As the Reds go into postseason play for the second time in three seasons, here's some playoff history courtesy of Reds Hall of Fame Chief Curator Chris Eckes.
The 1976 team went undefeated in the postseason, the only team to do that since Major League Baseball went to divisional play. The Reds swept the Phillies in three games in the National League Championship and the Yankees in four in the World Series that year. Eckes says prior to that run, Cincinnati manager Sparky Anderson had a prophetic discussion with reporters:
"He said, 'I think we'll win it in seven,' and most assumed he meant they would win the World Series in seven games. But Sparky meant he thought they would win seven postseason games and be done with it, and sure enough they did. Pretty amazing stuff."
Eckes also says the Reds are riding a World Series winning streak dating back to the 70's:
"They won Game 7 of the 1975 World Series. They swept the Yankees in '76 and they swept the A's in 1990, so you're looking at a nine-game World Series winning streak."
The distinction as most surprising Reds teams to make the postseason belongs to the 1961 club, which was coming off a bad year in 1960, and the 1990 team that beat Oakland in the World Series. Eckes says the 1960 Reds came out of nowhere to win the National League pennant, then lost to the Yankees in five games. As for the 1990 Reds, he says not even die-hard Reds expected them to sweep the A's.
Looking to the future, Eckes is optimistic. With two National League Central titles in the past three seasons, he thinks being a playoff contender and making postseason appearances will be much more the norm for the Reds than the exception.