Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 1969 Cincinnati Reds

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Consequently, Frankie Frisch is listed on the Giants roster for the duration of his career while the Indians declare Rocky Colavito and the Mariners claim David Ortiz. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition.  Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.


OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams

OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams

OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams


The 1969 Cincinnati Reds          OWAR: 58.1     OWS: 362     OPW%: .619

Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1969 Reds recorded 100 victories and claimed the National League Western Division by 14 games over the Giants. Cincinnati topped the circuit in OWS and OWAR. GM Gabe Paul acquired 27 of the 40 ballplayers (68%) on the 1969 Reds roster.

Pete Rose (.348/16/82) notched his second straight batting title and paced the League with 120 runs scored. “Charlie Hustle” rapped 218 base knocks including 33 doubles and 11 triples while establishing personal-bests in OBP (.428) and SLG (.512). Jim Wynn aka the “Toy Cannon” unleashed 33 bombs, nabbed 23 bags, tallied 113 runs and topped the circuit with 148 bases on balls. Frank “The Judge” Robinson (.308/32/100) registered 111 aces and finished third in the MVP balloting. Third-sacker Tony “Big Dog” Perez belted 37 round-trippers, knocked in 122 runs and merited his third consecutive All-Star invite. “The Little General” Johnny Bench swatted 26 big-flies and drove in 90 runs during his sophomore season. Lee “Big Bopper” May crushed 38 moon-shots and plated 110 baserunners to earn his first appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic.

Johnny Bench places runner-up to Yogi Berra in the All-Time Catcher rankings according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Robinson (3rd-RF), Rose (5th-RF), Wynn (10th-CF), Perez (13th-1B), Vada Pinson (18th-CF), Curt Flood (36th-CF), May (47th-1B), Leo Cardenas (50th-SS), Johnny Edwards (53rd-C), Tommy Harper (56th-LF), Cookie Rojas (69th-2B), Cesar Tovar (79th-CF), Tony Gonzalez (82nd-CF) and Tommy Helms (99th-2B).

Pete Rose LF/RF 4.83 36.77
Cesar Tovar 2B/CF 3.37 20.31
Jim Wynn CF 7.36 36.09
Frank Robinson RF 5.31 31.84
Tony Perez 3B 5.77 30.41
Johnny Bench C 5.69 29.93
Lee May 1B 3.31 25.11
Leo Cardenas SS 2.81 23.74
Art Shamsky RF 2.61 16.22
Curt Flood CF 2.14 19.71
Johnny Edwards C 1.94 14.95
Tony Gonzalez LF 1.89 17.19
Tommy Harper 3B 1.78 16.64
Brant Alyea LF 0.62 6.52
Joe Azcue C 0.61 6.49
Don Pavletich C 0.5 4.96
Vada Pinson RF 0.11 10.97
Chico Ruiz 2B 0.03 2.68
Clyde Mashore -0.01 0
Bernie Carbo -0.04 0
Vic Davalillo RF -0.21 2.26
Fred Kendall C -0.26 0.31
Gus Gil 3B -0.64 1.8
Cookie Rojas 2B -0.66 2.56
Len Boehmer 1B -0.91 0.58
Tommy Helms 2B -0.93 5.57
Darrel Chaney SS -1.23 1.8

Mike Cuellar (23-11, 2.38) earned the Cy Young Award while fashioning the lowest WHIP (1.005) of his career. Claude Osteen (20-15, 2.66) delivered career-bests in victories, innings pitched (321), strikeouts (183) and WHIP (1.143). Jim Maloney contributed a 12-5 record with a 2.77 ERA and Casey Cox (12-7, 2.78) furnished strikingly similar statistics. Diego Segui anchored the bullpen with 12 wins, 12 saves and a 3.35 ERA.

Claude Osteen SP 5.09 24.65
Mike Cuellar SP 4.91 24.57
Jim Maloney SP 3.93 14.63
Casey Cox SP 2.14 12.03
Gary Nolan SP 1.71 7.02
Diego Segui RP 1.38 11.3
Billy McCool RP -0.04 2.88
Dan McGinn RP -0.04 6.86
John Noriega RP -0.19 0
Jack Baldschun RP -0.3 3.57
Mel Queen SP 0.37 1.17
Sammy Ellis SP -0.33 0
Jose Pena RP -0.68 0


The “Original” 1969 Cincinnati Reds roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting Director
Jim Wynn CF 7.36 36.09 Bill DeWitt
Tony Perez 3B 5.77 30.41 Gabe Paul
Johnny Bench C 5.69 29.93 Bill DeWitt
Frank Robinson RF 5.31 31.84 Gabe Paul
Claude Osteen SP 5.09 24.65 Gabe Paul
Mike Cuellar SP 4.91 24.57 Gabe Paul
Pete Rose RF 4.83 36.77 Gabe Paul
Jim Maloney SP 3.93 14.63 Gabe Paul
Cesar Tovar CF 3.37 20.31 Gabe Paul
Lee May 1B 3.31 25.11 Gabe Paul
Leo Cardenas SS 2.81 23.74 Gabe Paul
Art Shamsky RF 2.61 16.22 Gabe Paul
Curt Flood CF 2.14 19.71 Gabe Paul
Casey Cox SP 2.14 12.03 Bill DeWitt
Johnny Edwards C 1.94 14.95 Gabe Paul
Tony Gonzalez LF 1.89 17.19 Gabe Paul
Tommy Harper 3B 1.78 16.64 Gabe Paul
Gary Nolan SP 1.71 7.02 Bob Howsam
Diego Segui RP 1.38 11.3 Gabe Paul
Brant Alyea LF 0.62 6.52 Bill DeWitt
Joe Azcue C 0.61 6.49 Gabe Paul
Don Pavletich C 0.5 4.96 Gabe Paul
Mel Queen SP 0.37 1.17 Gabe Paul
Vada Pinson RF 0.11 10.97 Gabe Paul
Chico Ruiz 2B 0.03 2.68 Gabe Paul
Clyde Mashore -0.01 0 Bill DeWitt
Billy McCool RP -0.04 2.88 Bill DeWitt
Bernie Carbo -0.04 0 Bill DeWitt
Dan McGinn RP -0.04 6.86 Bob Howsam
John Noriega RP -0.19 0 Bob Howsam
Vic Davalillo RF -0.21 2.26 Gabe Paul
Fred Kendall C -0.26 0.31 Bob Howsam Jim McLaughlin
Jack Baldschun RP -0.3 3.57 Gabe Paul
Sammy Ellis SP -0.33 0 Gabe Paul
Gus Gil 3B -0.64 1.8 Gabe Paul
Cookie Rojas 2B -0.66 2.56 Gabe Paul
Jose Pena RP -0.68 0 Bob Howsam
Len Boehmer 1B -0.91 0.58 Gabe Paul
Tommy Helms 2B -0.93 5.57 Gabe Paul
Darrel Chaney SS -1.23 1.8 Bob Howsam


Honorable Mention

The “Original” 1974 Reds                 OWAR: 52.6     OWS: 336     OPW%: .557

Cincinnati scrapped with Atlanta in the final weeks of the season. The Braves emerged with the division crown by two games while the Reds paced the National League in OWAR and OWS. Johnny Bench (.280/33/129) scored a career-high 108 runs and topped the RBI charts. Jim Wynn walloped 32 circuit clouts, drove in 108 baserunners and amassed 104 tallies. Pete Rose’s batting average dipped below .300 for the first time in ten years. All the same, “Charlie Hustle” paced the circuit with 45 doubles and 110 runs scored. Dave Concepcion earned his first of five Gold Glove Awards and contributed a .281 BA with 14 wallops and 41 steals. Hal McRae (.310/15/88) responded with 36 doubles after earning a full-time role. Ross “Scuz” Grimsley furnished an 18-13 record with a 3.07 ERA.

On Deck

The “Original” 1939 Yankees

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database


James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.

James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive

Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mott Hoople
8 years ago

Do you incorporate defense into however it is yo come to these conclusions?

8 years ago

Mott, the teams are derived from the research for my book, “Hardball Retrospective”. Briefly, I placed every player on the first team that they signed a professional Major League contract with. Statistics for each roster are compiled and evaluated based on Win Shares (developed by Bill James), Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Pythagorean Win Percentage (another Bill James formula). Defense is included in the derivation of Win Shares and WAR. In this example, the 1969 “Original” Reds recorded the highest Win Shares and WAR totals for the Cincinnati franchise, from 1901-2013.