Where Did The Name Reds Come From?

Reds have had many different names over the last century and a half despite being baseball’s first professional franchise.

At Union Grounds, just west of downtown, Harry Wright founded the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869, and the team’s home games were held there.

Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds

The team’s red knee-high socks or stockings were the inspiration for the moniker. Wright and his brother George helped form the Boston Red Stockings, which later became the Boston Braves, after the barnstorming Red Stockings disbanded in 1870.

Cincinnati was a founding member of the National League in 1876, restoring professional baseball to the city. Red Stockings were kicked out of the NL for serving beer at games and requesting to play on Sundays.

In 1881, they relocated to the American Association and adopted the name “Reds” to reflect their new location.

When the NL re-admitted the Reds in 1890, they remained known as the Reds for more than half a century.

Distrust of Soviet communism and worldwide ambition grew in the United States following World War II’s conclusion.

When Joseph McCarthy, a Republican senator from Wisconsin was elected in 1950, he used the fear of communism and the Soviets to spread lists of prospective communist infiltrators and sympathizers across the United States.

The Korean War was still raging when Senator Joseph McCarthy began holding public hearings to look into allegations of espionage and subversion. This became known as the “Red Scare”

A year after rebranding as Redlegs in 1953, the team changed their home jersey design to include only the wishbone-C.

A Mr. Redlegs mustache emblem adorned the left side of the 1956 road jersey, but it was only worn for one season before the gray uniforms adopted a basic wishbone-C.

Where Did The Name Reds Come From?

The Red Stockings of 1869 were named for the brilliant red knee-high socks worn by the players, who were known as ballists at the time of the game.