just beginning to take shape.
In 1970, Tolan batted a career high .316 with 16 home runs and 80 RBIs, and led the National League in stolen bases with 57 for a Reds team that won theBobTolan_73topps#335_b National League West title for their first postseason berth since the 1961 World Series. The Reds swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS in three games. In the second game, Tolan scored all three runs in a 3-1 victory, including hitting a fifth-inning home run off starter Luke Walker. However, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Reds in the World Series in five games. Tolan went 4-for-19 in the Series, including a home run off Mike Cuellar in Game Two.
Tolan played professionally in Japan in 1978. He was also a coach for the Padres from 1980-1983. During the strike of 1981, Tolan was dispatched to Walla Walla, Washington, where he was Tony Gwynn’s first hitting coach. Tolan’s cousin, Eddie Tolan, was a sprinter who won two Gold Medals in the 1932 Summer Olympics.

The Big Red Machine

The Big Red Machine nickname was introduced in a July 4, 1969 article by Bob Hertzel in The Cincinnati Enquirer, which posted a regular season record of 102-60 and won the National League pennant. Rookie and future-Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson lead the team, that featured Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Pérez, and was supported by Dave Concepción, George Foster, César Gerónimo and Ken Griffey, Sr.. The eight players most frequently referenced as members of the Big Red Machine include baseball’s all-time hit leader in Rose; three Hall of Fame players in Bench, Peréz and Morgan; six National League MVP selections; four National League home run leading seasons; three NL Batting Champions; 25 Gold Glove winning seasons, and 63 collective All-Star Game appearances. The starting lineup of Bench, Rose, Morgan, Pérez, Concepción, Foster, Griffey, and Gerónimo (known as the “Great Eight”) played 88 games together during the 1975 and 1976 seasons, losing only 19.

Don Gullet – 1973 Topps #595

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ImageDonald Edward “Don” Gullett (born January 6, 1951 in Lynn, Kentucky) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees from 1970 to 1978. He also served as pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds from 1993 to 2005. Gullett played for the Reds from 1970 through the 1976 season. In November of that year, as a free agent, he signed with the New York Yankees. He enjoyed a successful 14-4 season with the Yankees in 1977, but shoulder problems in 1978 signalled the end of his career. During a relatively brief nine year career, Gullett accumulated 109 wins and posted an impressive 3.11 Earned Run Average. Playing for only nine seasons, Gullett was a member of six World Series teams (1970, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78), including four consecutive World Champions (’75 and ’76 Reds, and ’77 and ’78 Yankees). At the plate, Don Gullett posted a respectable (for a pitcher) career batting average of .194. For example, in a 1975 National League Championship Series game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gullett not only pitched a complete game victory, he also helped himself out by hitting a single, a home run, and collecting 3 RBI. IImagen 1993, he rejoined the Reds as pitching coach, a post he held until being ousted mid-season in 2005.

Reds fire Miley, Gullett

The Cincinnati Reds Tuesday fired manager Dave Miley and pitching coach Don Gullet, replacing them with Jerry Narron and Vern Ruhle. The Reds have the second-worst record in the National League at 27-43, 18 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Miley, who spent 26 years in the Reds organization, posted a 125-164 record as manager since taking over for Bob Boone in 2003. Gullett had been pitching coach since 1993.

Sparky Anderson – 1973 Topps #296

George Lee “Sparky” Anderson (February 22, 1934 – November 4, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball manager. He managed the National League’s Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League. He was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. He was named American League Manager of the Year in 1984 and 1987. Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 2000. Although he managed 17 seasons in Detroit and just 9 seasons in Cincinnati, his Hall of Fame plaque has him wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform. He chose to wear the Reds cap at his induction in honor of former GM Bob Howsam, who gave Anderson his first chance at a major-league managing job. Before his induction, Anderson had refused to go inside the Hall because he felt unworthy, saying “I didn’t ever want to go into the most precious place in the world unless I belonged.” In his acceptance speech he gave a lot of credit to his players, saying there were two kinds of managers, “One, it ain’t very smart. He gets bad players, loses games and gets fired. There was somebody like me that was a genius. I got good players, stayed out of the way, let ’em win a lot, and then just hung around for 26 years.” He was very proud of his Hall induction, “I never wore a World Series ring … I will wear this ring until I die.”
Anderson was also inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame the same year. On May 28, 2005, during pre-game ceremonies in Cincinnati, Anderson’s jersey number, #10, was retired by the Reds. A day in Anderson’s honor was also held at Detroit’s Comerica Park during the 2000 season. On June 17, 2006, Anderson’s number was retired by the Fort Worth Cats, for whom Anderson had played in 1955. In 2007, Anderson was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Throughout the 2011 season the Tigers honored Anderson with a patch on their right sleeves. They officially retired his No. 11 on the brick wall at Comerica Park on June 26, 2011.

Joe Hague – 1973 Topps #447

Joe Clarence Hague(April 25, 1944 – November 5, 1994) was a professional baseball player whose career spanned eight seasons. Over his eight year career, Hague spent six of those in Major League Baseball. In 430 major league games, Hague batted .239 with 141 runs, 286 hits, 41 doubles, 10 triples, 40 home runs, and 163 runs batted in (RBIs). Over his major league career, Hague played first base (232 games), and outfield (272 games). Hague played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds in his six-year major league career. Over his minor league career, Hague batted .279 with 515 hits, 109 doubles, 18 triples, and 75 home runs in 510 games. Like in his major league career, Hague played both first base (352 games) and outfield (20 games) in the minors. Hague played with four different teams that three levels of the minor leagues in his career. His first professional team was the Class-A Cedar Rapids Cardinals followed by the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, and eventually the Triple-A Tulsa Oilers. Hague made his major league debut on September 19, 1968. He went on to play for the Triple-A Tulsa Oilers for a second time (1969) and the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians (1973) in the minors. As a player, Hague made it a personal preference not to use profanity and instead replaced it in his speech with the word mullet. Hague, who said that he used profanity a lot as a kid, stated that he stopped because “you don’t gain anything from it”.

Tom Hall – 1973 Topps #8

Thomas Edward Hall(born November 23, 1947 in Thomasville, North Carolina), is a retired American professional baseball player, a left-handed pitcher who played in the Major Leagues from 1968 to 1977. Listed at 6 feet tall and 150 pounds, he was nicknamed “The Blade” for his slender physique. Hall played for the Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and Kansas City Royals during his Major League career. He was with the Reds during their early years as the “Big Red Machine”, during which time they won 2 National League Western Division championships and one National League pennant. Hall made his final Major League appearance on May 21, 1977, with the Royals. He had a career record of 52-33 with 32 saves.

Bob Barton – 1973 Topps #626

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Robert Wilbur Barton(born July 30, 1941 in Norwood, Ohio), is a retired, American professional baseball player who played catcher in the Major Leagues from 1965-1974. He played for the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds.

Pete Rose – 1975 Topps #240

Peter Edward Rose Peter Edward Rose (born April 14, 1941), nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” and “Hose Ose”, is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989. Rose, a switch hitter, is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B & 1B). In August 1989, three years after he retired as an active player, Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the “permanently ineligible” list from induction, after previously excluding such players by informal agreement among voters. In 2004, after years of public denial, Rose admitted to betting on baseball and on, but not against, the Reds. The issue of Rose’s possible re-instatement and election to the Hall of Fame remains a contentious one throughout baseball. On May 5, 1978, Rose became the 13th player in major league history to collect his 3,000th career hit, with a single off Montreal Expos pitcher Steve Rogers. On June 14 in Cincinnati, Rose singled in the first inning off Cubs pitcher Dave Roberts; Rose would proceed to get a hit in every game he played until August 1, making a run at Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game hitting streak, which had stood virtually unchallenged for 37 years. The streak started quietly, but by the time it had reached 30 games, the media took notice and a pool of reporters accompanied Rose and the Reds to every game. On July 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies, Rose was hitless going into the ninth with his team trailing. He ended up walking in the eighth inning and the streak appeared over. But the Reds managed to bat through their entire lineup, giving Rose another chance to bat in the ninth innning. Facing Ron Reed, Rose laid down a perfect bunt single to extend the streak to 32 games. He would eventually tie Willie Keeler’s 1897 single season National League record at 44 games; but on August 1, the streak came to an end as Gene Garber of the Atlanta Braves struck out Rose in the ninth inning. The competitive Rose was sour after the game, blasting Garber and the Braves for treating the situation “like it was the ninth inning of the 7th game of the World Series” and adding that “Phil Niekro would have given me a fastball to hit.”

Joe Morgan – 1974 Topps #85

Joe Leonard Morgan (born September 19, 1943) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland Athletics from 1963 to 1984. He won two World Series championships with the Reds in 1975 and 1976 and was also named the National League Most Valuable Player in those years. Considered one of the greatest second basemen of all-time, Morgan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. He became a baseball broadcaster for ESPN after his retirement as a player and is currently a member of the Cincinnati Reds front office. Morgan was an extremely capable batter—especially in clutch situations. While his lifetime average was only .271, he hit between .288 and .327 during his peak years with the Reds. Additionally, he drew many walks, resulting in an excellent .392 on-base percentage. He also hit 268 home runs to go with 449 doubles and 96 triples, excellent power for a middle infielder of his era, and was considered by some the finest base stealer of his generation (689 steals at greater than 80% success rate). Besides his prowess at the plate and on the bases, Morgan was an exceptional infielder, winning the Gold Glove Award in consecutive years from 1972 to 1976.

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