Now that the fervor and excitement has ebbed somewhat about Cincinnati hosting the 2015 All-Star Game, it’s time to deal with one of the issues that has been a constant source of controversy within the regime of Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball. Everyone knows what this is about. It’s about Peter Edward Rose. […]

(Ed: You may have noticed that we have featured a few new contributors over the last month or two. Today, we are finally getting around to publishing the latest from another newcomer. We’re happy to welcome Kyle Burch to the fold.)

The way I remember it, the Cincinnati Reds have always been a part of my life. Growing up in Northern Kentucky, the summers annually revolved around being a Reds fan. Whether it be listening to Marty and Joe, squabbling with my Dad and brothers over what moves should or shouldn’t have been made by the manager or spending a night at the ballpark, the Reds were a constant throughout my childhood and teenage years.

The team would become even more of a presence in my life during my early adult years. While in college I secured a part-time job working as a member of the grounds crew for the Reds, a position I held for nine seasons. For nearly a decade, I was fortunate to be at field level for some great games and at sometimes fingertips-length with some of my idols.  I’ve witnessed Ken Griffey Jr. chasing history, going after his 500th and 600th career home runs. I’ve been able to meet seven of the great eight from the Big Red Machine, minus Cesar Geronimo. I even made sure I was the last person to lay down the chalk lines at Cinergy/Riverfront Stadium and the first to do so at Great American Ballpark. I’ve seen the debuts of Homer Bailey, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Adam Dunn. I’ve also gotten to see the curtain calls for Barry Larkin, Sean Casey and Riverfront Stadium.

Two years ago, I moved away from the Cincinnati area for the first time in my life, but I’ve held strong to my Reds fandom (as my fiancée can attest), following each and every game through MLB.TV and making as many trips back home to GABP as possible. As frustrating as it is sometimes, I still love being a Reds fan.

The sport of baseball requires a certain patience. A season plays out over 162 games, nearly seven months of what can at times be painstaking aggravation  For all of the nights of going 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position, there are those days where being a Reds fan is just….Wow! These are the little moments that drive us to loyalty. It might be a game you attended as a child, the debut of a promising prospect you’ve heard about for years or even just the memory of sitting in the moondeck on a warm August night. Below, in no particular order, are my top-10 “Just….Wow” moments of being a Cincinnati Reds fan. Feel free to discuss yours in the comments section below.

Adam Dunn Walk-Off Grand Slam -June 30, 2006
For some reason I remember this game like it was yesterday. Well, I remember the last inning like it was yesterday. The Reds were putting together one of their patented seasons of starting out hot, before floundering late and entered the game seven games over .500 in first place at the end of June. After putting up zeros for the first seven innings, the Reds trailed 7-0 going into the bottom of the eighth. The offense put up a four-spot that inning, but after giving up another run in the top of the ninth, trailed 8-4 entering the final frame. The Reds pushed across a run to make it 8-5, but the game still seemed out of reach with one-man on (Brandon Phillips) and two outs. Then, Bob Wickman couldn’t find the zone, walking the fearsome offensive duo of Ryan Freel and Felipe Lopez to load the bases. Dunn ripped the next pitch over the right field wall capping an improbable comeback.
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Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

Over at Blog Red Machine, Steve reminisces about Cesar Geronimo. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, […]

December 4, 1973: The Reds trade young staring pitcher Ross Grimsley and minor league catcher Wally Williams to the Baltimore Orioles for reserve outfielder Merv Rettenmund minor league second baseman Junior Kennedy, and minor league catcher Bill Wood. Grimsley was a Reds #1 draft pick in 1969 amateur draft and was 20-12 in his first […]

For November 29th, three brief notes of historical significance…. November 29, 1966: According to baseball-reference.com’s bullpen section, on this date a Chicago circuit court jury awarded pitcher Jim Brewer $100,000 in damages as a result of an on field fight with former Reds second baseman Billy Martin back in 1960. I have seen various reports […]

The National League Gold Glove winners are to be announced today. Hopefully, there won’t be any disastrous shocks like yesterday when Derek Jeter was awarded his fifth Gold Glove. The folks at baseball-reference.com were so mortified they even had a disclaimer next to the announcement (since taken down). The disclaimer was something like “We can’t […]

October 22, 1920: The 1919 Chicago White Sox gambling conspirators are officially in trouble. From the bullpen section of baseball-reference.com: Eight members of the Chicago White Sox are indicted for supposedly throwing the 1919 World Series. Although considered heavy favorites to win the Series, the White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds in eight games […]

October 21, 1877: Does the curveball really curve or is it an optical illusion? It’s easy for us to see today with digital graphics, but even when I was a child, I would sometimes come across “scientific” sports articles discussing the physics of how a pitched baseball curved or whether it was actually an optical illusion.

Well, as is the case with most things, the magazine articles I read as a child weren’t exactly full of original ideas. Back in 1877, the folks managing the Cincinnati Reds team of the National League conducted a demonstration to prove that a pitched ball could curve. Unfortunately for the 1877 Reds, this may have been the high point of the season that had concluded on October 2. The 1877 Reds were 15-42 in their second year of existence, 25 1/2 games behind the league champion Boston Red Caps. On the flipside, the 15-42 season was an improvement. In 1876, the team had gone 9-56.

From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

A demonstration is conducted in Cincinnati prior to an exhibition game between the Reds and Boston to prove that a pitched baseball actually curves. A wooden stake was driven into the ground just in front of home plate. Boston’s Tommy Bond, a right-handed pitcher, threw from the right side of the pitcher’s box, and the ball curved around to the left side of the stake. To prove the ball was not influenced by the wind or any other atmospheric condition, Cincinnati’s left-handed pitcher Bobby Mitchell curved a toss around the right side of the stake.

It’s timely that or fortunate that the demonstration took place in Cincinnati in 1877. One of the Reds’ pitchers that year was Hall of Famer Candy Cummings, who is credited with having “invented” the curveball. Cummings was the most commonly used Reds pitcher that season, going 5-14 with a 4.34 ERA (61 ERA+). Cummings (career 21-22) is one of only three pitchers in the Hall of Fame with lifetime records under .500, along with modern day reliever Rollie Fingers (114-118) and Negro League star Satchel Paige who didn’t make his Major League debut until age 41 and went 28-31 (it’s thought his Negro Leagues record was 103-61).

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October 20, 1972: Pete Rose hit the first pitch of the game for a home run and the Reds later overcame a 4-2 deficit in defeating the Oakland A’s, 5-4, to stay avoid elimination in the 1972 World Series. The Reds now trailed the A’s three-games-to-two through five games. Rose’s first inning homer gave the […]

October 18, 1972: After a one-day rain delay, Reds pitchers Jack Billingham and Clay Carroll combine on a three-hitter as the Reds defeat the Oakland A’s, 1-0, in Oakland. The win cut the A’s World Series lead to two games to one. The Reds only mustered four hits themselves off A’s pitchers Blue Moon Odom, […]

October 17, 1976: Tony Perez singled home Ken Griffey with the winning run as the Cincinnati Reds won the second game of the 1976 World Series, 4-3, in Cincinnati. The World Series win gave the Reds victories in the first two games of the Series. The Reds scored first in the game when they scored […]

October 16, 1975: Don Gullett allowed only five hits and Tony Perez broke an 0-15 slump with two home runs as the Reds took a three-games-to-two lead with a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox in the 1975 World Series. The Red Sox scored first in the first inning when Denny Doyle tripled and […]