In appreciation of the 1999 Reds
This season has been a celebration of 150 years of Reds baseball. During the first half we've remembered moments and players throughout the history of the franchise. The Reds are wearing 15 different throwback uniforms during the season. But there is a particular team that gets lost in the shuffle and feels like it has fallen through the cracks as time has gone on. A book hasn't been written about them. A reunion wasn't planned for them. It's the 1999 Reds.
I got an email I got from listener Tony Casnellie on January 29th:
This is the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Reds which is one of my favorite teams. Wouldn't it be great to have the Reds honor that team this season and bring back those players? They do such a great job with these types of reunions.
Damn you, Al Lieter!
I've kept that email and thought about that team often this season. That team did not win the division. It didn't even win a playoff game. But man, that was a fun team to watch that summer. That team had fun personalities, big personalities and multiple players that had career years.
The season really came out of nowhere. The 1998 edition finished just 77-85. The 1999 team went 96-67 under Jack McKeon.
The 96 wins were the most by a Reds team since winning 102 in 1976. The Reds started the season 0-3. They got to 32 games over .500 at one point.
Their biggest division lead was one game. Their biggest deficit was seven games. They reeled off 10 straight wins from June 21 to July 1.
Ultimately, the Reds wound up losing a Wild Card tie-breaker game vs the Mets after a soul crushing and rain plagued series in Milwaukee cost them the division title.
But I smile when I think of the likes of Sean Casey and Pokey Reese, Barry Larkin and Greg Vaughn, Pete Harnisch and Danny Graves.
Vaughn came over in a trade and immediately became the leader and ruler of the clubhouse....and hit 45 homers.
The team scored 865 runs, which still stands as the franchise record for runs scored in a season (since 1900).
The Reds stole 164 bases (Reese 38, Mike Cameron 38, Larkin 30). They have not topped that total since. They stole 77 last season.
The Reds hit 201 homers, 3rd in the NL. 10 players reached double figures.
On May 19, the Reds beat the Rockies 24−12. Jeffrey Hammonds three home runs. The Reds totaled six homers, 28 hits and 15 extra base hits.
On September 4, the Reds set a franchise record when they clubbed nine home runs in a 22-3 win over the Phillies.
Harnisch led the staff with 16 wins. Graves saved 27 games. Scott Williamson won Rookie of the Year with 19 saves and 12 wins.
The team payroll was $42M. The Yankees led MLB with a payroll of $88M. Vaughn was the highest paid Red at $5.6M.
I think we should do a segment tonight about the '99 Reds....the players and your memories.
Joins us to discuss at 8:05 tonight on Sports Talk.
HERE is the roster and stats