Top 5 Cincinnati Reds killers since 1970: The hitters edition
By Scott Boyken
5. Mike Schmidt feasted on Reds pitching during his Hall of Fame career.
He’s arguably the best third baseman to ever play the game, but Philadelphia Phillies great Mike Schmidt took delight in pulverizing the team just southwest of his hometown. A Dayton, Ohio native, Schmidt was a second-round draft pick of the Phillies in the 1971 MLB draft out of Ohio University.
To add salt to the wound, the Reds selected shortstop Mike Miley, who played a grand total of 84 games in his career with the California Angels, in the first-round instead of the young slugger just up I-75.
Schmitty wasted no time in reaching the majors. Making his debut in 1972, Schmidt was in Philadelphia to stay beginning in 1973 and made the first of his dozen All-Star appearances during the 1974 campaign.
Playing parts of 18 seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, Schmidt would collect 10 Gold Glove awards, six Silver Slugger trophies, three MVPs, and a World Series MVP for good measure.
However, there’s little Schmidt enjoyed more than visiting his home state. In 88 games at Riverfront Stadium, he hit 29 homers, his second-most in a visiting ballpark, while slashing .282/.396/.601 with 68 RBIs. For his career, Schmidt would take the Reds deep 55 times and compiled an impressive 1.010 OPS.
A frequent victim of Schmidt’s devastation was Reds left-hander Fred Norman. Facing the diminutive southpaw 43 times, Schmidt would reach base an astonishing 23 times. Compiling a slash line of .387/.558/.1.097 with six homers and a ridiculous 1.655 OPS, it’s little wonder why Reds manager Sparky Anderson had a head full of grey hair.