On November 9, 1973 — Cincinnati trades OF Bobby Tolan and P Dave Tomlin to San Diego for P Clay Kirby. All three will have good years with their new teams.
Tolan won the 1972 comeback player of the year award. 1973 wasn’t so pretty as Tolan slumped to .206 (57 OPS+). Reds fans may remember, too, that Tolan misplayed an outfield ball into a three-base error in the first inning of Game 7 of the 1972 World Series vs. the Oakland Athletics that led to the A’s first run of the game. In a tightly played series (seven game totals: Reds 21 runs, A’s 16 runs), that one run made the difference as the A’s won the seventh and final game, 3-2. The Reds decided to trade Tolan who had become disgruntled, in the offseason.
Kirby had a very good inaugural season with the Reds in 1974, going 12-9 with a 3.28 ERA over 35 starts. Hoewever, his K rate took a big drop in 1975 (from 6.2 to 3.9 per nine innings) and he became hittable, going 10-6 with a 4.72 ERA. He did not pitch in the 1975 postseason. In the offseason, the Reds traded him to the Montreal Expos (for 3B-PH Bob Bailey) and Kirby retired after going 1-8 with a 5.72 ERA in Montreal. For the Reds, Kirby was 22-15 with a 3.74 ERA; for his career, Kirby was 75-104 with a 3.84 ERA. Kirby died of a heart attack at age 43 in 1991.
Tomlin was a young, lefty reliever who had only made 23 appearances for the Reds before the deal. He pitched four years for the Padres, going 10-7 with a 3.28 ERA in 239 games.
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