The Big Red Machine was the nickname given to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team that dominated the National League from 1972 to 1976. Over that span, they won five division titles, three National League pennants and two World Series. Their combined record was 502-300.
Some place the beginning of the Big Red Machine's era at 1970, when they went 102-60 and won the National League pennant under rookie manager Sparky Anderson. They boasted a powerful lineup, mainly catcher Johnny Bench, first baseman Lee May, third baseman Tony Perez, left fielder Pete Rose, center fielder Bobby Tolan and right fielder Bernie Carbo. Additionally, the second baseman was Tommy Helms and the shortstops were both Woody Woodward and the young Dave Concepción. The pitching was questionable, but outstanding seasons by Jim Merritt and Wayne Simpson helped the situation. Wayne Granger, Clay Carroll and Pedro Borbon helped to form an outstanding bullpen.
In 1971, however, the Reds posted a losing record and were not in contention for the division title. The acquisition of Joe Morgan the following season cemented the most famous Reds lineup of the era.
Although Tony Pérez departed the team after the 1976 season, some extend the Big Red Machine era until the 1978 season, after which Pete Rose left the team and Sparky Anderson was fired. The Reds finished in second place in both 1977 and 1978.
Also, while the primary use of the nickname is to refer to the 1970s era team, the nickname is also sometimes used to refer to the current team, especially if the team is enjoying success at the time.
Key team members and their positions[edit | edit source]
- Johnny Bench, catcher
- Tony Pérez, first base
- Joe Morgan, second base
- Pete Rose, third base
- Dave Concepción, shortstop
- George Foster, left field
- César Gerónimo, center field
- Ken Griffey, Sr., right field
- Sparky Anderson, manager