The name Reds is short for their original name the Red Stockings. The Cincinnati Red Stockings changed their team name to the Reds in 1882. They will remain the Reds until the present day with the exception of a six year period starting in 1953. In fear that the teams name, the Reds, might be associated with communism the name was changed to the Redlegs. People were very paranoid about communism in the 1950s during the McCarthy era.