Sunday, October 9, 2011

On this Day in Reds History: World Champions & Igniting Big Red Machine

King of the baseball world despite scandal:

October 9th, 1919 - Cincinnati claims its first World Series Championship by whipping the Chicago White Sox 10-5 at Comiskey Park. In one of only four World Series' to have been decided by a best-of-nine format instead of the traditional seven-game format (the others in 1903, 1920, & 1921), the Redlegs outlast the White Sox five games to three.

However, details of eight Chicago players who agreed to help "throw" the series were released to the public 11 months later in 1920. All eight players were banned from organized baseball forever in what would be later known as the "Black Sox Scandal".

Nevertheless, the Reds laid claim to the sport's greatest prize that year -- a feat they wouldn't accomplish again until 1940.

Adding one last "spark" to the Big Red Machine:

October 9th, 1969 - Perhaps the final cog of the Big Red Machine is set into place as the Reds name Sparky Anderson as their manager.

According to many, the choice of the 35-year old, minor league skipper came as a complete surprise. Anderson had just accepted the same position for the Anaheim Angels, but jumped at the chance to coach a young, talented group of players in the Queen City.

Since he was relatively unknown throughout the sporting world, and the city of Cincinnati for that matter, the headlines for the next day after he was hired read "Sparky Who?". But like everything in life, all is well that ends well, and Sparky's tenure as the team's manager went pretty well.

During his nine seasons as Reds manager, Anderson racked up a remarkable 863-586 (.596) regular-season record while capturing four league pennants and two WS titles in 1975 and 1976. His 863 wins and 1,450 games managed rank as the most of any manager in the franchise's 129-year history.

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