Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Tom Seaver v. Joe Nuxhall

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First Round Matchup No. 7 Tom Seaver v. No. 10 Joe Nuxhall


Major League Baseball’s best pitcher for nearly a decade with the New York Mets, an unsuspected trade just hours prior to the 1977 trade deadline sent the Cy Young Award winner and routine MVP candidate to the Cincinnati Reds. Tom Terrific was no longer pushing 300 strikeouts, 300 innings or complete game after complete game, but he was still a borderline ace with more All-Star appearances to show for it.

After leading the league in ERA thrice, strikeouts in five different seasons, surpassing the 20-win threshold four times, winning the Rookie of the Year and three Cy Young Awards, the Reds all but stole Seaver from the Big Apple. He finished the ’77 season by winning another 14 games (21 for the season), 14 of his 20 starts were complete games, and his 2.34 ERA was best on the team. He had a sub-1.00 WHIP and helped the Reds reach 88 wins and a runner-up finish in the division.

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The following season Seaver started 36 games and amassed 259 2/3 innings, while striking out 226 batters, pitching a no-hitter and making his 11th of 12 All-Star appearances. The Reds improved to 92 wins, but again were runner-ups. Seaver added three more strong seasons including a 1981 season where he went 14-2, made his final All-Star game and was runner-up to Fernando Valenzuela in the Cy Young voting.

The Franchise is a member of both the 300 win and 3,000 strikeout clubs, but finished his Reds career with 75 wins and 731 punchouts. As great as Seaver had been and stil lwas following his trade to the Reds, his acquisition was title-or-bust, and in that sense, Seaver never quite lived up to bringing a World Series title to Cincinnati.

Seaver was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2006 and was a first ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 98.84 percent of the vote — the second highest percentage ever — in 1992.


Joe Nuxhall was made famous by his five straight seasons of winning at least 10 games and his back-to-back All-Star appearances. I am also very bad at lying. Of course, Nuxhall became a popular and familiar face with the Cincinnati Reds when he made his Major League debut as a 15 year old in 1944. He pitched two thirds of an inning allowing two hits, walking five — including a wild pitch — and conceding five earned runs. So something like a 28-year-old J.J. Hoover I suppose.

But he was 15 years old and that’s nothing short of insane!

Nuxhall returned as a 23 year old to begin what became a 16-year career primarily spent all with the Reds. He did win at least 10 games in five straight seasons, led the league in shutouts (5) once, made back-to-back All-Star games in 1955 and 56 and was a mainstay in Cincinnati’s pitching staff for a decade and a half.

He never had the best raw stuff, nor did he embarass hitters with the strikeout mentality, but Nuxhall pitched to his strengths and was pretty darn good at it once he was old enough to drive. And as Pete Rose once said about Nuxhall:

"“He was the most competitive SOB I ever played with.”"

He ranks ninth in career wins with the Reds, sixth in innings pitched and third in strikeouts. Nuxhall was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1968.

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