As professional baseball's oldest franchise, the Cincinnati Reds have steeped themselves in history.
The Reds' saga encompasses the era when they played at charmingly quirky Crosley Field, as well as the years when they sustained sheer superiority as the Big Red Machine -- along with entertaining years before and after those stretches.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 three-dimensional pieces contains artifacts that tell the story of the game’s legendary players, moments and triumphs. Beginning this summer and running through the end of 2020, the Hall of Fame will share some of those memorable artifacts through a new limited time experience: Starting Nine, which features nine artifacts from each of the 30 current MLB franchises. Whether you’ve visited before or you’ve always wanted to check it out, this is another great reason to plan a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum -- the spiritual home of America’s Pastime in beautiful Cooperstown, N.Y.
Here's a list of the Reds artifacts that will be on display:
1) This is where it all began
Fun facts: If Johnny Bench isn't the greatest catcher of all time, he's certainly part of the conversation. Bench immediately separated himself from his counterparts by winning this Topps Rookie Award in 1968, when he hit .275 with 15 home runs and 82 RBIs.
2) Fearsome -- and freaky -- foursome
Fun facts: Observers knew that Scooter Gennett was a decent hitter, but not as explosive as he was on June 6, 2017, when he clobbered four home runs against St. Louis at Great American Ball Park. This is the bat he used to swat at least one of the homers.
3) A milestone for Junior
Fun facts: Injuries prevented Ken Griffey Jr. from amassing more prodigious home run totals than he did. Nevertheless, reaching 500 homers was a significant achievement. This is the batting helmet that Griffey wore when he socked that benchmark round-tripper off St. Louis' Matt Morris on June 20, 2004.
4) Hatcher's hatchet
Fun facts: Billy Hatcher did his best hitting when it counted most. He belted a key home run for Houston in Game 6 of the 1986 National League Championship Series, and hit safely in seven consecutive at-bats with the Reds to set a World Series record against Oakland in '90. This is the bat Hatcher swung when he delivered his seventh hit in a row.
5) A master's tool
Fun facts: Not enough people remember Jim Maloney, who was among baseball's hardest throwers in the era when starting pitchers dominated the game. This is the glove Maloney wore when he pitched a 10-inning no-hitter on Aug. 19, 1965, in a 1-0 victory against the Cubs. Remarkably, Maloney struck out 12 and walked 10.
6) In good hands
Fun facts: This is one of the gloves used by Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan during his 1972-79 heyday with the "Big Red Machine," who won World Series in '75 and '76. Morgan was a sure fielder and an offensive dynamo.
7) Stepping past Cobb
Fun facts: Pete Rose wore these shoes when he broke one of baseball's biggest records. On the night of Sept. 11, 1985, Rose singled to left-center field off San Diego right-hander Eric Show for career hit No. 4,192, eclipsing the record of 4,191 held by Ty Cobb since he retired in '28 (Cobb's hit total was later amended to 4,189).
8) These shoes were made for walking
Fun facts: Joey Votto knows that a walk is as good as a hit. He proved that while wearing these shoes and drawing a free pass in the 2018 season finale, which hiked his on-base percentage to .417 -- the seventh time that he led the National League in this category.
9) O captain, our captain
Fun facts: This medal was given to future Hall of Famer Harry Wright, captain of the first team in professional baseball history. Wright received this medal in 1868. One year later, the National Association of Base Ball Players authorized professionalism.