Cincinnati, Ohio, is the home of professional baseball. On June 1, 1869, the first game played was by professionals, who received pay for participating in the game. The Cincinnati Reds won over the amateur club Mansfield Independents. They won by a score of 48-14 and earned the salary of eleven thousand dollars in the season of 1869. In the same year, the Red Stockings won over 100 games consecutively until June 14, 1870, when they experienced their first defeat. A lot of baseball historians questioned the number of games because most of the games involved amateur groups. Despite all the upheaval, the Red Stockings were able to win 57 matches against both professional and semi-professional teams.
The Reds was a tough team to beat during their early decades of the establishment. The team was a pioneer member of the National League in 1876. However, they were expelled by the organization in 1880, because they sell beers during their team’s games. Ten years after their expulsion from the National League, they regained their membership.
The Reds defeated the Chicago White Sox and gained their first World Series in 1919. The team once again faced a scandal when White Sox players admitted to throwing the series to the Cincinnati Reds. Nevertheless, The Reds continued to be a contender in the next three decades. In 1939 and 1940, the Reds won the National League and in the same year, won the World Series.
The team held its games at League Park, which underwent several changes in its amenities and name. League Park changed its name to Redland Field in 1912, and then to Powel Field. It was changed after the name of Powel Crosley, the team’s new owner. The Reds continued playing in this field until 1970. Crosley Field held the first-ever night game on May 24, 1935. It was the first of its kind in Major League Baseball’s history. In the 1935 season alone, the Reds held seven night games, which resulted in the improvement of the viewer’s attendance. On average, there were 18,000 fans every night of each game. The Cincinnati Reds participated in the first televised baseball game in 1939. The team’s fans stuffed the ballot box for the 1957 All-Star Team. The Reds won the majority of the National League team’s starting line-up. The head office of the National League removed three players out of the eight from the line-up.
In the 1970s, the Cincinnati Reds experienced a whole new level of baseball greatness. Pete Rose was the first professional baseball player to sign a six-figure contract in 1970. The Cincinnati Red Stockings relocated to the Riverfront Stadium in the same year. In 1972, the Reds won the National League pennant, following Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench’s addition to the team. The club was unstoppable and won the World Series in 1990. However, Pete Rose faced a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball due to gambling issues. The owner of Reds, Marge Schott, made negative comments which brought the team to a bad light.