Cincinnati Reds: The Most Memorable Home Runs in Reds History
The Cincinnati Reds are a team full of magical home runs in their history.
From Tony Perez in Game 7 of the 1975 World Series all the way up to Jay Bruce hitting a solo shot to send the Reds to the postseason.
Recently, a blogger I came across wrote an article giving his thoughts on every teams most important Home Run throughout their history. For the Reds, he listed Tony Perez's game 7 homer to wake up the Big Red Machine as they came back to win the 1975 World Series over the Boston Red Sox.
After reading this blog I got to thinking about many great home runs in this team's history. I talked to many people as they gave me there picks to be added to this list.
Some are classic memories, and some may be stretching it a bit. I felt, though that they were all worth sharing.
1995: Barry Larkin Become the First Short Stop in History to Go 30/30
When people talk about how special the 1995 Reds were, Barry Larkin is always the first player to be named.
The 1995 NL MVP led the Reds to the NLCS where they eventually lost to the Atlanta Braves.
But what always gets brought up is Larkin hitting his 30th home run of the season. The 30/30 Club is still to this day a very special club in the baseball world and Barry Larkin stands as the first ever shortstop to be in that club.
Hey Cooperstown if you're reading this, put him in!
2004: Ken Griffey Jr Hits His 500th Career Home Run on Fathers Day
No matter how bad the Reds were in the 2000s you can never take away the moments created by Ken Griffey Jr.
It's Father's Day. The date is June 20, 2004 and Griffey steps into the box at Busch Stadium, his family is in attendance and sure enough takes a pitch over the wall to hit his 500th career home run.
After touching the bases his teammates all stand at home plate to congratulate him. After celebrating with everyone he walks over to his father Ken Griffey Sr, and family to celebrate the moment with them.
This is probably the last time Cardinals fans will ever cheer for a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
1972 NLCS: Johnny Bench Wakes Up the Big Red Machine to Advance to the Series
In Game 5 of the 1972 NLCS the Reds were just three outs away from elimination.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth just an inning away from advancing to the World Series. The Pirates brought in Pitcher Dave Giusti to face none other than the 1972 National League MVP Johnny Bench.
Giutsi throws Johnny a bad change up that Bench takes full advantage of to tie the game and keep the Reds alive. This leads to Tony Perez getting a single, being replaced by George Foster who goes on to score the winning run on a wild pitch and the Reds advance to the 1972 World Series.
If you're not tired of reading about Johnny Bench there's more...
1983: Johnny Bench's Curtain Call
September 17th, 1983 was known as Johnny Bench night at Riverfront stadium.
This would be the last time that Johnny Bench would ever play a game of baseball again. Before the game Bench spoke to the crowd thanking them for everything during his tenure with the Reds and told the crowd he would try "Hard as Hell to play good for you guys tonight."
Sure enough Bench delivered, in his final at bat of his Major League Career Johnny Bench hits his 389th career home run with a huge standing ovation from the crowd.
1990: Eric Davis Gets the Party Started in the World Series
In the 1990 World Series the Reds were considered the underdogs against the American League champion Oakland Athletics.
Many stories have been told about how the A's didn't take the Reds seriously and didn't feel the Reds could beat them. But in Game 1 of the World Series Eric Davis made sure they knew the Reds could play.
Davis stepped into the batters box for his first ever World Series at bat against Oakland Ace Dave Stewart. Davis hit a shot to get the Reds adrenaline pumping and leading to a Sweep of the A's.
2010: Jay Bruce Sends the Reds to the Post Season for the First Time in 15 Years
Jay Bruce's walk-off home run to defeat the Houston Astros and help the Reds clinch the 2010 National League Central Division is always going to be one of those games I will be proud to say I was there.
The first pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning Bruce smashes the ball to Center field bouncing it off of the batters eye at Great American Ball Park to a screaming ovation from the sell out crowd is just electric. It was one of those moments where everyone in the audience just watched the ball soar into Center Field for what felt like five minutes.
Jay won that game in what has become typical Reds fashion and will always be remembered for that.
1975: Tony Perez Starts the Game 7 Rally to Defeat the Boston Red Sox
We've all seen the clip of Carlton Fisk hitting the Walk off home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series to force a Game 7 and give the Boston Red Sox hope of breaking the curse.
For five innings it looked like it would happen. Going into the top of the sixth inning the Red Sox were in the lead 3-0. With a runner on, Tony Perez stepped up to face pitcher Bill Lee. Perez hit a huge home run to make it a 3-2 game and give the Reds hope to comeback and win the first World Championship for the franchise since 1940.
That is exactly what ended up happening as the Reds rallied to score two more runs and win game seven by a final of 4-3.
There are many home runs that were listed I had to eliminate but looking at the ones I put in this article they felt appropriate for all generations of Reds fans.
Not one of them stands out to me as the most important but these are really the best of the best.
Any thoughts? Perhaps a Sequel is necessary?