1917 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1917 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League with a record of 78–76, 20 games behind the New York Giants.

1917 Cincinnati Reds
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)Garry Herrmann
Manager(s)Christy Mathewson
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It was a very quiet off-season for the Reds heading into the 1917 season. Cincinnati purchased the contract of pitcher Roy Sanders from the Kansas City Blues of the American Association (20th century) for $7500. In 45 games with the Blues, Sanders was 18-16 with a 3.80 ERA, pitching 277 innings for the club.

Regular season

On April 23, the Reds purchased the contract of legendary athlete Jim Thorpe from the New York Giants. Thorpe, known for winning two gold medals at the 1912 Summer Olympics, also played with the Canton Bulldogs football club in the Ohio League. He had minimal playing time with the Giants from 1913–1915 before spending the 1916 season in the minor leagues.

On May 2, in the "double no-hitter" between Fred Toney of the Reds and Hippo Vaughn of the Chicago Cubs, Thorpe drove in the winning run in the 10th inning.[1] Late in the season, he was sold back to the Giants. It is still the only occasion in major league history in which a regulation nine innings was played without either team logging a hit.

The Reds picked up pitcher Dutch Ruether from the Chicago Cubs on July 17 off of waivers. In 10 games with Chicago, Ruether was 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA. Just over two weeks later, on August 1, the Reds make another waiver claim, picking up outfielder Sherry Magee from the Boston Braves. Magee, in his 14th season in the National League, had a .256 average with one home run and 21 RBI when he was picked up. Over his career, Magee led the NL in RBI three times (1907, 1910 and 1914). His best season was in 1910 with the Philadelphia Phillies, as Magee led the league with a .331 batting average, scored 110 runs and drove in 123 runners.

On August 18, the Reds returned Jim Thorpe to the New York Giants. In 77 games, Thorpe batted .247 with four home runs and 36 RBI.

Season summary

Cincinnati had a tough start to the season, as after 44 games, the team sat in seventh place with a poor 18-26 record. The team turned their season around, putting together a run of 36-17 over their next 53 games to improve their overall record to 54-43 and moved into second place in the National League, however, the team was 7.5 games behind the first place New York Giants. Over the next few weeks, Cincinnati struggled and fell completely out of the pennant race. The club finished the year with a 78-76 record and in fourth place. The 78 wins was the Reds highest total since winning 79 games in 1905. This also was the first time since 1909 that the team finished with a winning record. Cincinnati's attendance also rose to 269,056, their highest total since 1912.

Outfielder Edd Roush led the National League with a .341 batting average, and added four home runs and 67 RBI in 136 games in his first full season with the Reds. Third baseman Heinie Groh hit .304 with one home run and 53 RBI in 156 games. First baseman Hal Chase tied for the team lead with four home runs, and led the club with 86 RBI while batting .277. Outfielder Greasy Neale led Cincinnati with 25 stolen bases, and had a .294 batting average with three home runs and 33 RBI.

The pitching staff was led by Fred Toney, who put together a 24-16 record and a 2.20 ERA in 43 games. Toney led the Reds in innings pitched at 339.2 and had 31 complete games. Pete Schneider joined Toney in the 20 win club, as he went 20-19 with a 2.10 ERA in 46 games. Schneider pitched 333.2 innings, had 24 complete games and led the Reds by striking out 138 batters. Hod Eller spent most of his time pitching in relief, as he put together a 10-5 record with a 2.36 ERA in 37 games, 26 in relief.

Season standings

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Giants 9856 0.636 50–28 48–28
Philadelphia Phillies 8765 0.572 10 46–29 41–36
St. Louis Cardinals 8270 0.539 15 38–38 44–32
Cincinnati Reds 7876 0.506 20 39–38 39–38
Chicago Cubs 7480 0.481 24 35–42 39–38
Boston Braves 7281 0.471 25½ 35–42 37–39
Brooklyn Robins 7081 0.464 26½ 36–38 34–43
Pittsburgh Pirates 51103 0.331 47 25–53 26–50

Record vs. opponents

Boston 13–9–111–1110–12–27–1511–1114–86–15–1
Brooklyn 9–13–17–1510–129–13–29–11–116–6–110–11
Chicago 11–1115–78–14–17–15–16–16–117–510–12
Cincinnati 12–10–212–1014–8–111–118–1412–109–13
New York 15–713–9–215–7–111–1114–816–6–114–8
Philadelphia 11–1111–9–116–6–114–88–1414–813–9
Pittsburgh 8–146–16–15–1710–126–16–18–148–14–1
St. Louis 15–6–111–1012–1013–98–149–1314–8–1

Notable transactions


1917 Cincinnati Reds
  • Rube Bressler
  • Hod Eller
  • Joe Engel
  • Elmer Knetzer
  • Clarence Mitchell
  • Scott Perry
  • Herman Pillette
  • Mike Regan
  • Jimmy Ring
  • Dutch Ruether
  • Roy Sanders
  • Pete Schneider
  • Fred Toney


Outfielders Manager

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
CIvey Wingo121399106.266239
1BHal Chase152602167.277486
2BDave Shean13144293.210235
3BHeinie Groh156599182.304153
SSLarry Kopf148573146.255226
OFEdd Roush136522178.341467
OFGreasy Neale121385113.294333
OFTommy Griffith11536398.270145

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
Jim Thorpe7725162.247436
Manuel Cueto5614028.200111
Sherry Magee4513744.321023
Bill McKechnie4813434.254015
Tommy Clarke5811032.291113
Emil Huhn235110.19603
Harry Smith8172.11801
Gus Getz7144.28603


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
Fred Toney43339.224162.20123
Pete Schneider46333.220192.10138
Mike Regan32216.011102.7150
Roy Sanders214.0014.503
Joe Engel18.0015.632

Other 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
Clarence Mitchell32159.19153.2237
Hod Eller37152.11052.3677
Jimmy Ring2488.0374.4033
Dutch Ruether735.2123.5312
Scott Perry413.1006.754
Rube Bressler29.0006.002

Relief pitchers

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

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Elmer Knetzer110012.967
Herman Pillette100018.000



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