All posts in Kickin’ It Old School

Wow, these guys are FAST!

I think this footage has made the Reds Internet rounds before, but it’s always worth a post. The 1919 World Series will always be a little thorn in generations of Reds fan’s sides because of the White Sox allegedly throwing the Series. It’s controversy is its lure, of course, and being able to watch a smidge of footage from the 9-game series is quite amazing. At the end of the day though, the 1919 title belongs to Cincinnati, and that’s what counts.

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Reds Hall of Fame Grille preview

Just a couple of days shy of the OTHER big Opening Day this month – Kings Island’s opener on Saturday – OMGReds’ favorite amusement and water park welcomed media types, bloggers and local dignitaries to the new Reds Hall of Fame Grille – a Reds-themed restaurant located in Rivertown (if Rivertown doesn’t do anything for you, think right between White Water Canyon and the Diamondback).

The biggest thing that struck me (and my wife and mother-in-law, who are also die-hard Reds fans) was how impressive an effort it was by Rick Walls and his Reds Hall of Fame and Museum staff, providing the images and graphics used in the establishment in addition to many of the game-used items on display. Our friends at CEI Sports also procured vintage memorabilia that you’ll find at the RHOFG (or, Ar-HOF-Gee).

There are some really cool items in RHOFG. It’s too long a list to get into specifics, but it’s kinda going to blow you away. “Like Reds Hall of Fame or Green Diamond Gallery or CEI Sports or Sports Gallery blow me away?” It’s in the same ballpark. I really like the way they compartmentalized each corner into specific decades (except for the 1800s corner, which, for obvious reasons, is just 1800s). And even if you’re in RHOFG and don’t have to go to the bathroom at any point, you’ll want to at least stroll over to the lavatory to take in the fantastic Reds’ 1990 wire-to-wire tribute in that hallway.

So, while we were there for Thursday’s preview – rubbing elbows with the likes of Reds Hall of Famer Jim O’Toole (by the way, can we give a quick tip of the cap to the 76-year-old former Reds pitching great for attending as many of these events as he does!) – we asked the hard-hitting questions. Like what’s going to be shown on all of the TVs in this place. Because there are A LOT of TVs. A manager told us the Reds game will be on many of the TVs when they’re playing. When the Reds aren’t playing, some of the TVs will show Fox Sports Ohio, ESPN, and programming you’d expect to see at a sports bar. And there’s a great documentary about the Reds (that was being shown on all of the TVs during the preview event) that will be shown on a loop on some of the TVs (but trust me, it’s a long enough documentary that you will not even know it’s being shown on a loop).

So what about the food? Don’t mistake me for a foodie; I’m not going to write about the texture of the friggin’ noodles or anything. We’re OMGReds, we prefer our food in helmets. And there is – thankfully – a helmet sundae (see the photo gallery above) available that’s pretty outstanding. Our only suggestion would be to maybe try out a few other food items in helmets. Even larger helmets perhaps. Montgomery Inn pulled pork is one thing, but Montgomery Inn pulled pork in a helmet? The helmet is a game-changer. (And the same suggestion/challenge we’ve posed to the Reds. We’re ready for the next step after meatless nachos.)

We were probably most impressed at RHOFG with the bullpen dip. It’s a creamy buffalo chicken/cheese dip that’ll knock your socks off even if you’ve just been rocked by the nearby Diamondback. Everything was very good, really. Great seasoned fries covered with nacho cheese, bacon, green onions and sauce. Chicken wings, Saratoga chips, wraps. A very tasty chocolate cake garnished with (whoa, that’s as foodie as we’re going to get here) raspberries. A great looking cheesecake I was too full to try. Very impressive all the way around.

And there’s a strong beer selection. There were four on tap today, but a bartender said they’re going to change out draft options from time to time, maybe go to the ‘pen for a Summer Shandy when June or July rolls around. There are also eight bottled beers and wine available, and a bartender said RHOFG hopes to add liquor in the near future (it is, after all, a bar/restaurant).

I should add that the Diamondback was up and running during the preview event for anyone interested in riding. When we first arrived, there was actually a run with one person in the very front of the coaster. (How cool would it be to ride the Diamondback by yourself?) I was too full to ride it when we left RHOFG, but by the time we walked to our car and I was out in the parking lot, I was wishing I’d have just chilled for an extra five minutes to let the food digest and done it. We’ll be back, though, and we’ll definitely be back to RHOFG. It’s just really nice to see the way everyone collaborated and got it right, as opposed to doing it halfway and slapping a Reds logo on it and calling it a Reds-themed restaurant. This place is first class – nothing halfway about it – and Reds fans are most definitely going to want to slide head-first into RHOFG early and often, starting this Saturday.

Cincinnati Reds Barry Larkin 1991

Pullovers

According to SportsLogos.net, the Reds will be sporting throwback uniforms against the Phillies on August 22 in Philadelphia. In celebration of their third place finish in the NL East (?), the Phils will be donning some pretty sweet pin-stripe maroons with the Reds sporting the those v-neck grey numbers like Barry is wearing above.

Interestingly, SportsLogos.net also points out that on the same exact date in 1991, the Reds and Phillies played a Turn Back the Clock game, recreating looks from 1957! Crazy!

The Reds last dipped into the pull-over era for a 2009 game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. That match-up featured unis from 1979 and a slightly different version of the road grey pullover. Two major differences – the sleeve cuffs on the ’79 version are red/white while the 1991 model is red/white/red. Also, “CINCINNATI” on the 1991 version uses a white outline while the ’70s version is just a single layer of red.

The Reds last played in the throwback game against the Brewers in 2011 and last threw back at home during the 2010 MLB Civil Rights Game.

OMGreds always enjoys a Reds throwback, even on the road. We’re looking for a 1995 throwback in honor of Barry… Still time to pull that off for the August 25 celebration?

Start your weekend off right

And watch this Reds tribute. Goosebumps? Thought so.

The track is “My Oh My” by Seattle artist Macklemore.

Remembering Crosley

I’m really enjoying this “Remember Crosley” series on Cincinnati.Com. The video posted above features Enquirer Reporter Howard Wilkinson and Reds Historian Greg Rhodes sharing their memories of Crosley on current-day location of the Crosley Field site.

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the opening of Redland Field. Redland was renamed Crosley Field in 1934.

As someone that was born years after Crosley Field yielded to the wrecking ball, I’m fascinated by its history and enjoy hearing stories of those who had been there. Speaking of, Cincinnati.Com also has a great list of reader-submitted Crosley Field memories. They’re personal, emotional, detailed and wonderful. I’m sure decades from now, many of us will be sharing our memories of GABP after it’s replaced by something better – whatever that may be. As much as I yearn to live in the past for just a few hours, I would love to see what we have coming in a few years. Can’t wait.

One more thing – They also produced a 3-D fly-through model of Crosely that is narrated by Rhodes and the Enquirer’s John Erardi.

Five years ago today

America saw Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory bounce one into the dugout.

Oh, and some guy name Josh Hamilton made his MLB debut.

h/t: @joshuadbethel

Pete Rose & Tom Seaver on the Mike Douglas Show in 1977

Tom Seaver and Pete Rose on the Mike Douglas Show, 1977

Tom Seaver and Pete Rose on the Mike Douglas Show, 1977

Talk-show host Mike Douglas interviews All-Star baseball players Pete Rose and Tom Seaver of the world-champion Cincinnati Reds on July 20th, 1977 (the show was broadcast one week later on July 27th).

This is one of helluva episode. Not only do Rose and Seaver appear on the show, but Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford are on the show promoting Star Wars. Epic.

There are four parts to the episode that originally aired on July 27, 1977, but we’ll embed just the parts that feature Rose and Seaver – 3 & 4. To check out all 4 parts, click here.

Tell you what, I always enjoy hearing Pete talk about baseball. Whatever about the rest of his thing, but when he talks about baseball, I’m down.

It’s almost bizarre to hear Rose and Seaver about a few particular things like, explaining free agency, Seaver’s trade from the Mets, Tony Perez being traded from the Reds to the Expos and Rose’s burgeoning career in endorsements and TV commercials. Of course, Mike Douglas tests Rose and Seaver at the end of the second segment to see if they are skilled product pitchmen.

Also, Pete’s chain is legit. Ya best recognize.


Part 3


Part 4

Tip of the cap to The Mets Police.

Are you ready for Mr. Red?

Mr. Red

Likely the first mascot version of Mr. Red. (Rhodes/Klumpe Reds Hall of Fame Collection)

I believe we are.

Five years after the merciful retiring of alien baby Mr. Red, he’s being brought back into the mascot fold next season. Rounding out the Reds mascot roster at four, Mr. Red is being re-introduced at this year’s Redsfest – likely looking much, much better after years of Billy Blanks Tae Bo and some serious facial reconstruction. New Mr. Red will be presented at 6pm Friday night on the Redsfest main stage.

Alien Mr. Red had a run from 1997-2006 serving as the teams only mascot until 2003 when he was joined by “lovable” Gapper. In 2007, Mr. Red was was supplanted by Mr. Redlegs and the lovely Rosie Red rounded out the mix in 2008.

With the resurrection of Mr. Red, fans will be looking forward to even more mascot hijinx around GABP.

So, how about that photo of Mr. Red from the early 70s? We’re not sure of the date on that one, but we’d guess 1973ish? Just a hunch. While that incarnation is a complete rip of the original Mr. Met, all of us Reds fans know that Mr. Red/Mr. Redlegs has been around for quite a while.

Speaking of dudes running around with paper mache baseballs on their heads, check out how Reds fan Tim Shafer crashed the 1975 National League Championship celebration parade dressed in a home-made Mr. Red costume. He was OMGreds before there was OMGreds. We salute you, Mr. Shafer!

Jeff Ruby + Sports Rock = TV gold

Did you happen to stay up late for WLWT’s “Sports Rock” last night? If you’re not one of those lucky people like me who works weird hours and you had to get up Monday morning, you probably missed it. In which case I’m sorry. Because transcribing what Jeff Ruby – cantankerous and unpredictable local restaurant owner, sports fan and long-time friend of the Reds (from Sparky Anderson to Dusty Baker) as well as other sports personalities – said during “Sports Rock” doesn’t quite do it justice.

George Vogel and Ken Broo MUST know what they’re getting into when they have Ruby on. It’s not quite Charlie Sheen appearing on “The View,” but it’s close. Anyway, suffice it to say Ruby was dishing them out last night, and Ken Broo was taking them.

At one point just a couple of minutes into the show, Broo accused Ruby of prematurely comparing Andy Dalton to Boomer Esiason. Didn’t go over so well. Here was the delightfully awkward exchange (bear with me, I realize this part of the post isn’t Reds-related, but it was the most memorable exchange of the show):

Ruby: Dalton, he’s a rookie. He’s a second-round pick like Boomer was. He’s the real deal and he’s gonna be good.

Broo (interrupting): Oh, now he’s Boomer. After 4 games, he’s Boomer.

JR: I JUST SAID … he’s a second-round pick like Boomer was.

KB: You said Boomer …

JR: Kenny Anderson … all their good quarterbacks were second-round picks, OK??

KB: Don’t put the heat on the kid just yet.

JR: I’M NOT PUTTING THE HEAT ON HIM! I’M TELLING YOU IT’S GONNA TAKE TIME, YOU HEAR ME?

KB: OK, well you said Boomer-

JR: I just said give him time! … (to Broo) You’re not there yet either.

(Zing)

Later in the show, when Broo and Ruby got confrontational again, Broo said, “Don’t hit me please. Please don’t hit me.”

During the show, Ruby also uncorked …

• A Louis Prima and Keely Smith reference (lost on his younger co-panelists) when Akili Smith’s name was mentioned.

• That he attended the La Salle-Moeller game with Rey Maualuga, but that he wasn’t “dropping names.”

• A brief Jeff Wyler impression first thing out of a break, as if he maybe didn’t know they were back from break.

• That Ced Benson had a big game on Sunday because “Si Leis was chasing him.”

• That in college football, Penn State doesn’t travel to Temple every season because “maybe they’re not Jewish.” “If they’re not Jewish,” Ruby added, “they’re going to go to church. Why would they go to Temple?”

Wow. Anyway, Ruby dominated time of possession, and here were his comments about the Reds, which came at the very end of the show.

“Dusty told me not to tell you anything anymore. I got in trouble for that last time.”

(And on what to do about Votto vs. Alonso, which John Fay just wrote about)

Ruby (to “Sports Rock” panelist Andy Pierce): “How do you know Alonso’s gonna be so good?! What in the name of Wily Mo Pena makes you think he’ll be so good?? Wily Mo Pena was gonna be the next Willie Stargell. … You don’t know what Alfonso, Alonso, whatever is gonna do!”

In conclusion, Ruby is a character, that’s for sure. And there are plenty of characters who say outlandish things on TV and radio, no doubt, but not usually in that type of forum. You usually get one or two of several polished former Bengals and/or former high school or college coaches and you know exactly what to expect. Your only chance for comic relief is some yayhoo calling in and pretending to ask a question before breaking into “Dil-do, dil-do, dil-do” before they cut him off.

Not the case when Ruby is on, that’s for sure. I found it refreshing, in an awkward way.

Reds Live: Johnny Bench Night

As a huge Johnny Bench fan (at 13, I was lucky enough to be on hand in Cooperstown for his National Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend) unable to attend Johnny Bench Night on Saturday, the silver lining was sitting down Sunday night and watching the hour-long Reds Live from Johnny Bench Night that I had DVR’ed. Let me start by saying I was very impressed with what Fox Sports Ohio did with this hour. I’d imagine their goal was to allow people who couldn’t make it to feel like they didn’t miss it after all. And that’s exactly what they achieved. It was a great hour of TV for a Reds fan.

In case you missed it because you were at the ballpark and/or didn’t get to DVR it, here were some highlights:

Most awkward moment: Johnny is making his speech on the field before the game. The guy doesn’t appear to have any notes, but when you’ve got the public speaking ability that Johnny Bench has, you don’t need notes. A couple of minutes into the speech, he says, “The one thing I asked when this statue was going to be constructed was that it also had to include a caveat that following me would be – not in this order – Pete, Joe and Tony.”

Which gets big applause from the fired-up crowd.

And immediately the camera zooms in on Davey Concepcion.

Bum-bum-buh-dum, horrrrrn.

Of course Concepcion smiled and applauded as the incredibly gracious and modest individual he is. And the show’s director/producer/camera folks probably had no idea exactly what Johnny was going to say there (I’m pretty sure only Johnny knows what Johnny is about to say.) But for the love of, um, Pete … zoom in on Bob Castellini right at that moment. Show the crowd. Show that group of people who donated to the Bench statue fund. Heck, show Doug Flynn. ANYONE but the guy who could stake a claim to having been the fifth Beatle for years. It was just a hair painful, knowing that Concepcion should absolutely be a National Hall of Famer and will undoubtedly be deserving of a statue as well. (And we’re going to need a George Foster statue eventually as well. C’mon, people, how many guys can lead the league in RBIs in three consecutive seasons.)

Awkward honorable mention: Hal McCoy, on the set of Reds Live with Jim Day and Brian Giesenschlag, offers the following anecdote when asked if Johnny has mellowed:

“Very much so. He came in the clubhouse yesterday and he saw me across the room and he yelled, “Hall of Famer!” … came over, shook my hand, gave me a hug and I turned to somebody when he left and said, ‘He just said more words to me right there than he said in an entire season sometimes.'”

Awkward honorable mention No. 2: Jim Day asks Hal McCoy about how Bench and Pete Rose have mended fences and McCoy explains how great it is that their relationship has improved so much. Which begs the question: Why wasn’t Pete on hand for any of Saturday’s festivities? Anyone know his alibi?

That’s a fact, Jack: Johnny is referred to repeatedly (most often, I believe, by emcee Joe Zerhusen during the on-field ceremony) as the greatest catcher of all-time. I may have missed it but I don’t think Bench was referred to even once during the show as one of the greatest catchers of all time. I just find that interesting … how certain everyone is and how no one wants to acknowledge that Johnny may be among a very elite group of three or four catchers who could stake a claim to being the greatest ever.

Did I blink and miss it? At the start of the show, they promised a “live visit” with statue designer Tom Tsuchiya. (Not to be confused, by the way, with MLB umpire Tim Tschida.) They teased it again later. Totally missed it. Did my DVR just not pick it up? Was it after 7 p.m. that it aired?

Unintentional comedy: Jim Day starts the show talking about the buzz in the air for Johnny Bench Night and the big crowd on hand, and there are like 50 people in the hundreds of seats behind him. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that JD did a great job co-hosting this show.)

Goosebumps: Joe Nuxhall calling Bench’s home run on Johnny Bench Night in 1983. They showed it twice – once during the show coming out of a commercial break and again on the video board during the pre-game ceremony on the field. Goosebumps, both times.

Really??: When they introduced everyone who was sitting on the field for the pre-game ceremony, what was with the one guy who starting booing his ace off when they introduced Mayor Mark Mallory? It would have been one thing if everyone had started booing (clearly there is not enough animosity for a guy who will forever be remembered for this) but, to me, it sounded like one guy just started booing very loudly by himself. I’m gonna call that a #fail. #failboo

Best intentional comedy: Johnny is known for his sense of humor. The guy can be downright goofy. And he reached into his bag of tricks on several occasions during the pre-game ceremonies. The funniest? He set it up this way:

“Very seldom does anyone ever embarrass the Big Red Machine, but sometimes it happens.”

Cue this video of Joe Morgan doing the Chicken Dance on the video board.

It’s like I kind of saw it coming but the way Johnny set it up was pretty laugh-out-loud outstanding. And he followed up with, “All of that just to sell a car.” Zing!

Just Johnny being Johnny: You’d have to have seen it to know how strange and borderline awkward it was but Johnny took the time at the end of his speech during the on-field ceremony to recognize what an outstanding season the Brewers have had, wishing them well, he jokingly said, in the event that the Reds don’t catch them this season. Ouch. Kind of a sore subject, Johnny. Maybe he knew what a pounding the Brewers were going to administer on Saturday and figured the current Reds deserved that. Which, right now, you’d have to agree they do deserve.

Pants!

Reds Negro League throwback pants on sale at the Reds Team Shop

Reds Negro League throwback pants on sale at the Reds Team Shop

Like many, OMGreds was curious about the fabric used for the Reds and Brewers uniforms from the July 9th Negro League Tribute game. Many guessed that both teams were actually wearing full-on flannel uniforms. We figured not, but you never know. So, we were down at the Reds Team Shop today and they had game-used pants from that game on sale. We confirmed that the uniforms were indeed synthetic, modern materials, not flannel. The material was designed to look like flannel from a distance. AIS Custom Uniform Company handled the manufacturing, as they have for other throwback games, movies and more.

While the Team Shop had pants, no jerseys were available. We hear through the grapevine that the Reds Community Fund will be auctioning off a small handful of them starting Monday on Reds.com. FYI, we have not confirmed that with the Reds or the Community Fund.

If your into nabbing one for free, Better Off Red, Featuring Jamie Ramsey and the
Rama Lama Ding Dong?s, will be giving one away very soon. Limited details, and a great shot of the jersey available right here. Good luck!

Some other quick photos we snapped of the pants.

Reds Negro League throwbacks made by AIS

Reds Negro League throwbacks made by AIS

Reds Negro League throwback pants - fabric and belt loops

Reds Negro League throwback pants - fabric and belt loops

While we would love to own a game-used jersey from this game, if we were going to purchase this look at retail, we would nab this flannel version from Ebbets Field Flannels instead.

Johnny and Friends

Bench bobbles

Great time watching the All-Star Game at Green Diamond Gallery. And we learned about an upcoming event we’re just going to have to save up for because it sounds just a little too good to pass up.

We’ll just eat one meal a day and set aside the money – in a big jar, of course – that we would’ve spent on food. We’ll resist the temptation of running out to buy some Upper Deck Goodwin Champions for a few months. Heck, we’ll get a second job working the third shift somewhere and forego sleep if we have to.

But make no mistake: We will be plunking down 200 bones for a lineup that includes John Bench, Jim Kaat, Steve Garvey, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Andre Dawson, Al Kaline, Roberto Clemente Jr. and the pride of the Gem City as well as Ohio University, Michael Jack Schmidt.

That’s right: More than 90 Gold Glove awards won among those guys. And they’ll all be in West Chester (Township, some insist) – at the gorgeous and relatively new Savannah Center (to those who live up that way, it’s on Chappell Crossing Blvd., off Union Centre, near Beckett Park) – on Oct. 29, thanks to Character and Courage Foundation and Green Diamond Gallery.

The details:

What: Johnny and Friends: A Golden Celebration
When: Sat., Oct. 29, 6-11 p.m.
Where: Savannah Center, West Chester (Township, some insist)
Who: Bench, Kitty, Garvey, Ryno, The Wizard, The Hawk, Mr. Tiger, Clemente Jr. and Michael Jack Schmidt
Cost: $200 per ticket, $2000 for table of 10 (a $2,500 corporate table of 10 gets you table signage and recognition in the program)
Included: Light appetizers, dinner, beer and wine, dessert, opportunity to bid on auction items
More info: Call 513-984-4192 or visit www.characterandcourage.org

And looked good doing it, too!

Joey Votto in a 1937 Cincinnati Tigers replica uniform

Joey Votto in a 1937 Cincinnati Tigers replica uniform

OMG. That game was beautiful. From a uniform standpoint, that is. Kudos to the Brewers for pulling off each team’s respective uniforms so exceptionally well during their 6th Annual Negro League Tribute Game. The Brewers donned uniforms from the 1923 Milwaukee Bears and the Reds from the 1936-37 Cincinnati Tigers.

Someone was paying attention to the details – check out the centered belt loop on the Reds’ pants, placed just as it was back in the day. The typeface used for Reds’ numbers was beautiful. Plus, check out the pockets and belt loops! Oh, and those hats! The size of that “crest c” is ginormous, but that’s how they were.

Props to each team for wearing high socks. No, they’re not stirrups, but in today’s game, it’s a big win. We imagine that was a requirement for each team, as all players on both teams had their pants cropped short. Except for Champman’s, for some reason.

If you missed it, here’s the Tweet from @DatdudeBP with him and Fred Lewis doing some modeling before the game. Swag? Swag.

Best part of the game? The Reds got back on track and beat the Brewers 8-4 in 10 innings. Woo!

Check out the photo gallery on Cincinnati.Com for last night’s game to get a better look at the umm… look.

Throwback alert

1936 Cincinnati Tigers

1936 Cincinnati Tigers

Reds fans will get another throwback treat tonight as Milwaukee host’s their 6th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game. Both teams will be wearing throwback uniforms honoring Negro League teams from their respective cites, the Milwaukee Bears and the Cincinnati Tigers.

From the Brewers.com:

In tribute to one of the greatest baseball traditions ever established in sports, the two teams will honor the legendary Negro Leagues and its players by wearing vintage uniforms from the Milwaukee Bears and Cincinnati Tigers Negro Leagues teams.

1937 Cincinnati Tigers jersey

Tigers jersey from Ebbets Field Flannels

The Cincinnati Tigers actually wore second-hand uniforms from the Reds during their short 4-year (1934-37) history. So the Reds will essentially be wearing their own 1930s road uniform design. The jersey to the right is one of our favorite items from Ebbets Field Flannels, who specialize in exact reproductions of vintage jerseys.

We dug the simplicty of the 1944 uniforms that the Reds wore against the Dodgers on June 15, but these 1930’s era uniforms should be even better. Hopefully a uniform change will inspire a win tonight… our boys need one.

Hail Seaver

Whoa, this is phenomenal. Check out the 8mm footage of Tom Seaver’s return to Shea Stadium in 1977 – as a Cincinnati Red.

From the YouTube description:

This is a Super 8mm movie shot and edited by me of Tom Seaver’s return to Shea Stadium after the trade which sent him to the Cincinnati Reds in June, 1977. It has been seen by very few people since then.

The film includes general scenes of Shea Stadium before and during the game, and shots of Mets players Jerry Koosman (36) , Ed Kranepool (7), John Stearns (12), Steve Henderson – who was acquired in the Seaver trade (5), and Manager Joe Torre (9). Reds in the film include Manager Sparky Anderson (10), Johnny Bench (5), Dan Driessen (22), and Pete Rose (14). Mets announcer Lindsey Nelson can be seen doing the pre-game show from the WOR-TV booth. Karl Ehrhardt, the popular “Sign Man” who was a fixture at Mets games in the ’60s and ’70s is in his regular spot on the third base line.

Seaver pitched a complete game, defeating Koosman and the Mets 5-1. The boxscore and game summary can be seen at: Baseball-Reference.

My mother and father also appear in film. She was so upset by the trade that she refused to wear a Mets cap, and insisted that my father buy her a souvenir Reds batting helmet before the game. It’s nice to see them both looking so young and healthy!

Sorry for the poor video quality. The film itself is clear, sharp and vibrant. I am going to look into having it professionally transferred to video sometime soon. As these pictures were shot on Super 8mm film, there is no sound.

The fact that the poster’s mother insisted that she wear a Cincinnati Reds souvenir helmet is epic. Go Mom!

Tip of the NL cap to The Mets Police

The Night Before Christmas

All-Star Cincinnati Christmas Night Before Christmas

Michael Collins 1992 Christmas Special on WLWT (Tom Kuelbs producer) Starring Johnny Bench, Marge Schott, Andy Furman, Tom Browning, Boomer Esiason, Ickey Woods, Gary Burbank, Jerry Springer Eric Kunzel, Sam Wyche, Lou Piniella, Bill Cunningham Simon Leis, Marty Brennaman, Joe Nuxhall, Norma Rashid 700 WLW and many more Pat Story photographer-editor, Rich Venn music, Andy Furman was played by Shannon Reichley who also produced.

Infinitely Cool

Johnny Vander Meer - Infinite Baseball Card

Johnny Vander Meer at www.infinitecardset.blogspot.com

One of my favorite items in my modest baseball collect is the first issued set from The Infinite Baseball Card Set. Illustrator and designer Gary Joseph Cieradkowski has set out to create a never-ending set of baseball cards that capture the interesting and the obscure from baseball days long gone. Each card features an exquisite illustration accompanied by a carefully researched story on the player. From Negro Leaguers to obscure semi-pro players and even hall of famers in their days before the show, the Infinite Set is a beautiful look at the history of the game – and its uniforms.

The Infinite Set’s most recent entry features none other than Reds Hall of Famer Johnny Vander Meer. We all know him as the dude that tossed back-to-back no-hitters for the Reds in 1938. Check out Johnny’s beautiful card and story over at The Infinite Baseball Card Set.

On another Cincinnati-related note, The Infinite Set featured a card of Sandy Koufax in a University of Cincinnati baseball uniform. Unfortunately, the NCAA forced the removal of the card due to it being in violation of collegiate licensing laws. Commence eye rolling… NOW. You should have seen it – it was a beautiful card.

Baseball’s Seasons

1975 Cincinnati Reds
Just got done watching the hour-long “Baseball’s Seasons” on MLB Network about the 1975 season. First of all, I must say they do a REALLY nice job with that program. I was impressed. And not just because they devote plenty of time to the entire 1975 World Series and don’t gloss over everything but Carlton Fisk’s home run like others do.

Enjoyed Cliff Johnson’s quote about the Big Red Machine, “I don’t know who named it, but whoever did they named the hell out of it because it WAS a machine and they WOULD run over you.”

Always love the anecdote about Denny Doyle claiming he heard Don Zimmer yelling, “Go, go, go!” when Zimmer was yelling, “No, no, no!” before George Foster guns him out at home plate (personally one of MY favorite Game 6 highlights).

Anyway, definitely worth watching if you get a chance. Set your DVR if you missed it; it replays at midnight and 3 a.m.

(One other highlight: The atrocious all-red uniforms the Cleveland Indians wore in 1975. Wow.)

A day later

Great American Ball Park

Division Champs... ahhhhh

OMGReds threw the champagne-soaked jersey in the wash, took an ibuprofen, drank a Gatorade and headed back down to the ballpark to be part of the raucous crowd of 14,760 (not even close) to watch Willie Bloomquist and the 2010 National League Central champs battle the Astros. Observations:

• Five of the eight starting position players spent at least part of the season in Louisville. Valaika, Alonso and Francisco – the 2, 3 and 4 hitters – had more than 300 at-bats in Louisville this season. The Reds beat Nelson Figueroa a couple of weeks ago in Houston, but that was with Phillips, Votto, Rolen, Bruce, et al. And even though the ‘Stros entered the game having lost 6 of 7, they’re (now) a respectable 39-30 since the break. In other words, it’s tough to run out the lineup the Reds had tonight – even if you get your stars in toward the end of the game – and expect to win a big game. (More on the significance of the game later in the post.)

• That being said, we’ve still got big-time love for Heisey. Fantastic shoestring grab on the first out of the game. The 900 people who were in their seats in time to watch it cheered enthusiastically.

• Corky Miller had the bat fly out of his hands during his second-inning at-bat; it went all the way to the backstop and he walked all the way back to retrieve it himself. If you saw it, it was pretty unusual. I can’t remember the last time I saw a big-leaguer travel so far to retrieve his own equipment. Not that there was any problem, it’s cool that Corky is humble like that. You just never see that anymore.

• Yonder actually worked a count to 3-1. For a second I thought he might get his first base on balls as a Red, but then he grounded out. Seems to me like he hasn’t taken many pitches since he got called up.

• That was a SICK play by Valaika in the 6th. I didn’t get to see Web Gems tonight, but it better have been in there.

Sign the banner! Do it!

• Is there anything worse than a lame heckler at a ballgame? A guy with absolutely no decent material was trying to heckle Carlos Lee for most of the evening, trying to get under his skin with “Hey, Carlos, you suck!” and “Hey, Carlos, why didn’t you catch that?!” for balls hit into the stands. Everyone has had to sit by this guy before at a ballgame – isn’t it awful? Just so uncomfortable because he’s not even funny? It was brutal. “Hey, Carlos, I’ve got you on my fantasy team for next year, so you better tear it up!” Huh? Started singing the Gatorade “Be Like Mike” jingle with “Be Like Carlos” instead. You get the point. I almost moved from my great seat (which was not far from Carlos). Fail on the lame heckler’s part, too. Carlos went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Oh, and his average is down this year (he had a very slow start) but he’s a career .287 hitter with 330 home runs. You might have an easier time heckling someone who DOES suck, guy. And getting some funny material so that at least the people who aren’t that annoyed that you’re loud, annoying, obnoxious and mean-spirited will chuckle. Turd.

• I hate to pick on our first-round pick of the 2008 draft again, but WTF was that fancy, behind-the-back flip attempt to Cueto covering first?? I didn’t get to see the replay, but it looked Bush League live. And I know the Astros scored their second run after some indecision on the grounder to Valaika on the next play, but to me Alonso’s failed attempt to make the highlight reel was far more egregious.

• Totally dug the organist playing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” on the calliope during the stretch. He also rocked “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” between the 8th and 9th innings, which was not lost on us. Nor the dudes on the JumboTron offering more cowbell.

• Wilton Lopez sprints from the bullpen like Todd Coffey/Heath Bell/Papelbon. Who else does it? Me likey.

• Tuesday’s hero, Jay Bruce, didn’t look too sharp in his only at-bat, but he went A LONG WAY to catch that ball Anderson Hernandez hit in the 8th.

• Respectfully agree to disagree with Doc Rodgers’ Extra Innings’ assessment that Wednesday’s game was “a loss but really it was a major victory for the Reds.” I’d say an actual loss was a bigger deal than what I consider the “silver linings” (Cueto looking sharp and Nix returning from injury to go 2-for-3 with a walk) when home-field was still very much a reality. The Reds entered Wednesday trailing the Giants by 1 game and the Braves by 1/2 game in the race for the coveted second seed – hardly insurmountable with a handful of games left. I think losing Wednesday – which DOES significantly hurt the Reds’ shot at the No. 2 seed given that the Braves won again and the Giants (and Padres, for that matter) won too – is a bigger deal than Doc suggested. Otherwise Dusty wouldn’t have gotten all of the big guns up off the bench late in the game to try to win it.

What the big boys eat

Hadn’t seen this one before. We’re thinkin’ you haven’t either. Too bad Pete wasn’t in this Wheaties commercial.

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