The Cincinnati Reds once lost a game because of a stray dog.
History is often weird, particularly when it comes to sports or animals. For example, did you know that the Cincinnati Reds once lost a baseball game because of a stray dog?
This odd bit of dog history and baseball history comes from a website called This Day in Baseball.
It happened on August 22, 1886, during an American Association road game the Reds (the Cincinnati Red Stockings at the time) played against the Louisville Colonels at Eclipse Park.
A stray dog spent most of the game sleeping by the outfield fence, only to grab onto the trousers leg of Cincinnati center fielder Abner Powell and refuse to let go, which kept him from reaching a fly ball hit by Louisville batter Chicken Wolf. (The early days of baseball were quite colorful, and Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball and Frank Deford’s book The Old Ball Game are both good resources for learning about the early days of the game.)
This let Wolf escape with an inside-the-park home run, which proved to be the deciding factor in the Colonels’ 5-4 victory.
It didn’t really help or hurt either side much, however, as Louisville finished fourth in the eight-team league in the 1886 American Association standings with a record of 70-66, while Cincinnati was fifth at 65-73.
All three teams who finished ahead of them in the standings (the St Louis Brown Stockings, Pittsburgh Alleghenys and Brooklyn Grays) still exist today in the National League as the St Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.
In modern-day Major League Baseball action, the Cincinnati Reds lost a road matchup 3-0 to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Saturday and then lost 6-2 on Sunday, as they currently hold the third spot in the National League Central with an 11-16 record a little before halfway through the COVID-shortened 2020 MLB season.