1964 Cincinnati Reds season

14 05 2013

The 1964 version of the Reds was even better than the good team from the year before, but their season started off with tragedy.  Manager Fred Hutchinson, who had led the franchise to the 1961 World Series, found out he had cancer in January and battled the disease throughout the season.  He managed the Reds through July before cancer took too much toll, and Dick Sisler took over.  The team played inspired ball after Hutch left, winning 9 straight games in late September to come back from 6.5 down to Philadelphia.  However, St. Louis got hot as well, and the Reds lost their last two games to the same Phillies they’d swept earlier, eliminated on the last day of the season and finishing 1 back.

Hutchinson-C002The Reds didn’t make the World Series, and Hutch succumbed to cancer that November.  The Reds would retire his number 1 the next season, and his name has lived on through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which still thrives in Seattle, WA.  MLB still honors him through the Hutch award, which is given away each year to the player who showcases his spirit in fighting through adversity.  Reds winners have included Pete Rose, Bobby Tolan, Gary Nolan, Johnny Bench, Ron Oester and Sean Casey.

Outfielders Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson were solid as usual, both slugging over 20 homers and knocking in 80+.  As did first baseman Deron Johnson, who was a surprise coming up from the minors.  Pete Rose had a solid sophomore season.  Catcher Johnny Edwards and shortstop Leo Cardenas were the Reds only All-Stars given the NL depth at other positions.

The rotation was deep, with 6 pitchers starting over 22 games – all 6 of them won at least 9 games.  Jim O’Toole and Jim Maloney were the aces, winning 17 and 15 games with an ERA of around 2.70.  The bullpen was great, led by Sammy Ellis who saved 14 games and won 10.

1964 Topps 420 Jim MaloneyTeam MVP: Frank Robinson (.306/29/96)

Best Pitcher: Jim Maloney (17-7/2.66/265)

Award Winners:

Johnny Edwards, Gold Glove

All Stars:

Edwards, Leo Cardenas

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