Sunday, January 27, 2013

This day in Reds history: Flood leaves Crosley Field under water, Eppa Rixey elected as Hall of Famer


January 27, 1937 - The worst flood in Cincinnati history crests at 79.9 feet and inundates Crosley Field. At the flood's high water mark, 21 feet of water stood at home plate and the lower grandstand was completely under water. Many buildings in the neighborhood surrounding the ballpark were totally submerged. Reds pitchers Lee Grissom and Gene Schott and groundskeeper Matty Schwab tried to derive some humor out of the disaster by having their picture taken by a newspaper photographer while rowing a boat over the center field wall. The photo was published in dozens of newspapers across the country. Grissom also tacked a sign to the flagpole reading: "No Game Today, Wet Grounds." The flood caused considerable damage to the ballpark, especially to the playing field and the concession stands.

One story explaining the row boat episode credits it to a desire by Grissom to receive his paycheck, which was in the Reds offices at Crosley Field. Grissom also found love during the off-season when he met a Cincinnati woman at a restaurant. They were married on the night of the 1937 season opener. He was 12-17 in 1937, but tied for the league lead in shutouts with five and was second in strikeouts with 1949. Grissom even saved six games, to rank third in the National League.

This account came courtesy of "Redleg Journal", co-authored by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder.

January 27, 1963 - The Veterans Committee elects Eppa Rixey to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Virginia native played 21 years in the Major Leagues -- the first eight with Philadelphia and the last 13 with Cincinnati.

He compiled a 179-148 record and 3.33 ERA in his storied Reds career.

He tossed 4,495 innings and 290 complete games in his professional lifetime.

His 251 career losses rank as the 9th-most in MLB history.

Rixey died shortly after being dubbed a Hall of Famer at the age of 71.

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