1986 Cincinnati Reds season

24 01 2011

The year started off with some good pub for the Reds, as former MVP catcher Ernie Lombardi was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee. At the time, Lombardi was only the 4th Reds Hall-of-Famer (3rd player) after Edd Roush, Eppa Rixey, and manager Bill McKechnie.

On the diamond, the Reds built on their improvement under Manager Pete Rose from the year before, winning 86 games and again finishing 2nd in the NL West (this time to the Houston Astros). They had a combination of hitting depth and excellent relievers. Dave Parker and closer John Franco were the team’s All-Star representatives. Parker smashed 31 homers with 116 RBI, while Franco saved 29 games in leading the National League’s best bullpen.

Two late 1985 acquisitions turned out well for the Reds. Catcher Bo Diaz (.272) scored and knocked in over 50 runs while providing a stable presence behind of the plate. Third Baseman Buddy Bell had returned to his father’s team through a trade with the Rangers, and was a third offensive standout (along with Parker and Eric Davis) for the Reds, hitting .275 with 20 homers, 75 RBI and 89 runs.

Despite all these offensive contributions, Eric Davis was undoubtedly the team’s best player. Davis hammered 27 home runs and stole 80 bases. As I mentioned in my last post, no player had ever hit 25+ homers and stole 80+ bases, and to date Davis and Rickey Henderson are the only 2 players who have ever done this.

Rose’s historic career came to an end in 1986. He went 3-for-4 against San Francisco on August 14th, the last of the 4,256 hits of his career. His final base knock was a single off Greg Minton. His final at bat was a pinch-hit strikeout 3 days later against Goose Gossage.

Team MVP: Eric Davis (.277/27/71, 80 SB)


Best Pitcher: John Franco (6-6/2.94/84, 29 SV)


Award Winners:

Dave Parker, Silver Slugger







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