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Ltlabner
06-09-2006, 03:17 PM
There are lots of people on this board who obviously have a passion for the game of baseball. When did you first realize you loved the game?

Personally, I was on the way to one of my first baseball games on June 4th, 1977 at Riverfront Stadium with my father. We were walking through the vegetable warehouses where you used to park (Castellini might have owned those?) on our way into Riverfront. Being 5, I had glove in hand ready for a foul ball. Our seats were to the lefthand side of home plate, in the green section, just beyond the screen. Perfect for left handed, check-swing foul balls.

A vendor asked me jokingly why I had a glove. "I'm going to catch a foul ball tonight". He politely chuckled and we made our way to our seats. That night, we left the ballpark with a foulball provided by Willie Crawford of the Houston Astros. My father caught the ball, but it was a moment where as a youngster I began to think, "this is a pretty cool game". From there on out, I paid a lot more attention to the game and what was going on.

guttle11
06-09-2006, 03:19 PM
The day I was born. My first shirt was a Reds shirt.

KronoRed
06-09-2006, 03:20 PM
With the birth of the marlins and cheap baseball cards at the circle K

dabvu2498
06-09-2006, 03:29 PM
Riding in the car with my father listening to Marty and Joe... and then again when I figured out that I could play a little too... and now even more that my body is so broken that I can't even play beer league softball.

I think everyone has a father and baseball story... but I'm going to share mine anyway...

My dad grew up with BigKlu and Nuxie and Gus Bell and Wally Post near Clifton. He brought me into the world with the Big Red Machine. Now we have lots in common. In fact, we're basically the same man, just 30 years of age difference.

Even still, we never really communicated very well unless it was about baseball. Our common language has changed from Rose and Concepcion to Buddy Bell and Dave Parker to Barry Larkin, Danny Jackson, and Paul O'Neill to Dunn, Griffey and Encarnacion.

Our calls to each other increase about 900% during baseball season. We've called each other for 8 straight nights now. (It'll be 9 tonight when I call him from Sect. 141.)

Even all the times I've gotten in trouble he says "at least you're a Reds fan." Thank God for that.

vaticanplum
06-09-2006, 03:37 PM
With the birth of the marlins and cheap baseball cards at the circle K

Oh my god you are young.

How's this for feeling old: the first team I ever saw the Reds play at Riverfront were the Expos. They no longer exist. I recently went to my first game at GABP. The Reds were playing the Diamondbacks. When I started watching baseball, they did not exist.

Anyway, I can't point to a specific moment when I became a baseball fan, I just feel like it was always around. Eric Davis probably had a lot to do with it. I do remember being very affected by my first live games, the experience of the ballpark. I think there must be an inherent difference between children who grow up in a city with major league baseball and those who don't.

edabbs44
06-09-2006, 03:41 PM
When my father brought me home from the hospital in a Yankees t shirt. :barf:

I quickly rebelled when I leaned how to form my own opinions around the age of 5 or 6. My grandfather gave me a baseball card of Johnny Bench. When I asked who he was he told me he was the best catcher of all-time. From that point on, it's been a heartwrenching 25 years or so. With some great times sprinkled in of course.

shredda2000
06-09-2006, 03:42 PM
Watching the 1975 World Series made me a baseball fan and a REDS FAN 4 LIFE!!! :roll:

919191
06-09-2006, 03:48 PM
Some of my earliest memories are of my mom sitting in the kitchen in the evening listening to Al Michaels and Joe Nuxhall on the radio. I had just been given a small transistor radio and I started listening on my own, too. That was 1971 and I was 11. All of a sudden I couldn't get enough Reds, or baseball, in general. My dad didn't really care so much, but it was my mom. Her mom rarely missed a game on the radio, either.

The next year, my dad was able to score World Series tickets for Games 1 and 6. What a thrill!

gonelong
06-09-2006, 03:52 PM
It probably was building from the 75/76 Reds (I was 5/6 at the time) and our high school was playing for a State Title in 75 or 76 as well.

But I think I first realized it when I first started playing organized baseball ... during the first round of batting practice. I could rake. Little old me.

My two older brothers (about 5 years older than me) played baseball in the side yard with me our whole lives ... including during the winter. My brothers showed no mercy, so I learned to hit off whatever they could offer as their best.

By the time I played any organized ball at 7 or 8 the guys pitching were 7 or 8 instead of the 13-14 year olds I was used to hitting off of. Piece of cake.

Not only that, I could field and throw as well or better than anyone else in the league. I was put at SS and hit clean-up. At this point I was by far the shortest kid in my class by at least 4 inches. Baseball was the great equalizer and it was something I stood out at. I had somewhat been on the fringe, but now I was not only one of the guys, I was "the guy", at least as far as baseball was concerned. Quite a leap for me!

After that, baseball was my oxygen. I begged my Mom and Dad to let me buy the Sporting News so I could scour the boxscores, etc. After weeks of relentless begging on my part, they eventually relented and let me do it. I'd wait by the mailbox for it and devour the pages, reading it cover to cover for the baseball news, and then backtracking to pick up bits and pieces of the other sports.

I soon realized that my Dad and I now had a common language, not to mention neighbors, uncles, etc. I had the scoop on them as they didn't have the time I had to devote to the Reds and baseball in General. I knew more about what was going on in the minors than the rest of them combined.

It was shortly after that Dad decided I should learn how to fish and we went on many a weekend fishing trip, listening to the games on the drive there or back, or while cleaning fish.

Baseball brought me closer to my classmates, friends, brothers, neighbors, uncles, cousins, and father.

Unfortunately for my "career", I peaked (relative to my peers) by my 7th grade year. I managed to be a pretty good high school player but the dream ended there. However, thankfully, my love of the Reds and the bonds it helped forged, remain.

GL

redsmetz
06-09-2006, 03:54 PM
Yikes! You guys are all so young. My maternal grandma was a huge Reds fan, went to Florida every winter to stay with her son and his family in Hollywood and would go up to Spring Training in Tampa. I don't remember the 1961 World Series (I was just short of 7), but remember believing the Reds were a great team (and they had the nucleus and had some close calls in the years just after - the '64 finish comes to mind). At every family gathering, the Reds were always on the radio.

At a Dad's Club evening for fathers and sons, I won a Gordie Coleman autograph ball and had to go up on stage to get it from him; probably about 1965. Junior high, Gus Bell's family moved into our parish. I thought that was pretty cool when I played toss with his son and he had an autograph model glove with his dad's name on it.

My first autograph model glove was a Warren Spahn model. I used that glove up until I was out of college until I realized everybody was catching those big old softballs with industrial sized gloves. My first new glove was a present from my in-laws.

Going to Crosley Field was a thrill. Parking down by the Union Terminal, all the vendors, especially the Peanut guy, the gates, the grimey floors and seats (this is not a knock), the old ballyard, the Reds Hall plaques underneath the stands (I really missed those when they just had them stored away at Riverfront).

oneupper
06-09-2006, 03:57 PM
I guess my story is not very typical. I was a rabid Australian Rules Football fan growing up in Melbourne, Australia. The Richmond Tigers were my team.
The family moved to the US in 1968, so I learned baseball and conveniently became a Detroit Tigers fan (guess who won the WS in 1968?).

We lived in NY, but the "1969 Miracle Mets"' didn't do it for me (though it was easy to root against Baltimore), so in 1970 the REDs and their Venezuelan shortstop (I'm Venezuelan) became my NL favorites.

First game: May 16, 1970 Yankee Stadium T-shirt day, Yankees vs. Tigers.
I didn't see another MLB game in person until over 30 years later. (Marlins/Reds 2004). But that's another story.

RANDY IN INDY
06-09-2006, 03:59 PM
With the baseball cards of 1967. I was hooked, and have never looked back.

My weekend? My son's 8 year old All Star team is playing in the state AAU tournament in Concord, NC. 7:30 tonight, 10:30am and 3:00pm tomorrow and 9:00 am Sunday and another possible 2 games later in the day, depending on how they play. I'll try to catch as much of the Reds as I can in the off hours. My summer is pretty much baseball and more baseball.

NewEraReds
06-09-2006, 04:02 PM
There are lots of people on this board who obviously have a passion for the game of baseball. When did you first realize you loved the game?

Personally, I was on the way to one of my first baseball games on June 4th, 1977 at Riverfront Stadium with my father. We were walking through the vegetable warehouses where you used to park (Castellini might have owned those?) on our way into Riverfront. Being 5, I had glove in hand ready for a foul ball. Our seats were to the lefthand side of home plate, in the green section, just beyond the screen. Perfect for left handed, check-swing foul balls.

A vendor asked me jokingly why I had a glove. "I'm going to catch a foul ball tonight". He politely chuckled and we made our way to our seats. That night, we left the ballpark with a foulball provided by Willie Crawford of the Houston Astros. My father caught the ball, but it was a moment where as a youngster I began to think, "this is a pretty cool game". From there on out, I paid a lot more attention to the game and what was going on.
im another when i was born :) my dad was the head coach at the university of dayton and my uncle was pitching coach for the dodgers. but the first time i truly remember is when i was taken out of elementary school early to go down and watch the dodgers and reds. and of course when i was 4 or 5 and played tball for the first time. just something i always loved

MartyFan
06-09-2006, 04:05 PM
I can't remember the date but I can remember the game...My dad worked for a Heating and AC mfrg. company and they had a company trip to see the Philies play the Reds...the Phillies were pounding the Reds that day and in the bottom of the 9th the Reds scored something like 9 runs to beat the phillies by a score of 9 to 8...Johnny Bench hard a HR and Driessen had an inside the park homer in the 9th.

After the game my brother, dad and I ate at some cheap restaurant in downtown Cincy near the stadium..we all had burgers, fries and cokes and they had really good chocolate cake.

That was the day I became a baseball fan...I played for a few years and was even scouted by a couple of teams...that didn't work out but my love for the game is probably stronger now than it was when I was playing.

RANDY IN INDY
06-09-2006, 04:13 PM
I can't remember the date but I can remember the game...My dad worked for a Heating and AC mfrg. company and they had a company trip to see the Philies play the Reds...the Phillies were pounding the Reds that day and in the bottom of the 9th the Reds scored something like 9 runs to beat the phillies by a score of 9 to 8...Johnny Bench hard a HR and Driessen had an inside the park homer in the 9th.

After the game my brother, dad and I ate at some cheap restaurant in downtown Cincy near the stadium..we all had burgers, fries and cokes and they had really good chocolate cake.

That was the day I became a baseball fan...I played for a few years and was even scouted by a couple of teams...that didn't work out but my love for the game is probably stronger now than it was when I was playing.

Dan Driessen, you know the story.........................

Marty: "There's a drive..........

Joe: "Get outta here..........

Marty: deep right field

Joe: get up, get up............

Marty: (insert name of outfielder) looking up...........and makes the catch at the base of the wall.

I wish he would have had a homerun for every time I heard that.
;)

RedsBaron
06-09-2006, 04:14 PM
1964. I rooted for the Cardinals in the World Series. I switched to the Reds after the 1965 season when St. Louis traded away Ken Boyer.

RANDY IN INDY
06-09-2006, 04:16 PM
Kenny Boyer was a baseball player!

dfs
06-09-2006, 04:20 PM
Watchin' Pete patrol right field in crosley field. I was gonna grow up and do that too.

zombie-a-go-go
06-09-2006, 04:25 PM
One summer saturday morning I woke up with nothing to do. My roommate had nothing to do either. He asked me if I wanted to go to the ballgame. I shrugged; "eh, I guess."

This was only five years ago. I'd never cared for sports before. So, there ya go.

westofyou
06-09-2006, 04:33 PM
http://www.basehit.net/CatImages/68YBTigers.jpg

Fullboat
06-09-2006, 04:38 PM
Watching the 1975 World Series made me a baseball fan and a REDS FAN 4 LIFE!!! :roll:

Same here.:thumbup:

Roy Tucker
06-09-2006, 04:45 PM
My first rabid thought about baseball was when I was in the second grade (about 1960).

I had broken my leg and been laid up in a cast for 2-3 months. My dad was going to take us to an Indians game that night (we lived in Cleveland at the time) so I practiced walking since I desperately wanted to go. I gimped around all night, ate about 6-8 hot dogs, and threw up on my brother from my top bunk of the bunk beds later than night.

I started to follow baseball about the 5th grade (1962). We still lived in Cleveland so I was briefly an Indians fan. I remember Tommy John was a rookie that year :eek: and was the hot lefty. Sudden Sam, Max Alvis, and Vic Davillo.

We moved to Dayton in 1964 and that's when my baseball fandom blossomed in all of its glory. I lived and died all summer with the Reds and the classic pennant race with them, the Cardinals, and the Phillies. That was the year of the all-time gag-job by the Phils.

Have followed the Reds passionately since then, like about 42 years this year. It doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.

vaticanplum
06-09-2006, 05:01 PM
Watchin' Pete patrol right field in crosley field. I was gonna grow up and do that too.

I was going to be the first girl to ever play Major League Baseball. it was going to be a big story and I was going to break down barriers because I was going to be just that good. Catcher or shortstop, I couldn't decide (even though I played second base at school). I have an actual Reds yearbook with my own page which I stapled in. It displays all of my stats and has my fourth-grade (? I think) school picture taped in. I was a terrible baseball and softball player, by the way. Not to mention completely insane.

I was also going to be the first girl to play in the World Cup for the United States. I was very busy.

fisch11
06-09-2006, 05:26 PM
My brothers, dad, and uncle all attended school at Cincinnati Mortuary (family owned funeral home for 70+ years). Each one of them had a brief stay in Cincinnati while they were attending so I have been brought up watching Reds games at Riverfront/Cinergy/Great American. Cincinnati is like a second home to me. My dad spoiled us at times with games, even taking us to Shea Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, and spring training games. I don't think I would be very passionate about Cincinnati baseball if it wasn't for my dad and family bringing me up in it.

Yachtzee
06-09-2006, 05:48 PM
Born into it, I guess. My grandpa first became a Reds fan back in the days of Chick Hafey and Kiki Cuyler. My dad and uncles grew up in the era of Wally Post, Gus Bell and Jerry Lynch (my Uncle Mike's favorite player). When I was young, we lived in Lima and my dad couldn't get the Reds on the radio in the house, so he would load me into the car and drive around to listen to the game. In 1976, I went to my first game. I think it was against the Mets, but I'm not sure. I just remember that the field was so green, our seats were red, and Johnny Bench hit a home run. The way my grandma talked about him, he must have been the greatest to ever play the game, and so he immediately became my favorite player. When we moved to the Akron area in 1979, I followed them through the box scores and by trying to pick up WLW on the radio after the sun went down.

The sad thing is, my dad hardly follows baseball anymore. He was the most diehard of fans and introduced me to Bill James' Baseball Abstract as a teenager. He lived and died with the Reds. But all that changed in 1994. The strike killed his love for baseball. He'll go if we ask him to join us, but he won't seek it out on TV or the radio anymore. It's a shame too, because he could easily follow them now with MLB Extra Innings and XM radio.