1890 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1890 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League with a record of 77–55, 10½ behind the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. Directly after the season ended, owner Aaron Stern sold the club to Al Johnson.

1890 Cincinnati Reds
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)Aaron S. Stern[1] & Al Johnson
Manager(s)Tom Loftus
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Regular season

After playing eight seasons in the American Association, the Cincinnati Red Stockings jumped to the National League for the 1890 season, and renamed themselves the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds hired Tom Loftus as their new manager. He last managed the Cleveland Spiders in 1889, leading them to a 61–72 record and a sixth-place finish in the National League.

In the off-season, the Reds acquired Lefty Marr from the Columbus Solons for $2000. Marr had hit .306 with a league high 15 triples for the Solons in 1889. He had also appeared in eight games with the Red Stockings in 1886. The team also purchased the contract of pitcher Frank Foreman from the Baltimore Orioles. Foreman was 23–21 with a 3.52 with the Orioles. Cincinnati also signed two 21-year-olds, catcher Jerry Harrington and pitcher Billy Rhines. Joe Knight, who last appeared in the majors with the Philadelphia Quakers in 1884 as a pitcher, was signed to play the outfield.

John Reilly led the club offensively, hitting .300 with team highs with six home runs and 86 RBI. Bid McPhee had a .256 average with three homers and 39 RBI, as well as team highs with 125 runs and 55 stolen bases. Knight led the club with a .312 average with four homers and 67 RBI in his only season in the majors. Rhines led the pitching staff, as he had a 28–17 record with league best 1.95 ERA.

Season summary

The Reds played their first National League game on April 19, 1890. Despite a home run from Bug Holliday, Cincinnati lost to the Chicago Colts by a 5–4 score. After hovering around the .500 level, as the Reds had a record of 11–11 after twenty-two games, the team went on a 22–2 run to boost their record to 33–13, and take a four-game lead over the second place Brooklyn Bridegrooms. Cincinnati would hold on to their first place lead until going into a slump in which the Reds lost ten of eleven games to fall into fourth place, 5.5 games out of first. By the time the season ended, the Reds had a 77–55 record, finishing in fourth place, 10½ games behind the Bridegrooms.

Season standings

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Brooklyn Bridegrooms 8643 0.667 58–16 28–27
Chicago Colts 8353 0.610 48–24 35–29
Philadelphia Phillies 7853 0.595 9 54–21 24–32
Cincinnati Reds 7755 0.583 10½ 50–23 27–32
Boston Beaneaters 7657 0.571 12 43–23 33–34
New York Giants 6368 0.481 24 37–27 26–41
Cleveland Spiders 4488 0.333 43½ 30–37 14–51
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 23113 0.169 66½ 14–25 9–88

Record vs. opponents

Boston 6–118–1111–813–711–8–111–916–3
Brooklyn 11–611–99–717–310–810–818–2
Chicago 11–89–1112–8–213–713–68–10–117–3
Cincinnati 8–117–98–12–213–414–611–916–4
Cleveland 7–133–177–134–136–12–25–14–112–6–1
New York 8–11–18–106–136–1412–6–26–1117–3–1
Philadelphia 9–118–1010–8–19–1114–5–111–617–2
Pittsburgh 3–162–183–174–166–12–13–17–12–17


1890 Cincinnati Reds
  • John Dolan
  • Jesse Duryea
  • Frank Foreman
  • Billy Rhines
  • Lee Viau
  • Kid Baldwin
  • Jerry Harrington
  • Jim Keenan


Outfielders Manager
  • Tom Loftus

Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CJerry Harrington6523658.246123
1BJohn Reilly133553166.300686
2BBid McPhee132528135.256339
SSOllie Beard122492132.268372
3BArlie Latham4116441.250015
OFJoe Knight127481150.312467
OFLefty Marr130527157.298173
OFBug Holliday131518140.270475

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Tony Mullane8128679.276034
Jim Keenan5420228.139319
Hugh Nicol5018639.210019
Kid Baldwin227211.153010
Billy Clingman7277.25905

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Billy Rhines46401.128171.95182
Jesse Duryea33274.016122.92108
Tony Mullane25209.012102.2491
Frank Foreman25198.113103.9557
Lee Viau1390.0754.5041
John Dolan218.0114.509


  1. "Reds owners". The Cincinnati Enquirer. November 3, 2005. p. 20. Retrieved September 14, 2020 via newspapers.com.
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