Thursday, February 17, 2011

1983 Cincinnati Reds

We reach the last place team in the NL West. The Reds were improved from the previous season though. The big news in 1983 was that this was the final season for long time Red and arguably the best catcher of all time, Johnny Bench.

Best Player & Pitcher: Mario Soto, he finished 2nd in Cy Young voting in '83. I think he gets overlooked as the heart of his career fell in between the Big Red Machine and the team that won the World Series in 1990, but from 1980-1984, Mario Soto was one of the best in the game. He led the league in complete games in 1983, so this may have something to do with why he fell off after '84.

All-Stars: Johnny Bench, Mario Soto

Hall-of-Famers: Johnny Bench

Rookie Card of the Year: Gary Redus...had the longest career of all the players with a rookie card on this team. He was largely a platoon outfielder through 1994 with the Reds, Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, and Rangers.

Other rookies: Dann Bilardello, Ben Hayes, Tom Lawless, Brad Lesley, Dave Van Gorder, Duane Walker

First Red card: Rich Gale, Alan Knicely, Russ Nixon, Charlie Puleo

Most interesting non-Topps card: Brad Lesley, not much of a playing career, playing for the Reds and Brewers through 1985...but checking out his wikipedia page, he apparently was a fixture on a Japanese game show and appeared in several sports movies.

__ TT 11 C Dann Bilardello CIN
__ TO 165 1B Dan Driessen CIN
__ TO 269 2B Ron Oester CIN
__ TO 720 SS Dave Concepcion CIN

3B Nick Esasky
__ TT 94 LF Gary Redus CIN
__ TO 449 CF Eddie Milner CIN
__ TO 475 RF Cesar Cedeno CIN
__ TO 34 OF Paul Householder CIN
__ TO 60 CI Johnny Bench CIN
__ TO 243 OF Duane Walker CIN

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 215 SP Mario Soto CIN
__ TO 139 SP Bruce Berenyi CIN
__ TO 658 SP Frank Pastore CIN
__ TO 191 SP Joe Price CIN
__ TT 88 SP Charlie Puleo CIN

Relief Pitchers

CL Bill Scherrer

SP Jeff Russell

RP Ted Power
__ TO 86 RP Tom Hume CIN
__ TT 35 RP Rich Gale CIN
__ FL 591 RP Ben Hayes CIN

Other Players
__ TO 632 C Alex Trevino CIN

IF Kelly Paris
__ TT 57 C Alan Knicely CIN

SS Tom Foley

3B Wayne Krenchicki

UT Jeff Jones

CI Skeeter Barnes

OF Dallas Williams

C Steve Christmas
__ TO 684 UT Rafael Landestoy CIN
__ DO 547 RP Brad Lesley CIN

RP Keefe Cato
__ TO 296 RP Greg Harris CIN

Minor Leagues
__ TO 423 MN Tom Lawless CIN
__ TO 607 MN Charlie Liebrandt CIN
__ TO 322 MN Dave Van Gorder CIN

__ TO 756 MG Russ Nixon CIN


  1. Soto really was a great pitcher in the early 80's, I think he is also kind of remembered as being a guy that, when he was starting, Pete Rose wouldn't bet on the Reds to win.

    Bench has a "Highlight" card (with Perry and Yaz) in the next year's ('84) set, but not a regular card.

  2. Interesting stuff on Soto and his connection to Rose's gambling...looking into it, if Rose really did ride him too hard to win bets, then I think Rose really does have no business in the Hall. He ruined a potential Hall-of-Fame career.

    Here is an interesting article, although an opinion piece that gives some insight into Rose ruining Soto's career...

  3. I just commented on that article - I don't think it's fair to link the gambling to him overworking Soto. He put everyone on 3 days rest that year. 10 years earlier, most teams used 4-man rotations.

    I don't think he should be in the hall - I mostly can't stand the guy. He was one of my favorites growing up, and I believed his lies for 15 years. Once he admitted, I'm not going to be as forgiving and put him on that pedestal like the rest of Cincinnati.

    Also, I think the other (and to me more relevant) part about the Soto-Rose thing is that Rose would bet on games, but in 86 and 87, when Soto was a dud - Rose supposedly never bet on the games Soto started. That's a big counter to the "I never bet them to lose" - because betting on Browning's day then not betting on Soto's day is essentially the same signal to the gambling.