Big Red Machine

Big Red Machine is a nickname for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team that dominated the National League from 1970 to 1979 and is widely recognized as being among the best in baseball history.[1][2] The team won six National League West Division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series titles.[3] Its combined record from 1970-1979 was 953 wins and 657 losses, an average of more than 95 wins per season.

The core of that Reds team had the best record in the Major Leagues in 1981, but did not make the postseason because of Bowie Kuhn's split-season playoff format due to the player's strike.


The nickname was introduced in a July 4, 1969 article by Bob Hertzel in The Cincinnati Enquirer,[4] but gained prominence in reference to the 1970 team,[5][6][7][8] which posted a regular season record of 102-60 and won the National League pennant.[9] Rookie and future-Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson headed the team,[10] which at its peak featured Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Pérez, and was supported by Dave Concepción, George Foster, César Gerónimo and Ken Griffey, Sr.[11] The Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s garnered more World Series appearances than any other team during that decade, with an overall record of 953 wins and 657 losses.[12] They are the only National League team during the last 75 years to win back-to-back World Championships. Before them, the 1921 and 1922 New York Giants were the last NL team to accomplish this feat.[12]

The "Great Eight"

The eight players most frequently referenced as members of the Big Red Machine include baseball's all-time hit leader in Rose;[13] three Hall of Fame players in Bench, Pérez and Morgan; six National League MVP selections; four National League home run leading seasons; three NL Batting Champions; 25 Gold Glove winning seasons, and 63 collective All-Star Game appearances.[14] The starting lineup of Bench, Rose, Morgan, Pérez, Concepción, Foster, Griffey, and Gerónimo (collectively referred to as the "Great Eight") played 88 games together during the 1975 and 1976 seasons, losing only 19.[15]

Cincinnati Reds season results, 1970–1976
Season Record Divisional finish Playoffs
1970 102–60 1st (West) Won NLCS vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 3–0
Lost World Series to Baltimore Orioles, 4–1
1971 79–83 4th (West)
1972 95–59 1st (West) Won NLCS vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 3–2
Lost World Series to Oakland Athletics, 4–3
1973 99–63 1st (West) Lost NLCS vs. New York Mets, 3–2
1974 98–64 2nd (West)
1975 108–54 1st (West) Won NLCS vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 3–0
Won World Series vs. Boston Red Sox, 4–3
1976 102–60 1st (West) Won NLCS vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 3–0
Won World Series vs. New York Yankees, 4–0

Later Years

Dan Driessen took over at first base for Tony Perez in 1977.[16] Although some of the original players departed the team, some extended the Big Red Machine nickname for two more years until the departures of Anderson and Rose following the 1978 season.[4] The Reds turned around to finish in second place in 1977[17] and 1978.[18] Ray Knight replaced Pete Rose at third base for Cincinnati in 1979 and the rest of the Reds starting lineup still included six of the great eight: Bench, Morgan, Foster, Concepcion, Griffey and Geronimo. The Cincinnati Reds won another division title in 1979,[16] but lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS.

The Big Red Machine had one last great run in 1981 when they finished the strike season with the best record in baseball. Only three of the great eight remained in the starting lineup: Foster, Griffey and Concepcion. Bench had an injury plagued season and was moved from catcher to third base. Tom Seaver had a win-loss record of 14-2 and an ERA of 2.54 while starting only 23 games in the Reds' strike-shortened 108-game regular season.[19] Despite that, the Reds finished second in the National League West in both halves of the season, making them ineligible to compete in the postseason despite having the best overall record in baseball.


The Big Red Machine's archrival were the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two teams often competed for the NL West division title and finished either first or second in every year from 1970 through 1979 with the one exception being 1971. Reds manager Sparky Anderson once said, "I don't think there's a rivalry like ours in either league. The Giants are supposed to be the Dodgers' natural rivals, but I don't think the feeling is there anymore. It's not there the way it is with us and the Dodgers." The rivalry ended when division realignment moved the Reds to the NL Central. However, they did face one another in the 1995 NLDS.

The Big Red Machine was also part of the rivalry with the two Pennsylvania teams. All of the Reds' four pennants in the 1970s came against these teams (Pittsburgh Pirates in 1970, 1972, and 1975, and Philadelphia Phillies in 1976). In 1979, Pete Rose added to the notion of the Big Red Machine being part of the rivalry when he signed with the Phillies and helped them win their first World Series championship in 1980.

Further reading

  • Bob Hertzel (1976). The Big Red Machine. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0130761907.
  • Ritter Collett (1977). Men of the (Reds) Machine: An Inside Look at Baseball's Team of the '70's. Landfall Press. ISBN 0913428280.
  • Gregory L. Rhodes, John G. Erardi (1998). Big Red Dynasty: How Bob Howsam and Sparky Anderson Built the Big Red Machine. Road West. ISBN 0964140233.
  • Daryl Raymond Smith (2009). Making The Big Red Machine: Bob Howsam and the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s. McFarland. ISBN 0786439807.
  • Joe Posnanski (2009). The Machine. HarperCollins. ISBN 0061901695.
  • Doug Feldmann (2009). The 1976 Cincinnati Reds: Last Hurrah for the Big Red Machine. McFarland. ISBN 0786452722.


  1. ^ Peterson, Bill (1995-04-23). "Big Red Machine Rates Among Best Ever; Balance of Offense, Defense made '75 Cincinnati Team So Great". Rocky Mountain News. Scripps Howard news Service.
  2. ^ Shannon, Mike (2003). Riverfront Stadium: Home of the Big Red Machine. Arcadia Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 0-7385-2324-0. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  3. ^ "Cincinnati Reds Team History & Encyclopedia". Sports Reference LLC.
  4. ^ a b Riess, Steven A. (2006). Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Clubs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 127. ISBN 0-313-32991-5. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  5. ^ "Big Red Machine". Time. 1970-08-24.
  6. ^ Furlong, William Barry (1970-08-30). "Johnny Bench: Supercatcher For the Big Red Machine". The New York Times Magazine. p. 169.
  7. ^ Daley, Arthur (1971-03-19). "Sparky and His Big Red Machine". The New York Times. p. 45.
  8. ^ Minot Jr., George (1972-06-11). "Bench Leads Reconditioning of the Big Red Machine". The Washington Post. p. D2. That tiresome nickname of the summer of 70 is catching on again.
  9. ^ "1970 Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-02-01.
  10. ^ "Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees". Sports Reference LLC.
  11. ^ Drooz, Alan (1996-10-14). "Cincinnati's Big Red Machine Cemented Its Place in History With 1976 Title". Los Angeles Times. p. 12.
  12. ^ a b Baseball Almanac. "World Series: A Comprehensive History of the World Series".
  13. ^ "Pete Rose Statistics and History". Sports Reference LLC.
  14. ^ "Baseball Statistics and History". Sports Reference LLC.
  15. ^ Erardi, John; Rhodes, Greg (1997). Big Red Dynasty. Road-West Publishing. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  16. ^ a b 1979 Cincinnati Reds Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics -
  17. ^ "1977 Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Sports Reference LLC.
  18. ^ "1978 Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Sports Reference LLC.
  19. ^ 1981 Cincinnati Reds Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics -
1976 National League Championship Series

The 1976 National League Championship Series faced off the Cincinnati Reds (known for their nickname at the time, The Big Red Machine) and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds swept the best-of-five series in three games, winning easily in the first two games, and in their last at bat in Game 3.

Stars of the series for the Reds included batters Johnny Bench (4 for 12, HR), Dave Concepción (4 runs scored), George Foster (2 H, both home runs), Ken Griffey (5 for 13, triple), Pete Rose (6 for 14, 2 RBIs, 3 runs scored), and pitchers Don Gullett (win, 8 IP, 2 hits), Pedro Borbón (​4 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA), and Pat Zachry (win, 5 IP, 3 SO).

2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 86th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The game was played at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday, July 14. It was televised nationally on Fox. The American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a score of 6–3.

On January 21, 2013, then-Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig, announced the 2015 All-Star Game would be hosted by the Cincinnati Reds. This was the first time the city of Cincinnati has hosted the All-Star Game since the 1988 All-Star Game was played at Riverfront Stadium.On July 15, 2014, Selig also announced that Pete Rose would not be prohibited from participating in the 2015 All-Star Game ceremonies. Rose was an All-Star for 13 of the 19 seasons he played on the Reds and was a member of the Big Red Machine. In 1991, Rose was permanently banned from MLB for baseball betting. Rose, wearing a red sport coat, appeared on the field in front of the pitcher's mound before the game and received a standing ovation alongside former teammates Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, and Joe Morgan.

On May 12, 2015, the Reds announced that Todd Frazier would serve as the 2015 All-Star Game spokesperson.Mike Trout, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, was named the 2015 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player for the second straight year.

Aaron Dessner

Aaron Brooking Dessner (born April 23, 1976) is an American songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is best known as a member of the rock band The National, and co-founder of Big Red Machine with Justin Vernon in 2016 based on a song they wrote of the same name for compilation Dark Was the Night in 2008. Dessner writes the majority of the music for The National, collaborating on songwriting with singer Matt Berninger.

As a record producer, Dessner has produced the charity compilations Dark Was the Night and Day of the Dead for the Red Hot Organization as well as albums for The National, Local Natives, Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, Lone Bellow, Frightened Rabbit, Luluc and This Is the Kit, among others. Dessner also co-founded and curates three music festivals: Eaux Claires in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with Justin Vernon; HAVEN in Copenhagen with Bryce Dessner; and Boston Calling Music Festival.

Big Red Machine (band)

Big Red Machine is an American experimental indie folk rock band that began as a collaboration between musicians Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon.

Bob Howsam

Robert Lee Howsam (February 28, 1918 – February 19, 2008) was an executive in American professional sport who, in 1959, played a key role in establishing two leagues—the American Football League, which succeeded and merged with the National Football League, and baseball's Continental League, which never played a game but forced expansion of Major League Baseball from 16 to 20 teams in 1961–62. Howsam later became further well known in baseball as the highly successful general manager and club president of the Cincinnati Reds during the "Big Red Machine" dynasty of the 1970s.

Born in Denver, Howsam attended the University of Colorado and served as a U.S. Navy pilot during World War II. He was the son-in-law of Edwin C. Johnson, a three-term United States Senator and two-term governor of Colorado. Johnson also was involved with professional baseball as founder and first president of the postwar Class A Western League, an upper-level minor league that played from 1947 to 1958.

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. They were a charter member of the American Association in 1882 and joined the NL in 1890.The Reds played in the NL West division from 1969 to 1993, before joining the Central division in 1994. They have won five World Series titles, nine NL pennants, one AA pennant, and 10 division titles. The team plays its home games at Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003 replacing Riverfront Stadium. Bob Castellini has been chief executive officer since 2006.

For 1882–2018, the Reds' overall win-loss record is 10,524–10,306 (a 0.505 winning percentage).

Clay Kirby

Clayton Laws Kirby, Jr. (June 25, 1948 – October 11, 1991) was a Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher for the San Diego Padres (1969–73), Cincinnati Reds (1974–75) and Montreal Expos (1976).

César Gerónimo

César Francisco Gerónimo Zorrilla (born March 11, 1948), known as César Gerónimo, is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball, who was starting centerfielder on the famed Big Red Machine of the Cincinnati Reds during the 1970s. He batted and threw left-handed.

Dick Williams (executive)

Richard "Dick" Williams (born ca. 1971) is an American professional baseball executive and the president of baseball operations of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball. Before his promotion, announced on December 27, 2016, he was the Reds' senior vice president and general manager.Williams is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He was an Echols Scholar at UVA, giving him priority to sign up for any class. He worked as an investment banker and from 2003–04 for the George W. Bush presidential re-election campaign, where he developed his affinity for Vineyard Vines clothing, particularly in pastels. He joined the Reds in 2006, upon their purchase by a group led by majority owner Robert Castellini, as director of baseball business operations. He later became vice president of baseball operations and then was named vp/assistant GM in November 2014. Twelve months later, he was promoted to general manager, working under Walt Jocketty, then president of baseball operations. Jocketty became an advisor to Castellini with Williams' December 2016 appointment.The Williams family's official connection with the Reds dates back 50 years. Dick Williams' grandfather, William J. Sr., and great-uncle James were key members of a 13-party ownership group headed by Francis L. Dale, publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that acquired the team from Bill DeWitt Sr. in December 1966. The Williams brothers initially held 15 percent of the club's stock. Under this basic ownership group, and led by general manager Bob Howsam, the Reds became a baseball dynasty during the early 1970s as "The Big Red Machine." William and James Williams served as the majority owners of the Reds from 1980–84; they sold controlling interest in the franchise to Marge Schott in December 1984. Dick Williams' father, Joe, and an uncle, Thomas, are minority shareholders in Castellini's ownership group. Joe Williams is the club's incumbent board chairman and Tom is vice-chairman and treasurer.

George Foster (baseball)

George Arthur Foster (born December 1, 1948) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball from 1969 to 1986. One of the most feared right-handed sluggers of his era, he was a key piece of the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" that won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976.

Foster led the National League in home runs in 1977 and 1978, and in RBIs in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He won the NL's Most Valuable Player Award in 1977 and a Silver Slugger Award in 1981.

History of the Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team. Originally named the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the name was shortened to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1890s.

Jack Billingham

John Eugene Billingham (born February 21, 1943) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1968 through 1980 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. The 6-foot-4 hurler won at least 10 games for 10 consecutive seasons, and he helped lead Cincinnati's legendary "Big Red Machine" to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. He batted and threw right-handed. Billingham is the cousin of Christy Mathewson.

Justin Vernon

Justin DeYarmond Edison Vernon (born April 30, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known as the primary songwriter and frontman of indie folk band Bon Iver. Vernon is also a member of the bands Volcano Choir, Big Red Machine, The Shouting Matches, and Gayngs. He was previously a member of the now-defunct band DeYarmond Edison.

Ken Griffey Sr.

George Kenneth Griffey Sr. (born April 10, 1950) is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Seattle Mariners from 1973 through 1991. Griffey was a member of the famed Big Red Machine, and a three-time All-Star. He is the father of Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.

List of Cincinnati Reds seasons

The Cincinnati Reds are a professional baseball team based in Cincinnati. The Reds play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) National League (NL). In its 122 major league seasons, the franchise has won 5 World Series championships, tied for seventh most with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds played their home games at Riverfront Stadium from 1970 to 2002 and at Crosley Field before that, from 1912 to 1970. In 2003, the team moved into Great American Ball Park, located on the banks of the Ohio River and built on the old site of Riverfront Stadium.The history of the Cincinnati Reds dates back to 1876, where they were originally called the "Red Stockings" and were the first true professional baseball team in the United States. The modern Cincinnati Reds began play in 1882 as members of the American Association, which Reds won in their first year of competition. The Reds joined Major League Baseball in 1890 and began their play in the National League. Over their history, the Reds have won 10 National League Pennants and made it to the post season 13 times, along with their five World Series Championships.Following the Cincinnati Reds second championship in 1940, the franchise only had one post-season appearance between 1941 and 1969. During the 1970s, however, the Reds would appear in the post-season six times during the decade, along with four National League pennants, and back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976. The Reds were nicknamed Big Red Machine during the time period and complied, what some have claimed to be, the best teams in major league baseball history. Following the 1976 championship and Big Red Machine era, the Reds struggled to sustain consistent post-season appearances.

The fifth and most recent championship for the Cincinnati Reds came in 1990, in which that team went wire-to-wire and swept the World Series. The Reds have made only four post-season appearances since 1991, with their most recent appearance coming in 2013.

Overall, the Reds have compiled a winning percentage of .508 over their history and also achieved a franchise mark of 10,000 wins on April 20, 2012, becoming just the sixth major league franchise to accomplish the feat. The Reds lost their 10,000th game on August 28, 2015. They were the fourth major league baseball franchise to reach this number.

Riverfront Stadium

Riverfront Stadium, also known as Cinergy Field from 1996 to 2002, was a multi-purpose stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States that was the home of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball from 1970 through 2002 and the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League from 1970 to 1999. Located on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, the stadium was best known as the home of "The Big Red Machine", as the Reds were often called in the 1970s.

Construction began on February 1, 1968, and was completed at a cost of less than $50 million. On June 30, 1970, the Reds hosted the Atlanta Braves in their grand opening, with Hank Aaron hitting the first ever home run at Riverfront. Two weeks later on July 14, 1970, Riverfront hosted the 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. This game is best remembered for the often-replayed collision at home plate between Reds star Pete Rose and catcher Ray Fosse of the Cleveland Indians.

In September 1996, Riverfront Stadium was renamed "Cinergy Field" in a sponsorship deal with Greater Cincinnati energy company Cinergy. In 2001, to make room for Great American Ball Park, the seating capacity at Cinergy Field was reduced to 39,000. There was a huge in-play wall in center field visible after the renovations, to serve as the batter's eye. The stadium was demolished by implosion on December 29, 2002.

Rosie Reds

The Rosie Reds, also known as Rosie Reds, Inc. is a philanthropic and social organization focused around the Cincinnati Reds. The organization was founded by a group of local Cincinnati women in June 1964 in response to the Reds' then-owner Bill DeWitt's proposal to move the team to San Diego. The group was formed by local residents Jeanette Heinze, Marge Zimmer, Ketty Kennedy, and Kate McIntyre, who had initially taken part in a committee formed by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways to prevent the team moving.The women decided that one of the ways to prevent the move was to show support for the team by showing up for games, both at home and on the road, which ended up being influential in the decision to keep the team in Cincinnati. Management for the Cincinnati Reds responded to the Rosie Reds by donating tickets to club members, sending speakers to club events, and by promoting the Rosie Reds during games. This boosted interest in membership and in 1971, during the days of The Big Red Machine, many men began requesting to join the Rosie Reds. In 2004 Tom Juengling became the president of the Rosie Reds, a position that had traditionally been held by a female member. Juengling held the position until 2006. In 2014 the Rosie Reds were honored with an exhibit in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.The name "Rosie" is an acronym for "Rooters Organized to Stimulate Interest and Enthusiasm in the Cincinnati Reds". The organization annually awards baseball endowments or scholarships, along with an award of $2,500 to the Powel Crosley Junior - Kid Glove Association. The Rosie Reds also support the Annual Kid Glove games held at Great American Ball Park. The organization's mascot, named Rosie Reds, is a female anthropomorphic baseball wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform and a large bow tie. She was designed by Cincinnati Post cartoonist Clarence Wiese.

Tony Pérez

Atanacio "Tony" Pérez Rigal (born May 14, 1942), is a Cuban-American former professional baseball player, manager and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He played as a first baseman and third baseman in Major League Baseball, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds. Variously nicknamed "Big Dog", "Big Doggie", "Doggie", and "The Mayor of Riverfront", the slugging seven-time All-Star earned two World Series rings during a twenty-three year playing career, and one World Series ring as a coach.

Along with fellow stars Pete Rose and Johnny Bench, Pérez was a key member of Cincinnati's celebrated "Big Red Machine". Following a thirteen-year initial stint with the Reds (1964–76), he played for the Montreal Expos (1977–79), Boston Red Sox (1980–82) and Philadelphia Phillies (1983) before returning to Cincinnati for his final three seasons (1984–86). He finished his career with a .279 batting average, 379 home runs, 1,652 runs batted in and 1,272 runs scored.

After retiring, Pérez went on to coach and later manage the Reds and the Florida Marlins. From 1993 through the 2017 season, he was Special Assistant to the General Manager with the Marlins.He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Trois-Rivières Aigles

Les Aigles de Trois-Rivières (English: Three Rivers Eagles) was the name of a Canadian minor league baseball franchise representing Trois-Rivières, Quebec, in the Double-A Eastern League between 1971 and 1977. The Eagles were an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and played at le Stade Municipal de Trois-Rivières.

Key personnel
World Series Championships (5)
National League pennants (9)
AA pennants (1)
Division titles (10)
Minor league affiliates


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