Baseball - General / Baseball Is Life / Big Red Machine

Baseball Is Life: You May Have Heard of Them

We’ve still not attained full Spring Training status, so this is usually rough times for People of Baseball. Well… not me. I roll around in all things Olympics, so this is my biannual party of staying awake 17 days straight.

My favorite part is all the international harmony and sportsmanship.

Capture

But if you don’t like grown men showing up for work dressed like this,  download

the luge action in South Korea is yet another hurdle between you and watching the current starting pitcher melt down. So I’ve been saving this one for you for precisely this moment– when you need it the most.

Look what I brought to show and tell today:

File Feb 11, 10 15 50 PM

Considering it’s the cover photo, it’s too bad they couldn’t find a better picture of this guy, whoever he is. Maybe it’s the only one they had.

Let us place this in historical perspective. The planet owes a great deal to 1977, as that is the year the following massive blessings were bestowed upon humanity:

Star Wars (before George Lucas ruined it by Lucasing all over it)

-“Margaritaville” (before Jimmy Buffett ruined it by Officially Trademarking all over it)

-Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown (he did not ruin it. He is a horse.) (Sometimes I wish George Lucas were a horse.)

-me (ruining it every single day since)

It was, as we can see, a different era, free of CGI but choked by polyester. This was a time when newspapers, upon publishing a picture of any random citizen, including a child, included such non-creepy information as their full name and street address. To that end:

File Feb 11, 10 36 05 PM

I would like one of you, any of you, to find someone to suggest to Bob Castellini that the next edition of the Reds media guide contain his home phone number on Page 1. Be sure to have cameras rolling.

File Feb 11, 11 28 35 PM

I’m grateful that if only for a moment, I shared the planet with this talented (but, most importantly, kind) man. He should be far better known to generations who didn’t see him play, but ironically, the Big Red Machine of which he was such an integral coach tends to suck up most of our adoration oxygen.

File Feb 11, 11 37 18 PM

It’s lovely to see Jack Billingham like this, with dark hair and a confident smile, because I know him only as a 74-year-old fixture at the Hall of Fame, gently mocking small children who have never heard of him and acting quite pleasant to me, his staff keeper during an Induction Weekend autograph session.

Who we fully are is never who others see for an hour on a Saturday afternoon.

File Feb 11, 11 52 58 PM

I have no earthly clue who this is but I strongly feel his sideburns must be digitized for posterity.

File Feb 11, 11 58 00 PM

Really I just wanted to live for a moment in an era in which we all paid attention to magic numbers.

File Feb 12, 12 01 27 AM

And had sections like this in the media guides.

File Feb 12, 12 05 33 AM

This is a very important page because it contains a properly placed apostrophe. You cannot imagine how immensely and constantly an English major suffers from each abused apostrophe.

You can make your own joke about the sportscoat. I’m too busy being pleased about the apostrophe.

File Feb 12, 12 11 58 AM

$2.50 in the loge, people, but only reserved. You needed to sacrifice a Harvey Wallbanger or five at the disco to get into the ballpark.

File Feb 12, 12 59 16 AM

This is adorable. There’s a place to keep a record of the season because 1) it’s assumed people might actually want to remember the season and 2) if you forgot how something went down, how would you know? Check a newspaper? There was no hope for acquiring instantaneous information. None at all. People just walked around all day with no idea which movie that one guy on Love Boat was in. They just had to live with it.

Photo Feb 12, 1 03 48 AM

Look upon how you attired yourselves in 1976, Cincinnati. LOOK AT IT, AND REPENT.

Photo Feb 12, 1 04 32 AM

Man, they sure were proud of how much of that field isn’t actual field. I’m also pleased the architect took time to ensure the baseball diamond was “symmetrical.”

Photo Feb 12, 1 04 55 AM

Not sure about this new Brennaman fellow. Seems over-haired.

Photo Feb 12, 1 05 19 AM

I cannot imagine why they left such a lush, magnificent paradise.

Photo Feb 12, 1 05 35 AM

He’s going to snatch up a Reds Record Album with ’76 Hi-Lites!

I now release all of you to eBay to find the golf umbrella and 17-jewel watch.

27 thoughts on “Baseball Is Life: You May Have Heard of Them

  1. AHH! the ’70’s. Great times. I would say they were simpler times but as a kid in their 20’s at the time, I still had a lot to figure out, some of which I still need to figure out. We who were there in the 70’s know who Pedro Borbon was he was the relief pitcher back then and almost all of us had sideburns, maybe not as great Pedro’s but still I wonder… NAH. I do enjoy your Monday morning spots Mary Beth. They are a bright spot in my week. Now let’s get spring training started.

  2. We collected the Media Books over the years probably had this one but the ’78 edition stood out because it featured Vida Blue as a Cincinnati Red. I believe Bowie Kuhn nixed the deal due to competitive imbalance and he ended up as a Giant. Most of our editions were purged during cleaning out basement in early 90’s and regret it but did find ’80 & ’83 at a souvenir shop in Cooperstown few years back.

  3. I haven’t seen a Reds media guide for many many years. Do they still make them in print, or are they all digital now? The last image reminded me of the 580 Giftshop which is long gone, but used to be promoted constantly by the team on the radio.

    • As of when I was still working at the HoF two years ago, there were indeed hard-copy media guides in the pressbox.

  4. Klu was before my time but I noticed he hit more HR’s than K’s in 4 different seasons (unless SO means something different)- without looking that up I would say that is pretty good- did they have different rules when things were in Black and White?

    • Big Ted Kluszewski. from the late 1940’s to the late 1950’s, was the main reason we made the trip to Crosley Field before the interstates were around. In the country at large, Big Klu was the symbol of the Reds.

    • As a kid growing up on the wrong side of Ohio and only getting to occasionally see the wrong OH baseball team live at the “Mistake on the Lake” (but listening to Reds on my old monster AM radio), I remember being taken to a ChiSox game in 1959 (their WS year as the “go-go Sox”) and getting my only live game view of Big Klu. To a 7-year old, he was larger than life and looked/played like a man among boys. Wished I’d have seen him in his prime wearing the Wishbone C. Great stuff as always, MBE…bring on Spring Training! The juices begin to flow anew…

  5. Pedro Bourbon was a hockey type instigator/ agitator playing baseball; and also a pretty darn good relief pitcher. While the opposition was worrying what he might do next or scheming to get even for what he had already done, he more often than not was setting them down one after the other.

    He supposedly bit someone once in a baseball scrum; and on that occasion or another similar one chewed up a goodly portion of the bill of someone’s cap.

    There was talk Bourbon was a practitioner of voodoo. Among other things he supposedly placed a curse on the Reds over something having to do with his departure. Later in life he became a preacher of the gospel; and supposedly cancelled or removed all such things he may previously done. For real or part of the show? Who knows?

    Needless to say, he was one of my favorites.

  6. I have a piece of Reds’ memorabilia for a game played August 4, 1965. The pictures and my thoughts were posted on RLN some time ago. Our Reds lost to the Giants who were lead by Juan Marichal’s 10 inning, 14K effort. Rose when 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s and the rest was a bit of a mixed bag (Pinson hit, but it accomplished nothing).

    These are the opposite days from the August Dogs … and they feel every bit as excruciating. A little luge watching goes a long way (and I loved seeing our first medal in the men’s singles).

    Keep it coming, MBE! Keep us entertained until and after the feet hit the turf in Goodyear!

    • I like the new mixed doubles curling. It is especially good to note the dynamics when the female team member seems to be outthinking and out playing her male counterpart.

      • Brother and sister … he’s had a lifetime to figure out that she can/will outthink him every time.

        • I thought the Norwegian woman was generally ahead of her male counterpart also; but, she seemed to wear down when they had the quick turnaround for the tie breaker game versus China then were right back in the semis versus Canada a few hours later.

  7. Great stuff MBE. I loved Riverfront and the BRM with the adoration only a little leaguer would embrace. But I’m ready to love the 2018 Reds as well, if only they could win a few more games than they lose. Hope springs eternal…

  8. I was a child in the 70s and in 1976 was mostly attiring myself. I didn’t get to buy my clothes though. There are some really, really awful pics of me wearing awful, awful things.

    Great piece as always.

  9. I hope I am not too late in posting this Mary Beth. Because I want to thank you so much for the inclusion of my boyhood hero Big Klu. I’m 70 now and his picture still graces my man cave.You’re articles always provide a few moments of subtle joy. Also, big56dog, yes Klu didhit more HR’s than K’s 4 consecutive years. Still the last to do so, I believe. Joe D actually did it 7 times. I think that is the record.

    • You have posted right on tome. Many thanks for your kind words, and sharing your memories of Big Klu.

  10. love that the night games used to start at 8:05. now they start at 6:40…. tough for us working folks to get down to the ballpark

Leave a Reply