1970 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1970 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West title with a record of 102 wins and 60 losses, 14½ games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games in the 1970 National League Championship Series to win their first National League pennant since 1961. The team then lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970 World Series in five games.

1970 Cincinnati Reds
1970 National League Champion
1970 National League West Division Champion
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)Francis Dale
General manager(s)Bob Howsam
Manager(s)Sparky Anderson
Local televisionWLWT
(Ed Kennedy, Pee Wee Reese)
Local radioWLW
(Jim McIntyre, Joe Nuxhall)
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The Reds were managed by first-year manager George "Sparky" Anderson and played their home games at Crosley Field during the first part of the year, before moving into the then-new Riverfront Stadium on June 30.


Regular season

Buoyed by a lineup that included third baseman Tony Pérez, NL MVP catcher Johnny Bench, right fielder Pete Rose, center fielder Bobby Tolan and first baseman Lee May, the Reds got off to a 70–30 start. The Reds, who had been near the bottom of the NL in pitching in 1969, were aided by a young staff that included 18-game winner Gary Nolan (22), rookies Wayne Simpson (21) and Don Gullett (19), 20-game winner Jim Merritt (26) and record-setting reliever Wayne Granger, who appeared in a then-record 90 games in 1969.[8] Simpson, a hard-throwing former first-round draft pick, started the season 9–1 and earned an all-star berth. He was 14–3 before he suffered a season-ending arm injury with 30 games left.

Season standings

NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 10260 0.630 57–24 45–36
Los Angeles Dodgers 8774 0.540 14½ 39–42 48–32
San Francisco Giants 8676 0.531 16 48–33 38–43
Houston Astros 7983 0.488 23 44–37 35–46
Atlanta Braves 7686 0.469 26 42–39 34–47
San Diego Padres 6399 0.389 39 31–50 32–49

Record vs. opponents

Atlanta 8–45–139–96–126–66–67–56–69–97–117–5
Chicago 4–87–57–56–613–57–119–98–109–37–57–11
Cincinnati 13–55–715–313–57–58–47–58–48–109–99–3
Houston 9–95–73–158–108–46–64–86–614–410–86–6
Los Angeles 12–66–65–1310–88–47–56–56–611–79–97–5
Montreal 6–65–135–74–84–810–811–79–96–66–67–11
New York 6–611–74–86–65–78–1013–56–126–66–612–6
Philadelphia 5-79–95–78–45–67–115–134–149–38–48–10
Pittsburgh 6–610–84–86–66–69–912–614–46–64–812–6
San Diego 9–93–910–84–147–116–66–63–96–65–134–8
San Francisco 11–75–79–98–109–96–66–64–88–413–57–5
St. Louis 5–711–73–96–65–711–76–1210–86–128–45–7

Notable transactions

Riverfront Stadium

Riverfront Stadium was opened in 1970, and it was the home of the Cincinnati Reds National League baseball team and the Cincinnati Bengals National Football League team. Located on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, the stadium was best known as the home of "The Big Red Machine", as the Reds were often called in the 1970s. Construction began on February 1, 1968, and was completed at a cost of less than $50 million. On June 30, 1970, the Reds hosted the Atlanta Braves in their grand opening, with Hank Aaron hitting the first ever home run at Riverfront. Two weeks later on July 14, Riverfront hosted the 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. This game is most remembered for the often-replayed collision at home plate between the home-grown Pete Rose and catcher Ray Fosse of the Cleveland Indians.


1970 Cincinnati Reds
Pitchers Catchers


  • 22 Ángel Bravo
  • 25 Bernie Carbo
  • 17 Ty Cline
  • 11 Hal McRae
  • 14 Pete Rose
  • 16 Jimmy Stewart
  • 28 Bobby Tolan


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
CJohnny Bench158605177.29345148
1BLee May153605153.2533494
2BTommy Helms150575136.237145
3BTony Pérez158587186.31740129
SSDave Concepción10126569.260119
LFBernie Carbo125365113.3102163
CFBobby Tolan152589186.3161680
RFPete Rose159649205.3161552

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
Woody Woodward10026459.223114
Hal McRae7016541.248823
Pat Corrales4310625.236110
Jimmy Stewart10110528.26718
Darrel Chaney579522.23214
Angel Bravo656518.27703
Ty Cline486317.27008
Frank Duffy6112.18200
Bill Plummer481.12500
Jay Ward630.00000

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
Gary Nolan37250.21873.27181
Jim Merritt35234.020124.08136
Jim McGlothlin35210.214103.5997
Wayne Simpson26176.01433.02119

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
Tony Cloninger30148.0973.8356
Milt Wilcox522.1312.4213
Jim Maloney716.20111.347
Mel Behney510.0024.502

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
Wayne Granger6765352.6638
Clay Carroll6594162.5963
Don Gullett445262.4376
Ray Washburn354406.9237
Pedro Borbón120206.756
John Noriega80008.006
Bo Belinsky30004.506


1970 National League Championship Series

Game One

October 3, Three Rivers Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Cincinnati 000 000 0003 390
Pittsburgh 000 000 0000 080
W: Gary Nolan (1–0)  L: Dock Ellis (0–1)  SV: Clay Carroll (1)
HRs: None

Game Two

October 4, Three Rivers Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 001 010 010 381
Pittsburgh 000 001 000 152
W: Jim Merritt (1–0)  L: Luke Walker (0–1)  SV: Don Gullett (1)
HRs: CIN – Bobby Tolan (1)

Game Three

October 5, Riverfront Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 100 010 000 2100
Cincinnati 200 000 01X 350
W: Milt Wilcox (1–0)  L: Bob Moose (0–1)  SV: Don Gullett (2)
HRs: CINTony Pérez (1), Johnny Bench (1)

1970 World Series

After their win in the NLCS, additional injuries to Merritt and Granger caught up to the Reds against the Orioles. In three of their losses, the Reds had leads of 3–0, 4–0 and 3–0. The Reds' only win came in Game 4 on a Lee May 3-run home run in the eighth inning.

1970 World Series (4–1): Baltimore Orioles (A.L.) over Cincinnati Reds (N.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore Orioles 436 385 220 33505
Cincinnati Reds 724 011 230 20353
Total Attendance: 253,183   Average Attendance: 50,637
Winning Player's Share: – $18,216,   Losing Player's Share– $13,688 *Includes Playoffs and World Series

Awards and honors

  • Johnny Bench, National League MVP Award (He was the youngest National League player in the 20th century to win the MVP Award.)[14]

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Indianapolis Indians American Association Vern Rapp
AA Asheville Tourists Southern League Jim Snyder
A Tampa Tarpons Florida State League Dick Kennedy
A-Short Season Sioux Falls Packers Northern League Russ Nixon
Rookie GCL Reds Gulf Coast League Ron Plaza



  1. Mel Queen at Baseball Reference
  2. Pedro Ramos at Baseball Reference
  3. Joaquín Andújar at Baseball Reference
  4. Pedro Borbón at Baseball Reference
  5. Jack Fisher at Baseball Reference
  6. Joel Youngblood at Baseball Reference
  7. Bo Belinsky at Baseball Reference
  8. Progressive Leaders & Records for Games Played
  9. Al Jackson at Baseball Reference
  10. Arturo DeFreites at Baseball-Reference
  11. Will McEnaney at Baseball-Reference
  12. Ray Knight at Baseball-Reference
  13. Clyde Mashore at Baseball Reference
  14. Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p. 152, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  15. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007


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