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Lance McAlister

Cincinnati Homecomings


I'm coming home.....
I was talking to a friend from Cleveland yesterday about LeBron James, and how nuts things have been in the city since Friday. I've been thinking about the list of players/coaches/managers that left Cincinnati and then later returned.
Who else can we add to this list?

Rose returns
After 16 seasons with the Reds, Rose signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent in 1978. He spent five seasons with the Phillies, winning a World Series title in 1980. Rose then signed with the Montreal Expos in 1984. He was hitting just .259 in 95 games that season, while the Reds were going nowhere with manager Vern Rapp (50-71). Reds GM Bob Howsam engineered a trade to bring the 43-year old Rose back to Cincinnati as a player-manager. Rose was just 130 hits away from 3,000 for his career. Rose energized the Reds, hitting .365-.430-.458-.888 the rest of the way, leading the Reds to a record of 19-22 (.463).
Rose would be a player-manager for three seasons, and overall, managed parts of six seasons, prior to his banishment from baseball in 1989. Rose was 412-373 (.525) as Reds manager, guiding the team to four consecutive 2nd place finishes.

August 15, 1984: The Expos trade Rose to the Reds for INF Tom Lawless. 
The Reds name Rose player-manager, replacing Vern Rapp.
August 17, 1984: In his first game back, Rose went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the Reds 6-4 win over the Cubs.

Perspective from Chicago TV that night

Junior comes home
February 10, 2000, the day The Kid came home. After 11 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, and earning recognition as the player of the 90's in MLB, Griffey expressed a desire return home. He was traded to the Reds for pitcher Brett Tomko, outfielder Mike Cameron, and minor leaguers Antonio Perez and Jake Meyer. Griffey signed a 9 year, $112.5M contract with the Reds after the deal was completed. Following a 1999 season that saw the Reds win 96 games, but lose in a one game playoff to the Mets, Griffey was viewed as the final piece needed to help lead the Reds to the World Series. Unfortunately, Griffey suffered several debilitating injuries during his team here, playing in less than 100 games in a season three times. Griffey missed an average of 57 games a season in his eight full seasons with the Reds, playing in 843 of 1,296 games.
The Reds had one winning season (2000) with Griffey and never made the postseason.
His best season with the Reds was his first season, 40 HR, 118 RBI. Griffey would spend eight plus seasons with the Reds, hitting 210 homers with 602 RBI, and earning two All-Star appearances. He will be inducted into the Reds HOF this summer.

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 10: Ken Griffey Jr., slips on a Cincinnati Reds cap during a press conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, 10 February, 2000. Griffey was traded by the Seattle Mariners in exchange for four players. Griffey, who grew up around the Reds, said, 'Well, I'm finally home.' (Photo credit should read MARK A. STAHL/AFP/Getty Images)

Boomer returns
Boomer Esiason was traded by the Bengals to the NY Jets for a 3rd round pick in 1993.
After being released by the Jets after the 1995 season, Esiason signed with the Arizona Cardinals for the 1996 season.
Esiason considered retirement following the 1996 season, but returned to the Bengals for the 1997 season at the age of 36. After a 3-8 start, head coach Bruce Coslet replaced Jeff Blake with Esiason during week 10 vs Indianapolis. Esiason led the Bengals to a 28-13 win over Indy and led the Bengals to a 5-1 finish. 
Down the stretch, Esiason completed 63.3% of his passes for 1,439 yards and 13 TD to just 2 INT. Esiason threw a 77-yard TD pass to Darnay Scott on his last NFL throw against Baltimore in the final game of the season at Cinergy Field. About a a month later, he opted to join the ABC Monday Night Football broadcast team, rather than sign a new deal from the Bengals.

14 Dec 1997: Quarterback Boomer Esiason #7 of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back to pass during the Bengals 31-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys at Cinergy Fiedl in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

Mick Cronin returns to Clifton
Cronin was the hometown gym rat. He played at LaSalle High School before a knee injury ended his playing career. Later he was the JV coach at Woodward High School.
Cronin got his start in college coaching as a video coordinator at UC during the 1996-97 season. After spending five season with Bob Huggins, Cronin left to become an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville for two seasons (2001-2003). Cronin then accepted the position of head coach at Murray State and led the Racers to 2 NCAA tournament appearances, coaching three seasons (2004-06).
He returned to Clifton for the 2006-07 season, replacing interim coach Andy Kennedy.
Kennedy coached one season at UC, following the firing of Huggins. Cronin took over a decimated program and restored the Bearcats to national prominence. He's 162-107 in eight years at UC, including four consecutive NCAA appearances and a Sweet 16 appearance.

LOUISVILLE - JANUARY 1: Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats looks on from the sidelines during the college basketball game against the Louisville Cardinals at Freedom Hall on January 1, 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


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