Sometimes franchise records are good, like Joey Votto being the
dreamiest OBPiest dreamiest Reds player of all time.
Others are essentially, like Pete Rose and Leo Cardenas tied for most games player in a season, at 163. Others are at least vaguely negative or actually bad. Like the ones I’m about to tell you about. Why am I going to tell you about them? One, because it’s mildly interesting in its own right. Two, because it’s a reason and a way to bring up Reds history. And Three, because it’s the end of January, the only thing that’s going on right now is the Reds Caravan*, and I’m in New England.
*You might as well watch the video of Gapper falling over things on Jamie Ramsey’s blog. It’s a decent piece of mascot theater, as far as that goes.
Most Outs in a Single Season – Tommy Harper, 1965
In 1965, 24-year-old left-fielder Tommy Harper made 514 total outs. Despite outs generally being bad, this really isn’t a terrible record; Harper did have a .340 OBP that would make Drew Stubbs cry a single tear of crystalline joy (I really should stop making fun of Drew Stubbs, as he isn’t on the team anymore.) Mostly, being the leadoff hitter for a Reds lineup that scored the most runs in the NL meant that Harper came to the plate 745 times. Incidentally, the ‘most plate appearances in a season’ for the Reds looks like this.
Pete Rose, of course, just happened to be a lot better at not making outs than Tommy Harper was.
Most HR allowed in a season – Bronson Arroyo, 2011
This one is fresh, and very memorable. Who can forget Arroyo’s down-year 2011, which was puncuated by 46 home runs allowed, almost a baseball record? It’s partly the era and the ballpark, and also partly the fact that Arroyo pitched every start despite being injured, but it’s also part that he allowed a LOT of home runs. I mean, Eric Milton only allowed 40 home runs in 2005.
Most Career Ground-Into-Double-Plays – Davey Concepcion
Davey spent 19 seasons with the Reds – an entire, impressive career – and racked up a lot of counting stats, both good, and not so good. Really, Concepcion barely cracks the top ten in GIDP in a season, so this is as much a tribute to his long career with the Reds as much as his tendency to hit into double plays. Davey Concepcion also holds the Reds franchise record for turning double plays, with 1390, 1290 as a shortstop – which is 9th in MLB history. Isn’t that great? I love that.
Most career walks by a pitcher – Johnny Vander Meer
While Double No-Hit Vander Meer is always remembered for his more impressive achievements, he was definitely what you might call ‘effectively wild’. (You may happen to remember that Vander Meer walked 11 in his consecutive no-hitters). Although the Dutch Master did compile a lot of innings with the Reds, helping him reach this lofty achievement of 1072 total walks, it also had a lot to do with his 4.8 BB/9 rate.
Most caught stealing in a season – Pat Duncan, 1922
While 20 or more caught stealing in one season was not uncommon in the 1920s, 28 tops the list for the Reds, which is probably the most notable fact about the career of Pat Duncan, an Ohio native who has the same birthday as me. (Good choice, Pat.) Other than that, Duncan was a somewhat above-average hitter for 4 full-time seasons with the Reds, mostly in left field. Duncan wasn’t even a good baserunner, with a mediocre caught stealing percentage. In 1922, Pat Duncan successfully stole …12 bases, but to be fair, he didn’t lead the league in caught stealing – Charlie Hollocher of the Cubs got caught 29 times. Still, no matter what the norms, that’s just not very good.
Most losses in a season – Tony Mullane, 1886
It’s amazing how much baseball has changed since 1886. I mean, actually considering how much the world has changed since 1886, baseball hasn’t really changed that much. Still, Tony Mullane lost 27 games that year. Today, starting 27 games would probably be considered a reasonably healthy season. All told, in 1886, his first season for the Reds, Mullane won 33 games, started 56, and threw 529 and 2/3 innings. Mullane’s 1886 also sets the Reds franchise record for hits allowed (501), and earned runs (218). As a side note, the most innings pitched that season in the American Association was 588 by Toad Ramsey of the Louisville Colonel, who started 67 games, and completed 66 of them (out of a 138 game season), with a 148 ERA+. Ah, 1886, women couldn’t vote, everyone rode horses, and Toad Ramsay was worth 11.8 WAR.
Most strikeouts in a season: Drew Stubbs, 2011
I picked a bad day to give up making fun of Drew Stubbs, huh. I mostly just found this notable because of the timing. In 2010, Stubbs tied Adam Dunn’s 168 as the fourth most strikeouts by a Reds batter in a single season. I feel like Stubbs had to be thinking, the guy who just set the three highest K totals in franchise history just left, and was trashed by the fanbase even though he hit tons of home runs and walked a lot – I don’t want to find out what’s going to happen to me if I break the record. Weeee-eeell, he found out.
I didn’t want to exactly include it in a list of factoids, as it seems disrespectful, but I thought it should be shared. 3 members of the 2004 Cincinnati Reds are dead.