Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PTWSW #73: The 1976 Cincinnati Reds

Manager: Sparky Anderson
Record: 102-60
Ballpark: Riverfront Stadium
Owner: Louis Nippert
GM: Bob Howsam
Coaches: Ted Kluszewski, Russ Nixon, George Scherger, Larry Shepard

Future Hall of Famers: Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez

All-Stars: Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Ken Griffey, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Pete Rose

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Ken Griffey, .336
OBP: Joe Morgan, .444 (NL leader)
SLG: Joe Morgan, .576 (NL leader)
OPS: Joe Morgan, 1.020 (NL leader)
2B: Pete Rose, 42 (NL leader)
3B: Cesar Geronimo, 11
HR: George Foster, 29
RBI: George Foster, 121 (NL leader)
BB: Joe Morgan, 114
SB: Joe Morgan, 60

Team Leaders, Pitching

W: Gary Nolan, 15
SO: Pat Zachry, 143
ERA: Pat Zachry, 2.74
IP: Gary Nolan, 239.1
CG: Fred Norman, 8
SHO: Fred Norman, 3
K/BB: Gary Nolan, 4.19 (NL leader)
SV: Rawly Eastwick, 26 (NL leader)


Oldest Player: Pete Rose (b. April 14, 1941)

Youngest Player: Manny Sarmiento (b. February 2, 1956)

First to Leave Us: Pedro Borbon (d. June 4, 2012). Incidentally, this team holds the record among World Series Champions for the longest gap between the day they won the Series and the first death of a player, at 35 years, 7 months and 14 days (second-best is the 1952 New York Yankees).

Last Survivor: Most are still living as of the date of this post.

First in Majors: Bob Bailey (debut September 14, 1962)

Last in Majors: Ken Griffey (final game May 31, 1991)

First to Play For the Franchise: Pete Rose (April 8, 1963)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Ken Griffey (August 17, 1990)

Pre-union Team: The 1969-71 Astros had three: Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Joe Morgan.

Reunion Team: The 1977 Expos (Santo Alcala, Will McEnaney, Tony Perez), 1977-82 Mets (Doug Flynn (1977-81), George Foster (1982), Joel Youngblood, Pat Zachry), 1983 Phillies (Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Pete Rose) and 1984 Expos (Dan Driessen, Doug Flynn, Pete Rose) each had three.


Joe Morgan, NL MVP
Pat Zachry, NL Co-Rookie of the Year
Johnny Bench, NL Catcher Gold Glove
Joe Morgan, NL Second Base Gold Glove
Dave Concepcion, NL Shortstop Gold Glove
Cesar Geronimo, NL Outfield Gold Glove

Season Summary

After finally winning the World Series the previous year, the Big Red Machine continued to roll. As great as the Reds' offense had been in 1975, in 1976 it was even better. Cincinnati led the NL in everything: runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, stolen bases, walks, all the slash stats, and even strikeouts. Their pitching and defense fell to middle-of-the-pack, which meant they allowed more runs, but their lineup was so dominant that they still managed to win 102 games and finish ten games ahead in their division. For the second year in a row, Joe Morgan was named National League MVP, leading the team offensively and playing a solid second base.

In the postseason the Reds were flat-out unstoppable. For their first act, they swept the Philadelphia Phillies, winners of 101 games, in the NLCS. They won the first two games easily, and just when the Phillies looked to make it a series the Reds snatched away another victory. In Game 3 Philly held a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but Cincy led off the inning with back-to-back homers from George Foster and Johnny Bench. The Reds then loaded the bases for Ken Griffey, whose chopper deflected off first baseman Bobby Tolan's glove, scoring Dave Concepcion with the winning run. For the second straight season the Reds were National League Champions.

The Reds' World Series opponent was the New York Yankees, who were playing in the Fall Classic for the first time in 12 years. Unlike their archrivals the year before, the Yankees didn't put up much of a fight. After an easy Red win in Game 1, Game 2 was the only one where New York even came close. With two out and the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth, the game was tied. Griffey hit a grounder that resulted in a throwing error on Yankee shortstop Fred Stanley, and suddenly the winning run was on second. After an intentional walk to Morgan, Tony Perez struck the walkoff blow, singling to left and scoring Griffey. The Series shifted to Yankee Stadium, but even at home the Bombers looked helpless against the Reds; Cincinnati won the final two games by a combined score of 13-4, completing a sweep of the entire postseason and winning their second title in as many years.

Cincinnati's team OPS over the four games was an incredible .887, and their ERA was a dominant 2.00. For his two homers, six RBI and .533 batting average, Johnny Bench was named World Series MVP.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
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