One bright spot for the Reds was the play of Charley Jones, who led the club with a batting average of .286, had the second highest home run total in the league with four, and was among the league leaders in doubles and slugging percentage.
The Reds played their first ever game on April 25, 1876, defeating the St. Louis Brown Stockings 2–1 at Avenue Grounds. Wins would be far and few between for the Reds, as after putting up a solid 3–2 record in their opening five games, the Reds would go on an eleven-game losing streak to fall to 3–13. After defeating the Hartford Dark Blues 8–2 to end their losing streak, the Reds would then have a thirteen-game losing streak, and saw their record fall to 4–26. By the time the season was finished, Cincinnati had the worst record in the National League, as they ended the season with a 9–56 record, 42.5 games behind the first place Chicago White Stockings.