Groundhog Day, Cincinnati Reds Edition


So Punxsutawney Phil saw no shadow. No biggie that there will be an early spring. Pitchers and catcher start to report next Monday. Isn’t that when spring actually begins anyway?

Feb 8, 2012; Pebble Beach CA, USA; Movie actor Bill Murray on the third hole during the celebrity challenge of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM (Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports)

I’m not sure how far off I’m going to be with my next statement. I have no means of knowing an exact number, but I’ll guess a fair number of you have seen Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. If you haven’t, a quick synopsis is as follows:

Murray plays a a somewhat arrogant TV weatherman in Pittsburgh. He is assigned to cover the annual festivities centering around Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney. While there, he finds himself trapped in a time loop where he replays that day over and over. Murray tries everything to stop the loop. There’s a moral to it all. You’ll have to see it yourself to gain that.

Anyway, I got to thinking. What are some things from the Reds past would Reds fans like to see over and over? I’m sure the list is long, but I found a few clips that will get us through the ones I personally enjoy.

1. Homer Bailey‘s no-hitter

Homer’s taken his fair share of criticism since his arrival in the Queen City. We’ve provided our fair share of such.

There’s is a bit of an oddity to Bailey’s no-no. It occurred exactly 24 years to the day in which Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers broke the record for consecutive scoreless innings record after hurling 10 shutout innings on September 28, 1988.

Another oddity: Hershiser’s record, after that game, was pushed to 59 innings and eventually extended another two-thirds of an inning in his first start of 1989. If you’re wondering, it was in Cincinnati where the streak came to an end as Todd Benzinger plated Barry Larkin in the bottom of the first.

One more: Hershiser was NOT the Dodgers Opening Day pitcher. That honor was given to Tim Belcher.

Last one: Who beat Hershiser? Mr. Perfect Tom Browning, the last Reds pitcher to toss a no-hitter prior to Bailey’s effort.

2. Votto’s walk-off grand slam

A late Mother’s Day gift for a few Reds fans that braved the weather.

A bit of history here, too. Votto became the first player in MLB history with three homers in a game where his final HR was a walk-off grand slam.

3. Tom Browning’s perfect game

September 16 will mark the 25th anniversary of Browning’s tremendous feat. Side note to Browning’s effort. (I’m full of trivial things today.) He beat Tim Belcher that day and Belcher took a no-hitter of his own into the 6th inning. Chris Sabo provided the game’s only run as he drove in Larkin in that 6th inning.

Whoa. Both Homer and Browning won their games with a 1-0 score.

4. 1990 World Series win

No one, aside from Red fans, gave the Good Guys any shot of beating Tony LaRussa and the Bash Brothers. Four games later, the world was in a collective awe as Todd Benzinger snagged the Carney Lansford pop-up to record Game 4’s final out.