1990 Cincinnati Reds season

1990 Cincinnati Reds
1990 NL West Champions
1990 NL Champions
1990 World Series Champions
Major League affiliations
  • National League West (since 1969)
Other information
Owner(s) Marge Schott
General manager(s) Bob Quinn
Manager(s) Lou Piniella
Local television WLWT
(Johnny Bench, Tom Hume, Steve Lamar, Gordy Coleman)
Local radio WLW
(Marty Brennaman, Joe Nuxhall)
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The Cincinnati Reds' 1990 season was the Reds' 108th season in American baseball. Starting with a club best nine straight wins to open the season, as well as holding the top spot in the National League West every game during the season, the Reds went 41-21 after 62 games, splitting the remaining 100 games 50-50 to end up with a 91-71 record. It consisted of the 91-71 Reds winning the National League West by five games over the second-place Dodgers, as well as the National League Championship Series in six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the World Series in a four-game sweep over the overwhelming favorite Oakland Athletics, who had won the World Series the previous year. It was the fifth World Championship for the Reds, and their first since winning two consecutive titles in 1975 and '76.


Regular season

Led by new manager Lou Piniella, the Reds achieved the rare feat of being in first place everyday of the season ("wire-to-wire").[3] Starting pitcher Jack Armstrong was a catalyst for the team's fast start, as he won 8 of his first 9 games and was 11-3 through the All Star break. Because of his strong first half, Armstrong was selected as the starting pitcher for the All Star Game.

1990 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Cincinnati was well represented at the 1990 All-Star Game in Chicago. In addition to Armstrong at pitcher, Chris Sabo, Barry Larkin, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers were reserves.

The Nasty Boys

Another new face in the Reds locker room was Randy Myers. He was acquired from the New York Mets for closer John Franco, and became part of the Nasty Boys, along with Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton. Charlton, Dibble, and Myers combined for 44 saves (Myers with 31, Dibble with 11, and Charlton with 2). Myers would become one of the league's elite closers while being selected as an All-Star in 1990. Myers would win his second World Championship as the Reds swept the Oakland Athletics.

"The Nasty Boys — The Reds' three flame-throwing relievers, Randy Myers, Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton, emerged as arguably the deepest and most talented late-inning pitchers in postseason history." John Erardi and John Fay, The Cincinnati Enquirer [4]

Season standings

NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 9171 0.562 46–35 45–36
Los Angeles Dodgers 8676 0.531 5 47–34 39–42
San Francisco Giants 8577 0.525 6 49–32 36–45
Houston Astros 7587 0.463 16 49–32 26–55
San Diego Padres 7587 0.463 16 37–44 38–43
Atlanta Braves 6597 0.401 26 37–44 28–53

Record vs. opponents

1990 National League Records

Atlanta 6–68–105–136–126–64–85–75–78–105–137–5
Chicago 6–64–86–63–911–79–911–74–148–47–58–10
Cincinnati 10–88–411–79–99–36–67–56–69–97–119–3
Houston 13–56–67–119–95–75–75–75–74–1410–86–6
Los Angeles 12–69–39–99–96–65–78–44–89–98–107–5
Montreal 6–67–113–97–56–68–1010–813–57–57–511–7
New York 8–49–96–67–57–510–810–810–85–77–512–6
Philadelphia 7-57–115–77–54–88–108–106–127–58–410–8
Pittsburgh 7–514–46–67–58–45–138–1012–610–28–410–8
San Diego 10–84–89–914–49–95–77–55–72–107–113–9
San Francisco 13–55–711–78–1010–85–75–74–84–811–79–3
St. Louis 5–710–83–96–65–77–116–128–108–109–33–9

Notable transactions

  • June 4, 1990: 1990 Major League Baseball draft
  • June 9, 1990: Ron Robinson was traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Bob Sebra to the Milwaukee Brewers for Billy Bates and Glenn Braggs.[7]
  • June 18, 1990: Rolando Roomes was selected off waivers by the Montreal Expos from the Cincinnati Reds.[8]
  • August 24, 1990: Ken Griffey, Sr. was released by the Reds.[9]
  • August 30, 1990: Bill Doran was traded by the Houston Astros to the Cincinnati Reds for players to be named later.[10]
  • September 7, 1990: Butch Henry was sent by the Cincinnati Reds to the Houston Astros to complete an earlier deal made on August 30, 1990.[11] Catcher Terry McGriff was also sent by the Cincinnati Reds to complete the deal.[12]


1990 Cincinnati Reds
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Opening Day starters

Player stats

= Indicates team leader


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CJoe Oliver12136484.231852
1BTodd Benzinger11837695.253546
2BMariano Duncan125435133.3061055
3BChris Sabo148567153.2702571
SSBarry Larkin158614185.301767
LFBilly Hatcher139504139.276525
CFEric Davis127453118.2602486
RFPaul O'Neill145503136.2701678

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Hal Morris107309105.340736
Glenn Braggs7220160.299628
Jeff Reed7217544.251316
Herm Winningham8416041.256317
Ron Oester6415446.299013
Luis Quiñones8314535.241217
Ken Griffey, Sr.466313.20618
Rolando Roomes306113.21327
Bill Doran175922.37315
Alex Treviño773.42901


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Tom Browning35227.21593.8099
José Rijo291971482.70152
Jack Armstrong291661293.42110
Danny Jackson22117.1663.6176
Ron Robinson631.1224.8814

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Rick Mahler35134.2764.2868
Scott Scudder2171.2554.9042

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Randy Myers6646312.0898
Rob Dibble6883111.74136
Norm Charlton5612922.74117
Tim Layana555323.4953
Rosario Rodríguez90006.108
Keith Brown80004.768
Kip Gross50004.263

National League Championship Series

Game 1

October 4: Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 001 200 100 471
Cincinnati 300 000 000 350
W: Bob Walk (1-0)   L: Norm Charlton (0-1)   S: Ted Power (1)
HR: PIT Sid Bream (1)  CIN None
Pitchers: PIT Walk (6), Belinda (2), Patterson (1/3), Power (2/3)  CIN Rijo (513), Charlton (223), Dibble (1)
Attendance: 52,911  Time: 2:51

Game 2

October 5: Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 000 010 000 160
Cincinnati 100 010 00X 250
W: Tom Browning (1-0)   L: Doug Drabek (0-1)   S: Randy Myers (1)
HR: PIT José Lind (1)  CIN None
Pitchers: PIT Drabek (8)  CIN Browning (6), Dibble (113), Myers (123)
Attendance: 54,456  Time: 2:38

Game 3

October 8: Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 020 030 001 6131
Pittsburgh 000 200 010 380
W: Danny Jackson (1-0)   L: Zane Smith (0-1)   S: Randy Myers (2)
HR: PIT None   CIN Billy Hatcher (1), Mariano Duncan (1)
Pitchers: PIT Z. Smith (5), Landrum (1), Smiley (2), Belinda (1)  CIN Jackson (513), Dibble (123), Charlton (1), Myers (1)
Attendance: 45,611  Time: 2:51

Game 4

October 9: Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 000 200 201 5101
Pittsburgh 100 100 010 380
W: José Rijo (1-0)   L: Bob Walk (1-1)   S: Rob Dibble (1)
HR: PIT Jay Bell (1)  CIN Paul O'Neill (1), Chris Sabo (1)
Pitchers: PIT Walk (7), Power (2)  CIN Rijo (7), Myers (1), Dibble (1)
Attendance: 50,461  Time: 3:00

Game 5

October 10: Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 100 000 010 270
Pittsburgh 200 100 00X 361
W: Doug Drabek (1-1)   L: Tom Browning (1-1)   S: Bob Patterson (1)
HR: PIT None   CIN None
Pitchers: PIT Drabek (813), Patterson (2/3)  CIN Browning (5), Mahler (123), Charlton (1/3), Scudder (1)
Attendance: 48,221  Time: 2:48

Game 6

October 12: Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 000 010 000 113
Cincinnati 100 000 10X 290
W: Norm Charlton (1-1)   L: Zane Smith (0-2)   S: Randy Myers (3)
HR: PIT None   CIN None
Pitchers: PIT Power (213), Z. Smith (4), Belinda (2/3), Landrum (1)  CIN Jackson (6), Charlton (1), Myers (2)
Attendance: 56,079  Time: 2:57

World series

The World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Reds featured friends at the managerial level. Athletics manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Lou Piniella were old friends and teammates from their Tampa American Legion Post 248 team.

Before the Series, while Peter Gammons of ESPN had predicted an Oakland sweep, Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko issued the stunning prediction that the heavily favored A's were "doomed", based on the Ex-Cubs Factor. When the prediction came true, it fueled new interest in that arguably spurious correlation.

Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, who was drunk at the time,[13] made a major verbal slip-up when she dedicated the 1990 World Series to "our women and men in the Far East" (Schott meant to say Middle East). In the first inning of Game 1, Reds center fielder Eric Davis hit a home run in left center that nearly hit the CBS television studio where anchor Pat O'Brien was sitting.

Also in Game 1, Billy Hatcher helped out offensively in a big way by starting his streak of 7 straight hits in the series (after a walk in the 1st). José Rijo settled in after the early lead and cruised to a surprise Cincinnati victory. The following day, the headline of the Cincinnati Post newspaper captured the city's surprise with the headline, "DAVIS STUNS GOLIATH."

During Game 2, Reds pitcher Tom Browning's pregnant wife Debbie went into labor during the game. Debbie left her seat in the fifth inning to drive herself to the hospital. As the game went on, the Reds wanted Browning ready to pitch just in case the game went well into extra innings. Thinking that Browning was en route to a nearby hospital, the Reds had their radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman put out an All Points Bulletin on Browning, a bulletin that was picked up by Tim McCarver on CBS television, who passed it along in the ninth inning.

Game 4 was a pitchers duel between Dave Stewart and José Rijo (the Game 1 starters) that eventually culminated in the Reds sweeping the series. The A's got on the board in the first when Willie McGee doubled and Carney Lansford singled him in. The game remained 1-0 until the 8th when the Reds finally got to Stewart.

Barry Larkin singled up the middle, Herm Winningham followed with a bunt single, and Paul O'Neill reached on a throwing error by Stewart that loaded the bases. Glen Braggs's groundout and Hal Morris's sacrifice fly gave the Reds a precious 2-1 edge which was preserved by both Rijo, who at one point retired 20 straight batters. Randy Myers, one of the Nasty Boys, appeared in relief and got the final two outs.

The 1990 World Series would be the Reds 5th championship but would also be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in baseball history. This was the last World Series to be scheduled to begin play on a Tuesday, and the only since 1984. The schedule called for the seven-game series to be held Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat-Sun, Tue-Wed. Games 5, 6, and 7, however were not necessary.


The three primary members of the bullpen; Norm Charlton, Randy Myers, and Rob Dibble (who threw a fastball in excess of 99 mph) were known as the "Nasty Boys" – and wouldn't let the A's score against them in nearly nine innings of work. Media talk of a forthcoming A's dynasty led Reds fans to call their own team the "dyNASTY."

Reds outfielder Billy Hatcher set a World Series record with seven consecutive hits. In addition, Hatcher's .750 batting average, (9 for 12), broke a mark for a four-game World Series that was previously set by Babe Ruth (.625 in 1928).

Cincinnati Reds' pitcher José Rijo became the second Dominican born player to earn World Series MVP honors. The first Dominican born to earn World Series MVP honors was Pedro Guerrero of the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Game 1

October 16, 1990, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 000 000 000 091
Cincinnati 202 030 00X 7100
W: José Rijo (1-0)   L: Dave Stewart (0-1)  
HR: CIN Eric Davis (1)

Game 2

October 17, 1990, at Riverfront Stadium, in Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Oakland 103 000 0000 4102
Cincinnati 200 100 0101 5142
W: Rob Dibble (1-0)   L: Dennis Eckersley (0-1)  
HR: OAK José Canseco (1)

Game 3

October 19, 1990, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 017 000 000 8141
Oakland 021 000 000 371
W: Tom Browning (1-0)   L: Mike Moore (0-1)  
HR: CIN Chris Sabo 2 (2)  OAK Harold Baines (1), Rickey Henderson (1)

Game 4

October 20, 1990, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

mlb.com coverage of Game 4
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 000 000 020 271
Oakland 100 000 000 121
W: José Rijo (2-0)   L: Dave Stewart (0-2)  S: Randy Myers (1)

Composite Box

1990 World Series (4-0): Cincinnati Reds (N.L.) over Oakland Athletics (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Cincinnati Reds 419 130 030 1 22454
Oakland Athletics 224 000 000 0 8285
Total Attendance: 208,544   Average Attendance: 52,136
Winning Player's Share: $112,534,   Losing Player's Share $86,961 *Includes Playoffs and World Series

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Nashville Sounds American Association Pete Mackanin
AA Chattanooga Lookouts Southern League Jim Tracy
A Cedar Rapids Reds Midwest League Gary Denbo
A Charleston Wheelers South Atlantic League Dave Miley
Rookie GCL Reds Gulf Coast League Sam Mejías
Rookie Billings Mustangs Pioneer League Gerry Groninger

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Charleston[14]


  1. Randy Myers at Baseball Reference
  2. Tim Leary at Baseball Reference
  3. 1 2 Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.366, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  4. "Surprise '90 Series sweep of A's defined team effort". Reds.enquirer.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  5. Baseball Draft: 1st Round of the 1990 June Draft Baseball-Reference.com
  6. John Roper at Baseball Reference
  7. "Ron Robinson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  8. "Rolando Roomes Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  9. Ken Griffey at Baseball Reference
  10. "Bill Doran Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  11. "Butch Henry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  12. "Terry McGriff Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  13. Marge Schott: 'A mouth unfiltered' Accessed April 27, 2014
  14. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
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