1949 brought the dawning of the future infield of the Cincinnati Reds. The Columbia Reds brought up future Gold Glove All-Star SS Roy McMillan (.232) and in 1950 added it's 8th future All-Star in 2B Johnny Temple (.322). Temple and McMillan were about to become the future All-Star Double-Play combination of the Cincinnati Reds into the next decade as this 2B/SS duo combined for 6 All-Star appearances between them. Temple would also lead the Columbia Reds to yet another Championship finale (83-70) which saw the Reds lose for the 3rd time in 5 years in the
last games of the season... just on the cusp of earning their 2nd title. Well there was no worry about that happening again in 1951 as the Columbia Reds took one huge step backwards with Odell Martin's 4-15, 5.12 and Norman Bell's 9-16 records sent Columbia straight to the bottom. Luckly that was just a fluke. By 1952, Columbia burst out going from a 46-92 record in 1951 to 100-54... the best record they would ever achieve in their history here. The hitting stats on paper weren't that amazing to be honest. Nearly all of the credit went to Barney Martin who put up an all time best 23-7, 2.13 record followed by John Brechin's 14-5, 2.57. With 100 wins under their belt you would believe that this was the year that the Columbia Reds would finally not lose it in the finals. You would be correct. They would lose it in the 1st round instead and never even make it to the finals. These C-Reds weren't quite finished yet. They had some work to do and put together a killer pitching staff for the 1953 season. Bernie Martin was back to lead this 5 man rotation which looked like this... Barney Martin (17-6, 2.14); Clarence Zieser (18-9, 2.59); Ken Polivka (17-7, 3.36); Maurice Fisher (16-7, 3.21); Corky Valentine (14-6, 2.11). While their 92 wins were 8 less than the season before... 1-5 they were all at the top of their game whereas in the previous year once you get past 1-2-3 in the rotation, they dropped off significantly. With their un-hittable staff, the Columbia Reds were back in the finals and this time... yes they would finally take it all, winning their 2nd Southern League championship and their 7th post season appearance in 10 years.