Part of the fun of following baseball are the records that are created. As I write this blog, Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco tied a franchise record when he connected for a home run in the 9th — his fifth home run in five consecutive games. What I like about the guy is he seems grounded and puts the home run in perspective.
It was late in the game. All the other homers were to help the team win, and important, big homers,” he said. “They actually meant a lot. That one didn’t really help us come back, so it doesn’t mean as much.
I recently came across a book, The Baseball Hall of Shame’s Warped Record Book, filled with the game’s unusual records. Here are a few Reds-related oddball feats.
- Eric Davis holds the record for the shortest ‘4-bagger’
In 1986, Davis hit a routine ground ball to Houston Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan who fired the ball to first — it went wild and landed near the bullpen where it was retrieved by right fielder Kevin Bass. Bass threw the ball to third ahead of Davis, but his throw was also wild so Davis cruised in and scored. His manager Pete Rose was quoted as saying, “I haven’t seen anything like that since Little League.”
- Strikeout victim No. 3,000 — twice
As a member of the Great Eight, the illustrious Reds center fielder Cesar Geronimo made significant contributions to The Big Red Machine — especially in the 1975 World Series. But, he also has the misfortune of being the 3,000 strikeout victim for both Bob Gibson (1974) and the aforementioned Nolan Ryan in 1980.
- Sparky Anderson’s Two Big Losses
Even though Sparky Anderson led the Reds to four pennants and two World Series titles, he holds the distinction of being the only MLB manager to lose an All-Star game in both the American and National Leagues. Under his guidance the National League team lost in 1971 while the American League team lost in 1985.
But possibly the funniest ‘warped’ record in the one involving pitcher Luis Vasquez who holds the dubious honor of ‘most poisonous snakes clubbed to death with a bat.’ The incident occurred in 1990 in Plant City, Florida. A pond near the Reds spring training camp was home to venomous water moccasins which found their way into the playing area. While teammates were careful where they stepped, Vasquez went on the offense to rid the camp of the deadly reptiles.