View Full Version : RIP Old Red Guard

12-19-2003, 04:01 AM
Received this e-mail today:

Mr. Campbell,

Thank you for asking about my husband. I almost threw away
your note but but I saw Redszone in the preview and knew who you were referring to. My husband suffered a major stroke in May of this year and passed away soon after. He was a lifelong fan of the Reds and followed them online since he got very little news of his hometown in local news here.

Thank you for being a friend to him, he very much enjoyed his Reds friends.

Mrs. Marie Elledge

12-19-2003, 04:36 AM
That's sucks. He was a fascinating man. I really enjoyed his company on here. Rest in peace.

12-19-2003, 06:01 AM
Thank you Savafan for posting Mrs. Elledge's letter. I'm very sorry to hear of ORG's passing. I miss his posts, many of which were classics, worthy of publication.

12-19-2003, 06:24 AM
Rest in Peace.

cincinnati chili
12-19-2003, 08:03 AM
Very sad to hear confirmation of this. Did anyone know Mr. Elledge's first name. I could do a Lexis search of obituaries in May. It would be fascinating to find out more about him.

12-19-2003, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by cincinnati chili
Very sad to hear confirmation of this. Did anyone know Mr. Elledge's first name. I could do a Lexis search of obituaries in May. It would be fascinating to find out more about him.

His name was Charles

12-19-2003, 08:08 AM
RIP...He will be missed.

12-19-2003, 08:11 AM
So sorry to hear the news. I always enjoyed his posts. A great Reds fan.

12-19-2003, 08:17 AM

12-19-2003, 08:17 AM
My condolonces. Rest in peace.

12-19-2003, 08:31 AM
I'm very sorry to hear of his passing - I always enjoyed reading his posts. Rest in peace.

Roy Tucker
12-19-2003, 08:48 AM
I am very sorry to hear of his passing. Whenever I saw he posted in here, I'd be so eager to read his stuff. We in RedsZone are all the much better for the baseball knowledge, history, and perspective that he passed down to us all. And just for being such a cool guy and sharing with us the way he did.

One thought I've often had... It's great to live in a city such as Cincinnati with the rich baseball heritage it has.

One common theme of a conversation I can have with a 8 yr. old neighborhood kid, my 70 yr. old mother-in-law, some guy in the elevator, the priest at our church, the guys over beers, or my 13 yr. old niece is the Reds. I'm often struck by some of the unlikely places you find a Reds fan and the passion we all have for them.

RIP Old Red Guard and God Bless.

12-19-2003, 08:48 AM
I remember him, and was sorry to read this thread. Rest in Peace ORG.

Chip R
12-19-2003, 08:53 AM
Very sorry to hear this. I enjoyed his posts very much. RIP, ORG.

Marty and Joe
12-19-2003, 08:53 AM
Rest in peace ORG. We'll miss you.

12-19-2003, 08:56 AM
:cry: :cry: :cry:

12-19-2003, 08:57 AM
I also wanted to add that the last thing ORG did on RedsZone was to not think of himself, but of others. He contributed a set of 1950's era Reds baseball cards to a lucky member here who contributed to the site during our spring "donation drive". Thanks again, ORG. You'll be missed.

Chip R
12-19-2003, 09:05 AM
I thought I'd do a search of ORG's past posts and put the link on here for anyone who wanted to go back and read any of his old posts.


12-19-2003, 09:12 AM
What a wonderful man ORG was. I loved his posts, and looked forward to every word he wrote.

RIP to an outstanding person.

12-19-2003, 09:12 AM
Very sad news. :cry:

Red Thunder
12-19-2003, 09:35 AM
It was a pleasure to read Old Reg Guard's contributions here at Redszone, especially also for the younger folks.

Very sad to hear he passed away.

12-19-2003, 09:47 AM
This is the kind of news that ranks up there with finding out about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. You kind of have a feeling...but it's still a kick in the gut when your suspicions are confirmed.

The baseball discussions in the next realm got a lot better when our friend moved on. Hopefully his move was quick and painless.

Edit: This seems like an appropriate place for a sticky.

12-19-2003, 09:54 AM
Very sad. ORG will be missed.

12-19-2003, 09:56 AM
Very very sad. ORG is going to be sorely missed, and was one of the best posters I have ever come across. RIP buddy.

12-19-2003, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the information, sava.

I am sure that ORG is now playing ball with some of his old REDS favorites from days gone by.

12-19-2003, 10:41 AM
RIP :(

12-19-2003, 12:18 PM
Oh man. I'm very sorry to hear that. He was a good guy. RIP ORG. :(

12-19-2003, 12:34 PM
from this years postee awards. nominated by M2

Best Post Ever - Old Red Guard

Might as well make my jaded commentary on this here thread which could be renamed "The Never Ending Story"

People who don't think we're watching the greatest athletes in baseball history are just wrong - Reds Faithful

Yep. Just about all the players from the 30s wouldn't do squat if they were transplanted into today's game as is. 20 year olds looked about 30, bodies were smaller overall, no one weight trained (Lord forbid that makes you musclebound don't you know). The most popular diet supplement was liquid malt barley in one form or 'nuther. Juiced meant a guy played better drunk, you slept on clanking, rocking, creaking trains and spent weeks on the road, living in pullman's and hotel rooms. Nutritional theory was the more fatty red meat the better and exercise was generally considered only in spring training if you weren't smart enough to get out of it then. If you pulled a muscle or tweaked a hammy you rubbed some homemade balm into it, gritted your teeth, shut your fool mouth and played the game. There was some kid playing out in the cornbelt who was hellbent to take your job and your boss was hellbent to give it to him if you faltered for a second. After all you were making 5 grand a year and he could pay that kid 1200 and a train ticket to do the same thing. You might be better but not if you're hurt - why give the kid any chance at showing his stuff. Keep playing. Sanitation was nonexistent. Well, okay, most guys washed their face once a day and a few bathed more than once a week, but only a few. Uniforms were worn until they could play the game by themselves. Don't tear it either - get a needle and darn it up - if the club has to buy another one for you before midpoint they'd deduct it from your check. Heck that's about 6 bottles of whiskey and a night with a Philly hooker! Players would have made good footballers though with all that weight. Wool uniforms full of sweat and 3 pounds of fermented dirt, heavy leather shoes with razored steel cleats, cotton unders and a patch of leather on your off-ham and you were playing with 20 pounds of itchy, scratchy, buggy, sometimes soggy, baggy mucilaginous fiber clinging to your every move. Compare that to today's featherweight outfits and shoes that weigh 6 ounces! Training equipment consisted of medicine balls, a big field and for pitchers, a wall to throw against. Knocking bottles off posts was a favorite way for kids to practice control, pitching off a concrete stoop and catching the rebounds, tossing at birds or rabbits and hitting rocks as far as you could were other disciplines of rigorous training. Stickball WAS great - it taught incredible bat control and concentration. You try hitting a small ball with a broomstick and see how well you do. Stickball in the streets is overlooked as a way to teach youngsters today. I'm seriuos. That's how I always coached my kids when I was involved in Pony baseball. I'd start out with stickball games and oven mitts for gloves. Bragging now but in twelve years coaching tykes we never once failed to win twice as many as we lost and a ton of my boys made allstar teams every year. Nothing special I did - just the stickball and oven mitts. Catch with an oven mitt and by gosh you WILL use 2 hands. Swing with a broomstick at a little rubber ball half the sizer of a baseball and by the time we played with real bats and balls and gloves the kids hardly missed anything. Easier to straighten out swings when they're hefting a broomstick, too. Helps them select the right weight bat, too. Most kids try to swing way too heavy. Anyway, drifting - back to former athletes.
Today's players are far better athletes. Work regimens are religiously adhered to, scientific principles are utilized, professionals in kinesiology, nutrition, conditioning for specific functions, flexibility, even psychology are employed to help players train. In the 30s and 40s you were too busy at your 2nd job during the offseason to train much. During the season some guys main exercise consisted of bouncin a different Betty in every town you visited and brawling in saloons. There were lots of "good" guys, too, that had families and religion. They loafed around the hotel reading, writing letters and playing cards. Not every player was a hell-raiser but the ripsnorts probably got more exercise viz less sleep. Top it off with the fact that communicable diseases were widespread, nutrition from the cradle to grave was sometimes good but inconsistent. Food followed the economy - lots of people ate thin soup and litle else when times were slow. For lots of kids times was always slow. Then as now the greatest weapon against poverty was hard work but then as now there were lots of folk who ignored that fact. There was no foodstamps, no unemployment checks, no welfare boards to take up the slack for the children. If your parents were unlucky, or bums, or down and out, then you didn't eat much. You spent your hours in the streets, playing stickball, pitching against that stoop, playing burnout with your buddies and breathing, sleeping, dreaming baseball. Then you're 16 and good - you play on a town team or maybe a factory boss pays you 3 bucks a game to play on their team and gives your old man a job to boot. You learn the game the hard way against guys who'll spike you, crash into you, trip you and rag you unmercifully -nothing sacred, mothers not spared. You small and young and facing a hulk of a pitcher who throws 85 ( fast enough back then) and spits tobacco with every pitch. He's dug a rut 6 inches in front of the rubber, too and pitches from there - the umps are scared of him so who's going to stop him? You know you can't pull him so you slap at the ball and poke it into left with a bit of spin - the ball caroms off into foul gorund after striking fair and you run like a jackrabbit, skipping over the first baseman's extended foot, ducking the elbow aimed at your ribs the 2nd sacker points your way and you slide into third with your spikes up and slashing. Not trying to hurt the guy, just keeping him from getting close enough to stomp on you when he sweeps the tag.
A couple years of this and a scout sees you and signs you for a ticket and fifty bucks and sends you to Red Oak, Iowa to play. You're 18 and weigh 140 sopping wet. Your face is drawn and you look 30 by today's standards but everyone in Red Oak calls you Cheeks because they think you have a "babyface". You're scrawny, undernourished, wiry strong but no one today would call you an athlete. Didn't then, either - you are a ballplayer. Big difference. Athletes are born - ballplayers are forged from runny gruel, concrete stoops, bouncing balls, broomsticks and hard knocks. You know all the dirty tricks - better known as essential survival techniques. At 21, you make the show. You do well, you're a 2nd baseman. You get on base any way you can, you holler at the pitcher, you steal when you can but only when its necessary. Go the other way, bunt, squeeze, and you've learned to swing from the heels when the pitcher is predictable. You use whatever you've been given, and you learn everything you can, every nuance possible. You are successful and your twetnies are golden years. Then you're 30. Within 2 or 3 years your career will be over. Your joints hurt, you've lost a couple of steps. You've played through aches and strains, and punished yourself for a decade to fend off the stream of prospects trying to unseat you. And now it happens. You're traded for no one inparticular to a terrible team. You play a couple years, your numbers aren't that bad but thwe little things are gone. You can't steal anymore, triples are doubles and doubles are singles and that kid up from Tuscaloosa that throws 92 just blows it by you. You retire at 33. You are old, ancient by baseball standards. You've never touched a weight set, never taken a vitamin or mineral supplement, never even heard of yoga or yogurt, never had a personal or team trainer, you have the beginnings of gout, and have had chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, and a variety of flus during your career. Mostly you played through it all and let your natural vitality cure it. You have a permanently bent finger from the time you broke it on a ball that jammed it, then you taped it, grimaced and played on. You have hammer toe because you played in second hand shoes for all those early years and the toe was too tight. You don't even know its why you couldn't run worth a damn anymore when you were just 30. You were a ballplayer. Now you're 33 and you're nothing. No job, no other skills, no player's association to write you a check. You take a job as a coach. You'll teach the same misguided theories and scoff at new advances in nutrition and training for years, delaying major advances in your sport until the mid to late 60s when rising salaries and advancing knowledge begins to change the way athletes take care of themselves and baseball begins to scout athletes for their potential instead of ballplayers for their skills. The theory is you can teach skills but you can't teach speed or genetics. In the back of my mind, this old man realizes they are right, but I miss the pure ballplayers. The ones who raised hell and tripped guys as they rounded second. The ones who took whatever you gave em and used it against you. When I was a child I watched ordinary men with extraordinary skills playing a game I loved. Today, I watch demi-gods of athleticism with lithe, muscular bodies play my beloved sport. The hope for the everyday joe, who works hard, who hones his skills fanatically, to play at the highest level, is almost gone. Yes, today's athletes are incredible and outclass their counterparts of yesteryear. They are not nearly as much fun to watch or follow.

12-19-2003, 12:42 PM
Beers for everyone. A toast to Old Red Guard.:beerme: May every day from here on out be of peace and tranquilty.

12-19-2003, 01:09 PM
ORG, my favorite poster of all time.

Still burned in my mind is his story of getting beer for his "Da" and getting a headache sipping the suds from the top of the bucket as he ran down the street to get it home before he returned from work.

Also he waxed poetic about riding his fathers shoulders to the rail at Redland Field to look longingly at his favorite Red Jim Bottomley.


Roy Tucker
12-19-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
Still burned in my mind is his story of getting beer for his "Da" and getting a headache sipping the suds from the top of the bucket as he ran down the street to get it home before he returned from work.

Me too.

I went looking for it in this site but couldn't find it. Must be in a previous incarnation of this site.

Is old content available somewhere?

12-19-2003, 01:34 PM
:( RIP Old Red Guard. Great tribute by Roy Tucker above. Couldn't express it better. Won't try. Condolences to ORG's family and friends.

12-19-2003, 01:36 PM
I suggest emailing/or mailing this thread to his family.

12-19-2003, 01:51 PM
RIP ORG.. May God Bless his family and friends...

12-19-2003, 02:46 PM
Damn! My sincere condolences. I hope he's playin' ball and having a great time. Somehow, I'm sure he is.


12-19-2003, 03:12 PM
this sucks.... i enjoyed reading his posts

12-19-2003, 03:35 PM
I enjoyed his posts as well. I am sorry to learn of his passing.

Red Leader
12-19-2003, 03:54 PM
I too, loved Old Red Guards posts. It seemed like I was hearing them from my Grandfather, or someone I totally believed without questioning or knowing who he was. He'll be missed on this site.

I hope that his family is doing well. One thing I do remember is his son's debate over what his screen name should be. It was suggested that he should change it from ORGII. That was pretty funny. Anyway, I'm saddended to hear of the loss of one of the great "voices" of the board. You'll truly be missed, ORG. :cry:

12-19-2003, 04:15 PM
ORG is definitely missed. My condolences to his family if sava sends this their way.

Red Leader said it well for me : "it was like hearing stories from my grandfather or someone I totally believed without questioning. " (Red Leader) I'll add that he was damn entertaining too.

12-19-2003, 05:48 PM
Damn! I was hoping he was just getting some private time. I guess I knew in my heart, I just didn't want it to be true. :cry:

I miss you Old Red Guard. Protect your friends and family as you look down upon us. :angel:

I hope we at Redszone gave you at least a small sample back of what you gave us.

Bob Borkowski
12-19-2003, 10:53 PM
I am saddened by this news.

Many of us kind of expected it though, because of his absence of so many months. Also, he mentioned in one of his last posts that he hadn't been feeling well. My belated sympathy and condolences are extended to the family.

Old Red Guard offered something truly unique and exceptional to this board. He had the ability to put words and sentences together to paint a picture of how it was to be a Reds fan from the 1930's on up and whenever he shared that ability with us we were all the better for it. He was a 'Reds Fan' in the truest sense of the word.

I never failed to read a post by Old Red Guard.

May he rest in peace.

By the way, thanks to savafan for finding out about this for us.

Ryan the Reds Fan
12-20-2003, 12:17 AM
Terrible news to hear. His posts always brought a smile to my face. What a way he had with words. RIP ORG.

12-20-2003, 01:46 AM
ORG reminded me of the time my father would chat on about the Reds teams of the 40's and 50's--the time before I knew about them. He will be missed.

12-20-2003, 03:15 AM
The final post:

On 3-22-03

Sorry guys, I've been a bit under the weather but I got the cards mailed to GIK today so he can get them on to the winner. Again, sorry for the delay - hope the winner enjoys his cards!


12-20-2003, 09:00 PM
Do you have his wife's address- perhaps Redszone could send her a card or flowers?

12-20-2003, 09:15 PM
All I have is an e-mail address

Bob Borkowski
12-20-2003, 10:02 PM
My best recollection is that he lived in Missouri...maybe the town was St. Charles?

I'm not completely sure.

Edit: Nope, I just checked his profile and he lived in St. Joseph, MO.

12-20-2003, 10:28 PM
Wow, really sad news that kicks you right in the gut. Confirmed what we unfortunately suspected, but still leaves you feeeling empty.

ORG -- Godspeed and watch over your family from the Great Ballyard in the sky this Holiday Season.

You are missed.

12-21-2003, 12:46 AM
Originally posted by savafan
All I have is an e-mail address

Surely someone in here is creative enough and has the computer know how to make a card and those who want to can "sign" it or just have it say "FROM HIS FRIENDS AT REDSZONE" and have it emailed to the family? Perhaps even add his famous post that M2 brought back.

12-21-2003, 02:14 AM
I just heard the news.


Falls City Beer
12-21-2003, 11:17 AM
I'm not much of a baseball nostalgiac, but when I read ORG's posts, I sure as heck became one. He had a command for the language and an eye and ear for detail many writers (myself included) can only hope to possess. He was a gentleman; a man who sought and understood beauty.

12-21-2003, 11:52 AM
Surely someone in here is creative enough and has the computer know how to make a card and those who want to can "sign" it or just have it say "FROM HIS FRIENDS AT REDSZONE" and have it emailed to the family? Perhaps even add his famous post that M2 brought back.

I actually have a "gift card" business, I could print up a card with an image for real mail or I could create a Flash card, that would/could have this whole page of remarks inside it.

Of course I can't do it until post NY.

12-21-2003, 08:39 PM
I've been out of town, and I just saw this. Very, very sad news. ORG is most definitely missed.

Roctober Red
12-22-2003, 04:26 PM