1997 Cincinnati Reds
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History, Comments, Contributions
The 1997 Cincinnati Reds featured some great seasons by unexpected sources, but they weren't enough to produce a .500 record. In the best year of his career, Willie Greene paced the club with 25 home runs and 91 RBI in 151 games, while Jon Nunnally hit .318 in 65 games following a July trade from the Kansas City Royals. Another player involved in that deal, Chris Stynes, batted .348 in 198 at-bats. In 85 games, Curtis Goodwin stole 22 bases. The team was the fastest in the league, leading the loop in steals. Two-sport star Deion Sanders stole 56 bags in just 115 games, leading the team and finishing second in the National League. Catcher Joe Oliver and outfielder Mike Kelly joined the unsung star parade, with the former clobbering 14 homers in 111 games and the latter batting .293 in 140 at-bats off the bench. In the rotation, 24-year-old top prospect Brett Tomko went 11-7 with a 3.43 ERA to lead the anemic starting five. Dave Burba contributed 11 wins, but had a 4.73 ERA. The bullpen featured a handful of strikeout artists and a top closer, with Mike Remlinger, Stan Belinda and Scott Sullivan averaging 10.5, 10.3 and 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings, respectively. Finishing games was Jeff Shaw, who led the league with 42 saves to go along with a 2.38 ERA in what was the second in a run of four consecutive great seasons. The team also featured future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, who hit .317 in 73 games in an injury-shortened campaign. 23-year-old Jim Crowell was the youngest player on the team, while 37-year-old Mike Morgan was the oldest.
Awards and Honors