The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum will be remembering the 1990 Reds season throughout the 2010 calendar year in an ongoing series entitled, "This Week in 1990 Reds History." Weekly updates recount on-field performances, front office news, and other notable moments from that magical season of 20 years ago.
April 26 - May 2
After a fifth place finish to the 1989 season, the 1990 Cincinnati Reds were not expected to be a major factor in the National League West. In the autumn of 1989, Bob Quinn replaced Murray Cook as general manager of the club, and Lou Piniella was named the team's new manager. Surely it would take the new personnel a few years to build a competitive team. On the player side of the equation, questions surrounded the ability of the arms in the starting rotation. Only one player, Barry Larkin, finished the 1989 season with a batting average above .300. And there were concerns about the health of many returning players.
The Reds did draw some attention with a few December transactions. Arguably, the biggest move involved trading reliever John Franco and minor leaguer Don Brown to the New York Mets in exchange for pitchers Kip Gross and Randy Myers. Franco became the Reds all-time leader in saves in 1988, and some fans believed the deal made the bullpen weaker. Less than a week later, the Reds traded pitcher Tim Leary and outfielder Van Snider to the New York Yankees for minor leaguer Rodney Imes and a young player named Hal Morris. Pitcher Tim Layana was also added to the roster via the Rule 5 draft.
As the 1989 calendar year drew to a close, Cincinnati sports fans were disappointed about the .500 season just completed by the Bengals. The Reds' chances didn't seem much better.
As the 1990 calendar flipped from January to February, baseball labor negotiations became a source of intense focus. The five-year Basic Agreement between owners and players expired on December 31, 1989, and the two sides were trying to resolve long-standing disagreements surrounding free agency and arbitration.
Owners were concerned about escalating player salaries as a result of collusion restraints being removed. Their proposal to the players included a salary cap for every club, a pay-for- performance system for players with zero to six years of major league experience, and a 48% share of revenue from ticket sales and national and local television and radio contracts paid to the players.
The player proposal included eligibility for salary arbitration after two years of major league service, an increase in the minimum salary, triple damages for collusion, a continuation of the current formula of owners' contributions to the players' pension and health insurance plans, and an increase in roster size from 24 to 25 players.
In early March, over two weeks had passed since the owners had locked the players out of spring training camps. Commissioner Faye Vincent continued to take part in negotiations in the hope of reaching a speedy settlement to the dispute between the players and owners. Baseball's owners were concerned about lost revenue that would result from an extended delay to the season or a possible players strike before the end of the season if the owners forced the players to open the season on time. As a result, the owners relented on many of their initial bargaining demands which shifted the leverage in the dispute to the side of the players.
After many meetings to agree upon a final compromise, the labor dispute was finally resolved on March 19. Spring training camps would open the following day, but only three weeks of spring practice would precede the start of the regular season. Extending the spring season any further would have likely led to less than 162 games being played during the 1990 season. Players, coaches, owners, and fans were anxious for the season to begin, but the shortened spring would almost certainly result in a slow start for teams with new coaching staffs or new players. In Cincinnati, Reds fans were even more disenchanted than in other cities. In addition to the lock-out, Reds fans were bogged down with the recent Pete Rose gambling allegations and suspension as well as the team's inability to win a division title since 1979.
When the March calendar flipped to April, spring training camps had been open for less than two weeks; the opening of the season was just nine days away. The abbreviated spring meant that the Reds would have to make decisions on roster spots very quickly, perhaps even cutting players who may not have had a chance to play in an exhibition game. It also caused concern amongst the coaches and the players when it came to preparing for the long season ahead. Manager Lou Piniella had a particularly keen eye on the pitching staff. Avoiding injury, establishing a pitching schedule for the preseason, and becoming mentally prepared for game situations were major areas of focus. The Reds would only play 16 games in 14 days during the preseason-before the spring lock-out, the Reds were originally scheduled to play 30 games.
The Reds added outfielder Billy Hatcher in a trade with Pittsburgh in early April, but the transaction did not draw a great deal of fanfare. When spring games ended in Florida, the Reds turned their sights to the Houston Astrodome, the location of the opening game of the 1990 season. Because of the labor dispute, the Reds were forced to open the season away from Cincinnati for only the second time in the 20th century.
- January 3 – The Reds announce reorganization in their scouting system and player development departments. Sheldon "Chief" Bender shifts to Special Player Consultant with duties that include scouting major league teams during spring training as well as all National League teams during the regular season. He will also scout, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning players in the Reds' farm system. In addition, Jim Bowden is named as Administrative Assistant in Scouting and Player Development.
- January 5 – Reds pitcher Danny Jackson celebrates his 28th birthday. The Reds sign free agent infielder Paul Noce.
- January 6 – Reds pitcher Norm Charlton celebrates his 27th birthday.
- January 7 – Reds outfielder Eric Davis agrees to terms on a new three-year contract.
- In 1989, Davis batted .281 with 34 home runs and 101 runs batted in and was named the team's Most Valuable Player. He also won his third consecutive Gold Glove Award and was one of three NL Silver Sluggers in the outfield.
- January 8 – The Reds announce their 1990 home and road schedule. The Reds are scheduled to open the season against the Houston Astros at Riverfront Stadium on April 2.
- January 9 – Joe Morgan is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
- January 11 – The Reds sign free agent catcher Dave Engle to a one-year contract.
- January 18 – Julian Mock, a Reds' scout for the past 21 years, is named the team's Director of Scouting.
- January 19 – Reds third baseman Chris Sabo celebrates his 28th birthday.
- January 21 – Reds pitcher Chris Hammond celebrates his 24th birthday.
- January 24 – The Reds and SportsChannel Cincinnati sign a three-year agreement to carry 25 games on cable television in 1990, increasing to 35 games by the third year of the contract. SportsChannel Cincinnati will offer the baseball package, as well as other sports programming, to cable systems throughout a seven state area.
- January 24 – Reds pitcher Rob Dibble celebrates his 26th birthday.
- January 29 – The Reds sign free agent utility player Skeeter Barnes.
- Early February - Representatives of baseball owners and players continue to meet in the hopes to avoid a work stoppage before the season begins. Realizing that a real threat to the opening of training camps existed, Commissioner Fay Vincent makes several proposals to encourage dialogue between the two parties.
- February 11 - Reds first baseman Todd Benzinger celebrates his 27th birthday.
- Benzinger was born in Dayton, Kentucky and attended New Richmond High School, just east of Cincinnati. He came to the Reds after the 1988 season in a trade with Boston that sent first baseman Nick Esasky and pitcher Rob Murphy to the Red Sox in exchange for Benzinger, pitcher Jeff Sellers, and a player to be named later (pitcher Luis Vasquez).
- February 14 - Reds pitcher Scott Scudder celebrates his 22nd birthday; Reds pitcher Keith Brown celebrates his 26th birthday.
- Scudder, a native of Texas, was drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 1986 amateur draft. Brown, a native of Arizona, was also drafted by the Reds in the 1986 amateur draft.
- February 15 - Reds outfielder Rolando Roomes celebrates his 28th birthday.
- Roomes was born in Jamaica and was traded by the Cubs to the Reds in exchange for Lloyd McClendon following the 1988 season. He was selected off of waivers by the Montreal Expos in June of 1990.
- February 15 - The owners lock the players out of spring training because of a lack of progress during negotiations for a new Basic Agreement.
- There were early signs that the 1990 season could be affected by a work stoppage. About a year before labor talks opened, the owners began requiring players to include lockout clauses in individual salary contracts. Another troubling sign involved new national television contracts that were negotiated in late 1988. These new contracts included a 102-percent increase in revenue compared to the old television agreements, meaning there was now substantially more money on the proverbial table.
- February 19 - Reds coach Jackie Moore celebrates his 51st birthday.
- Moore was named dugout coach for the Reds in November of 1989 after three seasons as the third base coach for the Montreal Expos.
- February 25 - Reds outfielder Paul O'Neill celebrates his 27th birthday.
- O'Neill was born in Columbus, Ohio and was drafted by the Reds in the fourth round of the 1981 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 1985 and spent eight big league seasons with the Reds and nine more with the New York Yankees.
- February 28 - The Reds cancel their first five spring training games to be played in Plant City, Florida. The games affected are March 4 against Kansas City, March 5 against Houston, March 6 against Minnesota, March 7 against Boston, and March 8 against Pittsburgh.
- March 2 - Reds pitcher Tim Layana celebrates his 26th birthday.
- Layana was drafted by the Reds from the New York Yankees on December 4, 1989 as part of the Rule 5 draft. He appeared in 55 games, all in relief, during the 1990 season.
- March 4 - Reds coach Sam Perlozzo celebrates his 39th birthday.
- Perlozzo, a native of Cumberland, Maryland, was named the Reds third base coach on November 8, 1989.
- March 7 - Reds pitcher Jack Armstrong celebrates his 25th birthday.
- Armstrong was drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 1987 amateur draft.
- March 7 - The Reds name Tom Hume and Steve LaMar as announcers for baseball telecasts during the upcoming season.
- Hume joined Johnny Bench on WLWT-TV and the Reds' TV Network. LaMar became the play-by-play man for SportsChannel Cincinnati, which offered 25 Reds games on cable television for the first time.
- March 12 - Reds bullpen coach Larry Rothschild celebrates his 36th birthday.
- Rothschild was named Reds bullpen coach on November 16, 1989 after serving as a roving pitching instructor in the Reds' farm system the previous four seasons.
- March 13 - Reds second baseman Mariano Duncan celebrates his 27th birthday.
- Duncan, a native of the Dominican Republic, came to the Reds in a trade with Los Angeles on July 18, 1989. The move sent Kal Daniels and Lenny Harris to the Dodgers in exchange for Duncan and pitcher Tim Leary.
- March 13 - Reds first baseman Terry Lee celebrates his 28th birthday.
- Lee was signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent on July 30, 1982. He appeared in twelve games for the Reds in 1990, collecting four hits.
- March 14 - Even though the major league Reds remain locked out of training camp in Plant City, the Reds announce that their AAA affiliate, the Nashville Sounds, will take on their AA affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts, in a game at Plant City Stadium on March 16.
- March 19 - The labor dispute between the players and owners is resolved.
- It was thought that the lockout would hurt the Reds more than other clubs. Spring training was reduced from six weeks to three, and first year manager Lou Piniella and his coaching staff would have a shortened spring to evaluate talent and transition into their new roles. The same could be said regarding the players adjusting to their new coaches. From the fans perspective, the labor dispute only added to the pessimism surrounding the upcoming season.
- March 20 - Spring training camps open.
- With the opening of training camps delayed, the major league season was delayed by one week. Games lost during the first week would be made up during off days, as part of double-headers, or in early October. As a consequence, the Reds would open the season on the road for just the second time in the 20th century. The only other occasion was a result of three consecutive rain outs at Crosley Field in 1966 that caused the Reds to open the season at Philadelphia.
- March 23 - After initially being scheduled as a 7:35 evening game, it is announced that the first home game of the 1990 season will be moved to the traditional home opener starting time of 2:05.
- Also in traditional fashion, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, which was originally cancelled, would precede the game.
- March 24 - Reds pitcher Ron Robinson celebrates his 28th birthday.
- Robinson was drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 1980 amateur draft. On May 2, 1988, Robinson came within one strike of pitching a perfect game before Montreal pinch hitter Wallace Johnson singled to left on a 2-2 count. On June 9, 1990, he and pitcher Bob Sebra were traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Billy Bates and outfielder Glenn Braggs.
- April 2 - Mayor Charlie Luken proclaims April 17, the date of the Reds' home opener, as the 6th annual "Wearing of the Red Day" in Cincinnati.
- Luken was quoted as saying, "This is the one time I can honestly say I would like to see this city in the red."
- April 3 - The Reds trade pitcher Mike Roesler and infielder Jeff Richardson to the Pirates in exchange for outfielder Billy Hatcher.
- April 5 - Gordy Coleman, a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and a member of the club's front office staff for the last 22 years, is announced as the analyst for Reds cable telecasts on SportsChannel Cincinnati; he joins play-by-play announcer Steve LaMar in the booth.
- April 8 - The Reds complete the exhibition season with a 12-6 loss to the Indians at Cooper Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Reds completed the abbreviated spring schedule with a record of 9-7.
- April 9 - In the Houston Astrodome, the Reds defeat the Astros in the opening game of the 1990 season 8-4 in 11 innings.
- Barry Larkin broke a 4-4 tie with a bases clearing triple with two outs in the top of the 11th. Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, and Randy Myers all pitched in relief; the "Nasty Boys" combined for six innings of shutout ball, with Myers getting the win.
- April 9 - Reds first baseman Hal Morris celebrates his 25th birthday.
- On December 12, 1989, Morris was traded to Cincinnati from the New York Yankees, along with minor leaguer Rodney Imes, in exchange for pitcher Tim Leary and outfielder Van Snider.
- April 10 - The Reds defeat the Astros 3-2 in Houston.
- Ron Oester came off the bench and recorded two hits, including an eighth inning single to break a 1-1 tie. Tim Layana earned the win in relief and Randy Myers notched his first save of the season.
- April 10 - Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Sr. celebrates his 40th birthday.
- The Big Red Machine's right fielder was signed as a free agent on August 2, 1988 to begin his second stint with the Reds. The Reds released him on August 24, 1990, but Griffey was signed by the Mariners as a free agent five days later. On September 14, 1990, he homered in the top of the first inning against the Angels in Anaheim. The very next batter was his son, who made history with a home run of his own-the first and only time in history that a father and son hit back to back home runs in a major league game.
- April 11 - The Reds complete a three game series sweep in Houston, shutting out the Astros 5-0.
- Jack Armstrong pitched six innings, giving up just three hits. Rick Mahler pitched the final three innings to pick up the save. All eight Reds position players had at least one hit in the game.
- April 13 - The Reds defeat the Braves in Atlanta 5-2 to run their record to 4-0.
- Barry Larkin and Todd Benzinger each collected three hits and Chris Sabo had two hits and two RBIs batting in the lead-off spot.
- April 15 - The Reds win their fifth in a row with a 13-6 win over the Braves on Easter Sunday.
- The Reds trailed 4-2 after six innings, but erupted for four runs in the seventh and seven more in the top of the ninth.
- April 16 - Cincinnati completes a three-game series sweep of the Braves at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium with a 5-3 victory.
- Jack Armstrong pitched seven strong innings, to record his second win of the season. Rob Dibble pitched the ninth for his first save of the year. Barry Larkin continued to swing a hot bat with four hits.
- April 17 - After the first six games of the season on the road, the Reds play their home opener against the San Diego Padres and win 2-1.
- The "homecoming game" was treated like the opening game of the season-the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, a pre-game pigeon release, and a stadium parade featuring Princess Schottzie the elephant all preceded the first pitch. In the game, Tom Browning pitched six scoreless innings before allowing a lead-off home run to begin the seventh inning. Norm Charlton and Randy Myers combined to shut out the Padres over the final three innings, with Myers recording his third save of the year. Billy Hatcher and Barry Larkin each recorded three hits.
- April 18 - The Reds win their eighth game in a row defeating the Padres 11-7 at Riverfront Stadium.
- Paul O'Neill went 4-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Barry Larkin went 2-3 at the plate with four runs scored and increased his batting average to .600 over the first eight games of the season.
- April 21 - The Reds establish a new club record for consecutive wins to begin a season by notching their ninth consecutive win with an 8-1 victory over the Braves in Cincinnati.
- Jack Armstrong picked up his third win of the season with six strong innings, allowing only five hits and one run. The nine straight wins to begin the season broke the previous club record of eight, established in 1980.
- April 22 - The Reds lose their first game of the season with a 3-1 loss to the Braves at Riverfront Stadium.
- The Braves scored three runs in the top of the first inning, and Atlanta starter Tom Glavine allowed only one run through seven and two-thirds innings.
- April 24 - The Phillies defeat the Reds 6-3 at Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia.
- The Reds tallied 11 hits, but could only push three runs across the plate in the loss.
- April 25 - Cincinnati defeats Philadelphia 12-7 to run their season record to 10-2.
- Todd Benzinger and Chris Sabo each scored three runs to go along with three hits. Mariano Duncan also added three hits and three RBIs.
- April 27 - The Reds defeat the Expos 3-2 at Riverfront Stadium.
- Chris Sabo singled home Mariano Duncan with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Reds the victory.
- April 28. - Cincinnati defeats Montreal 6-4 at Riverfront Stadium.
- Jack Armstrong won his fourth game in as many starts, and Randy Myers recorded his fourth save in the win.
- April 28 - Reds pitcher Tom Browning celebrates his 30th birthday.
- A native of Casper, Wyoming, Browning was drafted by the Reds in the 9th round of the 1982 amateur draft.
- April 28 - Reds shortstop Barry Larkin celebrates his 26th birthday.
- Larkin, a graduate of Moeller High School, was drafted by the Reds in the first round (fourth overall pick) of the 1985 amateur draft.
- April 28 - Reds infielder Luis Quinones celebrates his 28th birthday.
- Quinones was born in Puerto Rico and was acquired by the Reds in a 1988 trade with Chicago that sent pitcher Bill Landrum to the Cubs.
- April 29 - Montreal avoids a series sweep by defeating the Reds 6-3 in Cincinnati.
- Danny Jackson started the game for the Reds, but left the game after being struck on his left arm by a line drive in the first inning; he would be placed on the 15 day disabled list the following day.
- April 30 - The Reds defeat the Phillies 6-2 at Riverfront Stadium.
- Jose Rijo looked impressive in the victory, going seven innings and allowing only one run and four hits. The Reds finished the month of April with a 13-3 record and a 4 ½ game lead over the second place Dodgers.
- May 1 - The Phillies knock off the Reds 4-2 at Riverfront Stadium.
- Another starting pitcher leaves the game with an injury when Rick Mahler pulls a muscle attempting to leg out a fake bunt and swing attempt in the third inning.
- May 2 - The Mets shut out the Reds 5-0 at New York's Shea Stadium.
- The Reds could manage only six hits off of Mets starter Frank Viola, who struck out 11 Reds and went the distance to run his record to 5-0.
- May 3 - The Reds shut out the Mets at Shea Stadium, 5-0.
- Jack Armstrong allowed only four hits over 7 2/3 innings to earn his fifth win; Randy Myers finished the game to notch his fifth save. Catcher Joe Oliver had two home runs and three RBIs.
- May 4 - At Busch Stadium, Cincinnati defeats the Cardinals by a score of 8-3.
- First baseman Todd Benzinger had three hits and three RBIs. Starting pitcher Ron Robinson picked up his first win of the season; Rob Dibble recorded his fourth save.
- May 5 - The Reds drop the Cardinals again in St. Louis, 4-2.
- Shortstop Barry Larkin tallied two hits and three RBIs. Joe Rijo earned win number two and Randy Myers picked up his sixth save.
- May 5 - Reds infielder Ron Oester celebrates his 34th birthday.
- Oester, a native Cincinnatian and graduate of Withrow High School, was drafted by the Reds in the 9th round of the 1974 draft. He still holds the Reds club record for most games played at second base with 1,171.
- May 6 - The Cardinals fall to the Reds again at Busch Stadium, 5-1.
- The Reds plated three in the top of the 6thinning to break a scoreless tie. Scott Scudder pitched 7 1/3 innings to earn his first win of the season; Norm Charlton pitched the final 1 2/3 to earn his first save. It was Scudder's first start of the season; he was called up from AAA Nashville prior to the game.
- May 7 - The Reds complete a four game series sweep in St. Louis with a 3-0 victory.
- Reds starter Tom Browning pitched a three hit shutout. Luis Quinones, starting at third base, recorded two RBIs and outfielder Billy Hatcher added three hits.
- May 9 - The Pirates defeat the Reds, 6-2, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.
- Starting pitcher Jack Armstrong suffered his first defeat of the season, and the Reds weren't exactly thrilled with the umpiring crew during the game. Lou Piniella argued a safe call involving Barry Bonds in the bottom of the first inning; Chris Sabo and Mariano Duncan went a little farther with their frustrations and were both ejected after arguing with the home plate umpire and third base umpire, respectively.
- May 9 - Reds catcher Glenn Sutko celebrates his 22nd birthday.
- Sutko was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and was selected by the Reds in the 45th round of the 1986 amateur draft. He appeared in only one game during the 1990 campaign, but in so doing, became a part of the 1990 championship season.
- May 10 - Cincinnati defeats the Pirates in Pittsburgh by a score of 10-4.
- The game was tied 2-2 after seven innings, but the Reds exploded for eight runs in the top of the eighth to break the game open.
- May 11 - At Riverfront Stadium, the Reds top the Cubs, 7-5.
- Cincinnati trailed Chicago 5-0 after the first inning, but slowly chipped away and scored three in the eighth on a bases clearing double by Chris Sabo.
- May 12 - The Cubs knock off the Reds, 4-2, at Riverfront Stadium.
- Reds starter Tom Browning held the Cubs scoreless through six innings, but he surrendered four hits and four runs to Chicago in the top of the seventh. The Reds avoided the shutout with a ninth inning two-run homer by outfielder Paul O'Neill.
- May 13 - The Reds and Cubs tally over 20 runs between them, and the Reds come out victorious, 13-9, at Riverfront Stadium.
- In addition to the 21 runs, the Reds and Cubs combined for 35 hits. Joe Oliver had six RBIs on the strength of a three run homer and a bases clearing double.
- May 13 - Reds pitcher Jose Rijo celebrates his 25th birthday.
- A native of the Dominican Republic, Rijo was acquired in a trade with the Oakland A's, along with pitcher Tim Birtsas, in exchange for outfielder Dave Parker on December 8, 1987.
- May 13 - Pitcher Danny Jackson is sent to AAA Nashville on medical rehab.
- May 14 - The Reds defeat the Pirates at Riverfront Stadium, 5-3.
- All of the runs were scored in the first two innings. Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead after a half inning, and the Reds came back with one in the bottom of the first and four more in the second. Chris Sabo recorded two hits and scored two runs, with Barry Larkin adding two RBIs. Jack Armstrong got the win, running his season record to 6-1; Randy Myers picked up his seventh save.
- May 14 - Reds coach Tony Perez celebrates his 48th birthday.
- As a player, Perez spent sixteen of his twenty-three major league seasons in a Reds uniform. He was named to the Reds coaching staff on October 7, 1986, and in 1990, he served as both first base coach and hitting coach.
- May 14 - Infielder Mariano Duncan is placed on the 15-day disabled list with an abdominal muscle strain, and Eric Davis is transferred to the 21-day disabled list with a lingering right knee sprain. Infielder Paul Noce is acquired from AAA Nashville to fill the roster space.
- May 15 - At Riverfront Stadium, the Reds defeat the Pirates, 5-4, in 11 innings.
- Third baseman Chris Sabo scored three runs and recorded two hits, including his team leading seventh home run. First baseman Todd Benzinger had two RBIs, including the game winner in the bottom of the 11th. Pitcher Tim Layana maintained his perfect record, picking up his third win in relief.
- May 17 - The Reds are blanked by the Cardinals at Riverfront Stadium, 3-0.
- Of note, infielder Paul Noce recorded a pinch hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was his only plate appearance in a Reds uniform and his last at-bat in the major leagues.
- May 17 - Pitcher Danny Jackson is activated from the disabled list, while pitcher Rick Mahler is placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle in his left leg.
- May 18 - At Riverfront Stadium, Paul O'Neill's solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth accounts for the only scoring in a 1-0 Cincinnati victory over the Cardinals.
- Pitcher Norm Charlton entered the game in the eighth inning and struck out the side on ten pitches in the top of the ninth to get the win in relief.
- May 19 - The Reds shut out St. Louis in back-to-back games at Riverfront Stadium, 4-0.
- Reds starting pitcher Jack Armstrong improved his record to 7-1 and picked up his first major league complete game and first major league shutout. Cincinnati outfielder Rolando Roomes' provided the game's big offensive blow with a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
- May 19 - Outfielder Eric Davis is activated from the disabled list. Infielder Paul Noce is optioned to AAA Nashville.
- May 20 - The Cardinals defeat the Reds, 6-2, at Riverfront Stadium.
- The Reds could only manage six hits against the combined efforts of St. Louis starter Joe Magrane and reliever Lee Smith.
- May 21 - Despite committing five errors, the Reds defeat the Cubs at Wrigley Field, 4-3.
- The weather may have cooled off their gloves as 20 mile-per-hour northeast winds helped to drop the game time temperature of 51° into the 30s by night's end.
- May 22 - In 16 innings, Cincinnati loses to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, 2-1.
- The game was scoreless until Chris Sabo led off the 13th inning with a home run, but Randy Myers blew his first save of the year when he surrendered a lead off home run to third baseman Luis Salazar in the bottom of the inning. The Cubs plated an unearned run in the 16th for the victory. The Reds intentionally walked Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson five times, establishing a major league record for intentional passes issued to a single player in a game. Also of note, broadcasters Marty and Thom Brennaman, the latter an announcer for the Cubs in 1990, teamed up for the first time in the broadcast booth via Chicago television superstation WGN.
- May 23 - Reds pitcher Gino Minutelli celebrates his 26th birthday.
- Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Minutelli was signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 1985. He appeared in two games for the Reds during the 1990 wire-to-wire season.
- May 24 - Cincinnati defeats the Expos at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, 7-1.
- Ron Robinson pitched six scoreless innings and picked up his second win of the season, while center fielder Billy Hatcher collected four hits and scored two runs. Manager Lou Piniella was ejected for the first time in the 1990 season for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the first inning.
- May 25 - The Reds shut out the Expos in Montreal, 5-0.
- Starter Jack Armstrong surrendered only three hits over eight innings to record his league leading eighth win. Herm Winningham made the most of a start in center field by scoring two runs and collecting two hits and two RBIs. Barry Larkin also added three hits.
- May 26 - The Reds make it three in a row north of the border with a 5-3 win over the Expos in Montreal.
- Chris Sabo scored three times to go along with two hits and two RBIs. Barry Larkin had another multiple hit game and tallied three RBIs. Rob Dibble picked up his third win in relief, and Randy Myers recorded his ninth save.
- May 27 - The Expos avoid a four game series sweep by defeating the Reds, 5-3.
- Catcher Joe Oliver, second baseman Ron Oester, and shortstop Barry Larkin all collected two hits in the loss; Larkin increased his batting average to .355.
- May 28 - Reds infielder Bill Doran celebrates his 32nd birthday.
- Doran was a local product who attended Mt. Healthy High School and Miami University. He was originally drafted by Houston in the 6th round of the 1979 draft, but he was traded to the Reds on August 30, 1990 in exchange for catcher Terry McGriff and minor league pitchers Keith Kaiser and Butch Henry.
- May 29 - The Reds defeat the Mets at Riverfront Stadium, 2-1.
- Reds starter Tom Browning pitched eight strong innings before yielding to Rob Dibble and Randy Myers in the ninth. Browning had fallen victim to tough luck in several of his previous starts. Before the two runs tallied in this game, the Reds had not scored a run with Browning on the mound for 28 2/3 innings.
- May 29 - Reds outfielder Eric Davis celebrates his 28th birthday.
- Davis, a native of Los Angeles, was selected by the Reds in the 8th round of the 1980 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 1984 and played nine of his seventeen major league seasons in a Reds uniform.
- May 29 - Pitcher Rick Mahler is sent to AAA Nashville on medical rehab.
- May 30 - Infielder Hal Morris and pitcher Scott Scudder are optioned to AAA Nashville.
- May 31 - The Reds drop a tough one to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 2-1, in 10 innings.
- Former Reds outfielder Kal Daniels blasted a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat his old team. Infielder Mariano Duncan was activated from the disabled list prior the game and scored Cincinnati's only run.
- June 1 - The Reds defeat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 5-2.
- Starting pitcher Danny Jackson picked up his first win of the season, and Rob Dibble notched his sixth save. Outfielder Eric Davis recorded two RBIs and scored two runs. Pitcher Rick Mahler was also activated from the disabled list before the game.
- June 2 - Cincinnati makes it back-to-back wins over the Dodgers in Los Angeles with an 8-3 victory.
- Nasty Boy Norm Charlton was credited with the win in relief. Outfielder Paul O'Neil scored three times and had four hits, including two home runs.
- June 3 - Reds pitchers Tom Browning and Randy Myers combine on a four hit shutout to defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 2-0.
- The victory gave the Reds a ten game lead in the National League West.
- June 4 - The Giants clobber the Reds 10-1 in San Francisco.
- In the loss, pitcher Tim Birtsas struck out four batters in the seventh inning, becoming only the third pitcher in club history to accomplish the feat. Joe Nuxhall and Mario Soto K'd four batters in a single inning in 1959 and 1984, respectively; Frankie Rodriguez also fanned four batters in the same inning in a 2001 game.
- June 5 - For the second consecutive game, the Reds can manage to score only one run and lose to the Giants at Candlestick Park, 6-1.
- June 6 - The Reds are swept out of San Francisco by the Giants, losing 3-2 in 11 innings.
- The Reds scored two runs in the top of the first, but could do no further damage for the next ten innings; after saving the game the day before, relief pitcher Jeff Brantley picked up the win in relief for the Giants.
- June 7 - Cincinnati defeats the Astros in Houston by a score of 6-1.
- Reds starter Jose Rijo recorded the win, allowing just one hit over seven innings of work.
- June 8 - Houston defeats the Reds in the Astrodome, 3-1, in 10 innings.
- The Reds could manage only three hits against Houston pitcher Mike Scott, who pitched all ten innings. The game was scoreless after nine innings, and the Reds dented the plate with a run in the top of the tenth. However, a walk-off pinch-hit home run by Glenn Wilson with two outs in the bottom of the tenth dealt closer Randy Myers his first loss and gave the Astros the victory.
- June 9 - Cincinnati falls to the Astros in Houston, 4-1.
- Second baseman Ron Oester went 3 for 3 in the loss and scored Cincinnati's only run.
- June 9 - The Reds trade pitchers Ron Robinson and Bob Sebra to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Glenn Braggs and infielder Billy Bates; Braggs joined the big league club and Bates was assigned to AAA Nashville.
- June 10 - Cincinnati's offense continues to struggle to score runs, and the Astros hand the Reds another loss in Houston, 4-2.
- Third baseman Chris Sabo scored both runs and hit his club leading 11th home run in the loss.
- June 12 - Atlanta sweeps both games of a doubleheader at Riverfront Stadium by scores of 8-3 and 3-2.
- Pitcher Tom Glavine pitched a complete game and earned the victory in game one; future Red Ron Gant scored two runs and had two RBIs to lead the Braves to victory in game two.
- June 13 - The Reds end a five game losing streak with a 13-4 victory over Atlanta at Riverfront Stadium.
- After losing eight of their last nine and averaging less than two runs per game in those losses, the Reds offense finally breaks through. Third baseman Chris Sabo and outfielder Glenn Braggs each recorded four hits; Tom Browning pitched a complete game to earn his sixth win of the season.
- June 14 - Cincinnati defeats Atlanta at Riverfront Stadium, 4-3.
- Paul O'Neill scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a base hit by Barry Larkin.
- June 15 - Cincinnati defeats Houston at Riverfront Stadium, 6-3.
- Paul O'Neill enjoyed a 4 for 4 night with three RBIs; Jack Armstrong picked up his ninth win of the season and Randy Myers recorded his twelfth save.
- June 16 - The Reds hit three consecutive home runs en route to a 6-2 victory over the Astros in Cincinnati.
- Chris Sabo, Eric Davis, and Barry Larkin hit the back-to-back-to-back long balls in the fifth inning off Houston starter Jim Deshaies. It was the fifth time in club history that Cincinnati batters had clubbed three consecutive home runs in a game; they have done it five times since.
- June 17 - The Reds complete a three game series sweep of the Astros with a 7-1 victory at Riverfront Stadium.
- Outfielder Eric Davis hit two home runs and recorded four RBIs; starting pitcher Jose Rijo again had a strong outing with eight innings of one-run, four-hit ball.
- June 18 - Infielder Hal Morris is recalled from AAA Nashville. Reds outfielder Rolando Roomes is claimed off of waivers by the Montreal Expos.
- June 19 - In Atlanta, the Reds and Braves split a double-header, with Cincinnati winning the first game 4-2 and Atlanta winning the second game 3-0.
- The Reds scored three runs in the top of the ninth to win the first game; manager Lou Piniella used nineteen players in game one. In the nightcap, former Reds pitcher Charlie Liebrandt pitched a six-hit shutout to halt Cincinnati's six game winning streak.
- June 20 - At Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, the Reds defeat the Braves in 10 innings by a score of 9-8.
- Every member of the Reds starting eight recorded at least one hit; a Billy Hatcher single in the top of the tenth drove in Mariano Duncan with the winning tally.
- June 21 - Atlanta scores two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Reds, 4-3.
- Braves pitcher John Smoltz went the distance for the home club; Reds first baseman Hal Morris was 3 for 3 with a run scored in the losing effort.
- June 22 - The Reds lose to the Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium, 7-6, in 10 innings.
- Cincinnati scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to force an extra frame, but Los Angeles scraped across a run against Randy Myers in the top of the tenth for the victory.
- June 23 - Cincinnati scores eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and defeats the Dodgers, 11-6, at Riverfront Stadium.
- Outfielder Eric Davis had three hits and three RBIs; third baseman Chris Sabo blasted his team leading 15th home run of the season.
- June 24 - The Reds play a regularly scheduled Sunday night game for the first time in club history and defeat the Dodgers, 10-6, at Riverfront Stadium.
- The game was highlighted by a home plate collision between pitcher Norm Charlton and Los Angeles catcher Mike Scioscia. In the bottom of the seventh, with a runner on and the Reds leading 8-4, Charlton reached base after being hit by a pitch. Joe Oliver then laced a double down the left field line, and Charlton proceeded to run through the stop sign of third base coach Sam Perlozzo. The ensuing collision caused Scioscia to drop the ball and gave the Reds a 10-4 lead.
- June 25 - Cincinnati defeats the Giants at Riverfront Stadium, 5-2.
- Jack Armstrong earned his tenth victory of the season with eight innings of four-hit, two-run ball; Chris Sabo added three hits and two RBIs.
- June 26 - The Reds knock off the Giants at Riverfront Stadium in 12 innings, 3-2.
- Herm Winningham scored the winning run on a Matt Williams throwing error in the twelfth.
- June 27 - San Francisco avoids a three game series sweep by defeating the Reds 8-3 in Cincinnati.
- Giant third baseman Matt Williams attempted to atone for his error the day before by recording four RBIs and scoring two runs in the San Francisco win.
- June 28 - The Reds collect thirteen hits, but drop a 5-4 decision to the Mets at Shea Stadium.
- Eric Davis hit his tenth home run of the year in the loss.
- June 29 - New York defeats the Reds for the second time in a row at Shea Stadium, 4-2.
- Cincinnati again reaches double figures in the hits column (11), but can manage only two runs against Mets starter Bob Ojeda and reliever Jeff Innis.
- June 29 - Pitcher Jose Rijo is placed on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle strain in his right shoulder.
- June 30 - Pitcher Scott Scudder is recalled from AAA Nashville.
- June 30 - Cincinnati erases a 4-1 deficit and defeats the Mets at Shea Stadium, 7-4.
- Pitcher Norm Charlton recorded his sixth win of the season in relief, and Randy Myers added his fifteenth save.
- July 1 - The Mets defeat the Reds at Shea Stadium, 3-2.
- The Mets tallied an unearned run against Norm Charlton in the bottom of the ninth for the winning tally. Former Red John Franco earned the win in relief for New York.
- July 3 - Cincinnati defeats the Expos at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, 2-0.
- Tom Browning allowed just three hits over 8? innings, and Randy Myers recorded the last two outs to earn his 16th save. Outfielder Glenn Braggs had three hits, including a home run.
- July 4 - On Independence Day, the Expos defeat the Reds in Montreal, 5-3.
- All five Montreal runs came in the first inning off of starter Scott Scudder, who managed to record only one out before being replaced by Tim Birtsas. Montreal starter Dennis Martinez pitched eight strong innings to pick up the win.
- July 5 - The Reds score early and often en route to a 9-2 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
- First baseman Hal Morris collected three hits and three RBIs in the win; Jack Armstrong pitched seven strong inning to earn his 11th victory of the season.
- July 6 - Cincinnati records a 4-1 victory over Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium.
- First baseman Hal Morris collected three hits for the second game in a row; Danny Jackson recorded his third win and Randy Myers picked up his 17th save.
- July 7 - The Reds win again in Philadelphia, defeating the Phillies, 5-0.
- Rick Mahler pitched a six-hit shutout to record his third win of the 1990 campaign.
- July 8 - The Phillies avoid a four game series sweep and defeat the Reds at Veterans Stadium, 4-3.
- Even with a loss in the final game before the All-Star break, the Reds finished the "first half" twenty-one games over .500 and enjoyed an eight game lead in the NL West.
- July 8 - Cincinnati pitcher Rosario Rodriguez celebrates his 21st birthday.
- A native of Mexico, Rodriguez was drafted to play in the Mexican League, but he was sold to the Reds before playing for the Nuevo Laredo team. He pitched in nine games for the Reds during the 1990 season without recording a decision.
- July 10 - Five Cincinnati Reds are in uniform representing the National League in baseball's 61st All-Star Game at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Chris Sabo started the game at third base, and Jack Armstrong became the ninth Reds pitcher to start an All-Star game. Barry Larkin, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers were also named to the team as reserves.
- Armstrong pitched two shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two. Sabo was hitless in two at-bats, Larkin entered the game as a pinch-runner and stole a base, and Myers pitched one shutout inning, allowing one hit. Unfortunately for the National League, Dibble allowed a seventh inning two-run double to Julio Franco-the only two runs scored in the game-leading to a 2-0 AL triumph.
- July 12 - The Reds fall to the Mets in game one of a doubleheader at Riverfront Stadium, 10-3, but come back to take the nightcap, 3-2.
- The normally reliable Reds bullpen allowed seven New York runs in the final two innings of game one; Danny Jackson pitched well for the Reds in game two to earn his fourth victory.
- July 13 - Cincinnati defeats the New York Mets at Riverfront Stadium, 4-2.
- The Reds knocked out Mets starter Frank Viola, the league leader in wins, after five innings of work. For the home club, Tom Browning pitched 7? solid innings to record win number nine; Randy Myers closed it out for his 19th save.
- July 14 - The Reds fall to the Mets in Cincinnati, 6-3.
- Mets starter David Cone allowed just five hits and struck out ten over 7? innings of work. John Franco, whom the Reds traded in exchange for Randy Myers in the off-season, recorded his 18th save of the season-one shy of Myers' league leading total.
- July 15 - The Reds conclude a rare five-game series with the New York Mets at Riverfront Stadium in winning fashion, 2-1.
- Second baseman Mariano Duncan tallied three hits and scored both Reds runs. Norm Charlton started the game and pitched six shutout innings for his 7th win of the season; Randy Myers recorded his 20th save.
- July 16 - Cincinnati defeats Montreal at Riverfront Stadium, 8-3.
- A sixth inning grand slam by Eric Davis turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead. All eight Cincinnati runs came courtesy of the long ball, with Joe Oliver, Barry Larkin, and Chris Sabo also going deep. Prior to the game, pitcher Chris Hammond was acquired from AAA Nashville.
- July 17 - The Reds defeat Montreal at Riverfront Stadium, 6-2.
- Scott Scudder was the emergency starter for Cincinnati after Danny Jackson was a last minute scratch due to a sore shoulder. Scudder turned in a solid performance, including a career high nine strikeouts, to earn his second win of the season.
- July 18 - Cincinnati completes a three-game series sweep of the Montreal Expos at Riverfront Stadium with an 11 inning, 8-7 victory.
- A ninth-inning grand slam off the bat of Montreal's Andres Galarraga tied the game at 7-7, but Paul O'Neill singled home Barry Larkin with two outs in the 11th to give the Reds the victory. Hal Morris enjoyed a three hit game, and Joe Oliver and Glenn Braggs each added two RBIs. Prior to the game, pitcher Danny Jackson was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and pitcher Tim Birtsas was recalled from AAA Nashville.
- July 19 - The Phillies down the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, 5-2.
- Cincinnati collected eleven hits in seven plus innings against Phillies starter Pat Combs, but they could only push across two runs. Glenn Braggs collected three hits, while Joe Oliver, Todd Benzinger, and Barry Larkin tallied two hits in the loss.
- July 20 - Cincinnati defeats Philadelphia at Riverfront Stadium, 5-1.
- Tempers flared in the sixth inning when Norm Charlton charged the mound after being hit by a Dennis Cook pitch-both Charlton and Cook were ejected. Rob Dibble pitched the final three innings to pick up his 8th save of the year. Catcher Jeff Reed was a big offensive contributor with three hits and two RBIs.
- July 21 - The Reds topple the Phillies at Riverfront Stadium, 6-1.
- Jose Rijo was activated from the disabled list prior to the game and pitched six innings of five hit, one run ball to earn his sixth win of the season. Rick Mahler pitched the final three innings to record his second save. Eric Davis, Glenn Braggs, Mariano Duncan, and Joe Oliver all had two hits to help power the offense.
- July 22 - Philadelphia avoids a three-game series sweep by defeating the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, 6-2.
- Manager Lou Piniella chose to rest many of his regular starters in preparation for an eleven game, three city west coast road trip.
- July 23 - Cincinnati begins a long west coast road trip on a high note by defeating San Diego at Jack Murphy Stadium, 9-2.
- Tom Browning picked up his 10th win of the season with a strong outing. The victory put the Reds 26 games over the .500 mark and gave Cincinnati an 11-game lead in the NL West-both marks were season highs.
- July 24 - The Reds are throttled by the Padres in San Diego, 10-0.
- Cincinnati could manage only two hits against Padres starter Bruce Hurst, who went the distance for the shutout.
- July 24 - Cincinnati catcher Joe Oliver celebrates his 25th birthday.
- Oliver was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and he was an all-state catcher in Florida as a senior at Orlando's Boone High School. He was drafted by the Reds in the 2nd round of the 1983 amateur draft. The first major league pitch he saw resulted in a single off of Montreal's Mark Langston.
- July 25 - The Reds are swept by the Padres in a double-header at Jack Murphy Stadium, losing the first game, 2-1, and dropping the second, 10-4.
- Cincinnati starter Norm Charlton pitched well is game one, but the offense could manage only six hits. The offense improved in game two, but the Padres tallied twenty hits against four Reds pitchers for the easy win.
- July 26 - Cincinnati drops the first of a four-game series against the Giants at Candlestick Park, 4-3.
- The Reds jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Giants chipped away at starter Jose Rijo who went the distance for the Reds in the loss. Jeff Brantley (aka "The Cowboy") picked up his 16th save of the season for San Francisco. Prior to the game, pitcher Tim Birtsas was optioned to AAA Nashville, and pitcher Keith Brown was recalled to fill the roster space.
- July 27 - The Giants defeat the Reds at Candlestick Park, 4-3.
- Cincinnati again jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on the strength of a Paul O'Neill first inning homer, but the end result was identical to the day before. Starter Scott Scudder pitched into the ninth inning, but was pinned with the loss when the Giants tallied a run in their final at-bat.
- July 28 - San Francisco downs the Reds at Candlestick Park in 11 innings, 3-2.
- Tom Browning allowed a game tying home run to Dave Anderson in the bottom of the ninth, and the Giants pushed across the winning run in the 11th against Randy Myers on a bloop-single to right field. Eric Davis had three hits in the losing effort.
- July 29 - The Giants complete a four-game series sweep of the Reds with a 4-0 victory.
- San Francisco starter Scott Garrelts had a bid at a no-hitter broken up by a line drive single off the bat of Paul O'Neill with two outs in the top of the ninth. Reds starter Jack Armstrong pitched a complete game, but was stuck with his fourth loss in a row.
- July 30 - Cincinnati loses their eighth game in row, falling to Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 4-1.
- The Reds offense could manage only two hits against Dodger starter Mike Morgan, who went the distance. The eight game losing streak was Cincinnati's longest of the 1990 season, and an 11-game NL West lead had been sliced to 5 1/2.
- July 30 - In an attempt to change the team's luck during their long losing streak, second baseman Ron Oester shaves his head. Oester, however, could not convince any of his teammates to follow suit.
- July 31 - The Reds snap an eight game losing streak and defeat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 5-2.
- Hal Morris and starting pitcher Jose Rijo each had two hits for the Reds, and Chris Sabo added two RBIs to get the Reds back on the winning track. Randy Myers notched save number 21.
The 1990 Cincinnati Reds surprised everyone by becoming the first National League team to hold the first place position every day of the season and sweeping the heavily favored Oakland A's to capture the franchise's fifth World Series Championship. The 20th anniversary of the Reds' "wire to wire" season will be remembered in many ways throughout 2010, most notably with the 1990 exhibit at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.