Cincinnati Reds – Where were they on 9/11?

Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /
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With the fifteenth anniversary of September 11th, it seems like a good time to remember where the Cincinnati Reds were in 2001.

2001 was a year of change for the Cincinnati Reds.  In left field they were transitioning from Dmitri Young to Adam Dunn under the tutelage of Bob Boone.  It was also the year that Pokey Reese first played more games at shortstop than an aging Barry Larkin.

On September 10, game #144, the Reds lost to the Chicago Cubs 8-2 to fall to 58-86.  They would go 8-10 the rest of the way after MLB would shut its doors for a full week.  The Reds beat the Cubs in their first game back 6-5.

On September 10 the Reds started Chris Reitsma and saw his record fall to 7-15 with the loss.  Reitsma was a rookie that year and made 29 starts in 36 appearances.  He would remain a starter in 2002, before changing into a reliever. He would find his most success in three years in the Atlanta bullpen.  During this game the Reds had Young at first, Dunn in left and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr., in center.  No one knew what about to happen.

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September 18th provided the Reds a distraction from what was going on in the country.

On September 18 the Reds returned home to Cincinnati to face the Cubs after the commissioner decided that the country waited long enough for a distraction.  The Cubs started Jon Lieber for the second game in a row, while the Reds went with the closest thing they had to an ace in 2001, Elmer Dessens.  The game was a close back and forth affair.  The win went to Reds all-time saves leader, Danny Graves, who pitched the top of the ninth before the Reds won it in the bottom of the inning.

In contrast to the game on the 10th, Dunn was in right, Young in left and Sean Casey was at first.  Dunn even threw out a runner at third.  The Big Donkey went two for five with a run scored and two strikeouts. Young also had a pair of hits to pace the Reds.  Young would be replaced the following year by Austin Kearns.

The Reds played in the old Riverfront Stadium in 2001.  Griffey led them in home runs with 22.  Young came close with 21 of his own.  Graves led the bullpen with 32 saves.  Dessens went 10-14 and made 34 starts to lead a weak starting rotation.

2001 was a special year that saw the Reds have four elite offensive players in Casey, Griffey, Dunn, and Young.  Casey led the team in batting average, while the other three provided the power.

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In 2002 Bob Boone was still managing the Cincinnati Reds.  Larkin returned to health and shortstop, but Griffey was bit by the injury bug.  Their record improved to 78-84.  Jimmy Haynes was the ace by name, but Dessens and Reitsma were still around.  Aaron Boone tied Dunn for the team lead with 26 home runs.