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View Full Version : Who here has seen a REDS' game in person from the 40's?



Eric_Davis
06-05-2007, 03:31 PM
Though this can't be posted in the SunDeck, I couldn't find an area where it could be posted so all could respond?

Though I was born in 1959, I didn't attend my first game until 1983.

I know many of you attended a game in the 60's and some may have even attended one in the 50's.

Who here would be the elder statesman among REDS' game attendees?

Yachtzee
06-05-2007, 04:14 PM
I'm not that old myself, having seen my first games in the '70s. However, I used to enjoy my grandfather's stories of going to Crosley in the '30s. He always talked about going down to see Chick Hafey and Kiki Cuyler.

RedsBaron
06-05-2007, 04:55 PM
My first game was in 1965, Reds-Cardinals. I bet RFS62 can beat that.

RFS62
06-05-2007, 04:58 PM
My first game was in 1965, Reds-Cardinals. I bet RFS62 can beat that.


Not by much. My first game was in 1964 at Crosley against the Braves.

Puffy
06-05-2007, 04:59 PM
Not by much. My first game was in 1964 at Crosley against the Braves.

You didn't attend a baseball game until you were in your seventies??

Wow.

RFS62
06-05-2007, 05:05 PM
You didn't attend a baseball game until you were in your seventies??

Wow.

Yep. I was there with your mama.

Redsland
06-05-2007, 05:07 PM
How fat was she?

RFS62
06-05-2007, 05:11 PM
How fat was she?

So fat she used room deodorant.

westofyou
06-05-2007, 05:11 PM
How fat was she?

She was so fat she had her own section to sit in.

She was so fat she wore a dark shirt and sat in CF and doubled as the batters eye.

BTW The Reds were the first team to ever have a batters eye (in the 1890's)

I never made Crosley, but I did Tiger Stadium before divisional play.

vic715
06-05-2007, 05:12 PM
1959 Reds vs.Cubs was 7 years old. I do remember being there but don't remember much about the game. My dad told me that Gus Bell hit two Hrs for the Reds and Ernie Banks hit two for the Cubs.

37red
06-05-2007, 05:17 PM
I made it to a fantastic day game in 1959. I was 7 years old and my Grandpa and Dad took me down the Crosley, we sat up behind the 3rd baseman...what a great day. Frank hit a hard home run that smacked the score board so hard the other teams numbers rattled to the ground.

BCubb2003
06-05-2007, 05:32 PM
Frank hit a hard home run that smacked the score board so hard the other teams numbers rattled to the ground.

Now that's a highlight reel.

Eric_Davis
06-05-2007, 05:35 PM
I made it to a fantastic day game in 1959. I was 7 years old and my Grandpa and Dad took me down the Crosley, we sat up behind the 3rd baseman...what a great day. Frank hit a hard home run that smacked the score board so hard the other teams numbers rattled to the ground.

That is so cool as is this one by vic715:

1959 Reds vs.Cubs was 7 years old. I do remember being there but don't remember much about the game. My dad told me that Gus Bell hit two Hrs for the Reds and Ernie Banks hit two for the Cubs.

And the other stuff was pretty hilarious.

RedsBaron
06-05-2007, 05:44 PM
How fat was she?

She was so fat that when she contracted flesh eating disease it took her 35 years to die.

mth123
06-05-2007, 09:55 PM
1966 Reds vs. Mets in the bleachers at Crosley. Art Shamsky (on the Reds at the time) homered.

OldRightHander
06-05-2007, 10:29 PM
Not by much. My first game was in 1864 at Crosley against the Braves.

I didn't think Crosley had been built yet.

RedsBaron
06-05-2007, 10:52 PM
I didn't think Crosley had been built yet.

Nice of you to correct RFS's typo. :laugh:

Bob Borkowski
06-05-2007, 10:59 PM
No 1940s games for me, but I'm close. My first game was at Crosley in 1952, Reds vs. Cubs.

My grandad knew that I worshipped the Reds and he arranged a train ride from Aurora to Cincinnati for a Sunday doubleheader. The train ride itself was thrill enough for a 10 year old country boy but the games knocked my socks off.

What do I remember about the day?

*We walked from Union Terminal to the park in double-time to avoid missing any of the action. Quite a few folks who were sitting out in front of their apartment buildings said 'hi' 'cause they had us pegged as 'going to the ballgame'. Very friendly.

*The beauty of Crosley Field...breathtaking.

*Hank Sauer of the Cubs ran into the unforgiving left field wall and knocked himself out.

*Pretty sure that the real Bob Borkowski was in the Reds lineup.

*Can't really remember many actual details of the games but I do know that I wasn't disappointed. What I'm left with, I guess, after all these years, are the impressions...the beauty and the excitement and the awe of actually seeing the great Cincinnati Reds (they finished 6th that year I think, but what the heck :)) in person.

Eric_Davis
06-06-2007, 12:35 AM
Bob, that's going to be hard to beat. That's so cool.

And you're still in Aurora, Indiana. That's also so cool.

We have an Aurora here halfway between Portland and Salem. For a kid who couldn't say his "R's" growing up, I couldn't pronounce that town for the life of me. I sounded like Gilda Radner doing Barbara Walters.

RedsBaron
06-06-2007, 06:31 AM
No 1940s games for me, but I'm close. My first game was at Crosley in 1952, Reds vs. Cubs.

My grandad knew that I worshipped the Reds and he arranged a train ride from Aurora to Cincinnati for a Sunday doubleheader. The train ride itself was thrill enough for a 10 year old country boy but the games knocked my socks off.

What do I remember about the day?

*We walked from Union Terminal to the park in double-time to avoid missing any of the action. Quite a few folks who were sitting out in front of their apartment buildings said 'hi' 'cause they had us pegged as 'going to the ballgame'. Very friendly.

*The beauty of Crosley Field...breathtaking.

*Hank Sauer of the Cubs ran into the unforgiving left field wall and knocked himself out.

*Pretty sure that the real Bob Borkowski was in the Reds lineup.

*Can't really remember many actual details of the games but I do know that I wasn't disappointed. What I'm left with, I guess, after all these years, are the impressions...the beauty and the excitement and the awe of actually seeing the great Cincinnati Reds (they finished 6th that year I think, but what the heck :)) in person.

Bob, as soon as I first saw this thread, I thought of you. Great story.
When I went to my first game, Reds vs. Cardinals at Crosley Field in 1965, also at age 10, my parents, sister and I also traveled by train, going from Huntington to Cincinnati, and, yes, the train ride itself was a thrill.
Crosley Field was the smallest park in the majors, but it looked like a grand immense baseball palace to me. I can remember Lou Brock hitting the ball out of the park as the game's first batter, although the ball went foul; beyond that, I do not remember any details of the game. Prior to the game I got a posed photo of Cardinal player Steve Carlton ( I was a Cards fan then, switching to the Reds in 1966 after Cards GM Bob Howsam traded away Ken Boyer).
Oh, that may have been the year that the game we went to was "Bat Day." It was on one of the first of our annual pilgrimages to Crosley that my sister got a Jim Coker bat and I got a Deron Johnson bat. It's a shame "Bat Day" is no longer held.

RANDY IN INDY
06-06-2007, 06:55 AM
So fat she used room deodorant.

But I bet she had a pretty face.:laugh:

GradyHatton
06-06-2007, 12:31 PM
6/2/46 - Sunday afternoon DH with Brooklyn Dodgers. Reds lost both as I recall. Only 7 at the time, I don't recall any other details. Seems like Johnny Vander Meer started or pitched in one of the games. Then again, maybe not. Quite possibly that's when I became a Grady Hatton fan for life.

Roy Tucker
06-06-2007, 12:39 PM
*Pretty sure that the real Bob Borkowski was in the Reds lineup.



Great story Bob. :thumbup:

FYI, my wife and I had lunch with the real Bob about a month back. Still as feisty as ever and doing great.

Roy Tucker
06-06-2007, 12:45 PM
My folks took me as a toddler to the 1954 Indians-Giants WS at Cleveland Stadium (I was 2). Don't remember a thing about it. They tell me I fell asleep about the 4th inning.

First game I remember was another Cleveland game in 1959. I was 7 and in 2nd grade. My dad and brother and I got our picture taken with Tito Francona.

First Reds game was 1964 against the Mets early on in the season. It got rain delayed a couple times IIRC.

westofyou
06-06-2007, 12:51 PM
My folks took me as a toddler to the 1954 Indians-Giants WS at Cleveland Stadium (I was 2). Don't remember a thing about it. They tell me I fell asleep about the 4th inning.

First game I remember was another Cleveland game in 1959. I was 7 and in 2nd grade. My dad and brother and I got our picture taken with Tito Francona.

First Reds game was 1964 against the Mets early on in the season. It got rain delayed a couple times IIRC.

Maybe it was this May 4 game series (5/1-5/3) a DH on Sunday... 10884 people show up, Saturday game... at night....2946 show up, down from 5943 on Friday night... now that's a baseball town

RedsBaron
06-06-2007, 01:14 PM
6/2/46 - Sunday afternoon DH with Brooklyn Dodgers. Reds lost both as I recall. Only 7 at the time, I don't recall any other details. Seems like Johnny Vander Meer started or pitched in one of the games. Then again, maybe not. Quite possibly that's when I became a Grady Hatton fan for life.

Wow-Reds vs. Brooklyn. Other than that 1864 game mentioned earlier, I believe Grady has our record right now.

Eric_Davis
06-06-2007, 04:16 PM
My folks took me as a toddler to the 1954 Indians-Giants WS at Cleveland Stadium (I was 2). Don't remember a thing about it. They tell me I fell asleep about the 4th inning.

First game I remember was another Cleveland game in 1959. I was 7 and in 2nd grade. My dad and brother and I got our picture taken with Tito Francona.

First Reds game was 1964 against the Mets early on in the season. It got rain delayed a couple times IIRC.

Roy Tucker, in 1987 a guy came into the card shop/numismatist shop my friend owned with a couple of gems. I worked the card side, so I helped him and he pulled out a ball signed by every member of the 1954 Cleveland Indians World Series team. He also pulled out 5x7 photos of most of those players with the one by Feller signed. They were in a souvenir envelope with 1954 World Series printing (in Red and Black) all over it. As it turned out, he had two sets, pictures and autographed baseballs. All were in excellent condition except for the souvenir envelope, which was a little bit tattered as envelopes tend to get along the edges and the flap when aged. I asked about it's origin and there was a Bobby Doerr tie to it's appearance in the Vancouver/Portland area. I haven't seen another completely signed World Series team ball since.

On a side note here's some info on Doerr:

He moved to Oregon after taking a vacation trip on the Rogue River at the invitation of one of the Padres training staff. Oregon tends to do that to people… make them pull up stakes and move here. He’s been living in Oregon since leaving the game as a player in '51, and has really never left here since his retirement from coaching the Blue Jays in 1981.

From an interview:

"Bobby Doerr, and not Ted Williams, is the No. 1 player on the team. He rates the Most Valuable Player in the American League." – Babe Ruth on the 1946 AL MVP.

The Babe had been retired 11 years in 1946, but was still very much aware of the game. Looking at this quote, you’d think that maybe the Babe had gone a bit mad, but he was really quite clear in his thinking. Looking back, maybe the Babe might have had a good argument in Doerr.

Bobby Doerr played second base for the Red Sox with Ted Williams, and Jimmy Foxx, and Dom DiMaggio and many others from that great era of baseball from 1937 to 1951. He is Oregon’s only Hall of Fame inductee, and arguably the greatest baseball player living in Oregon. Period.

Looking at his stats is like looking at art: It’s all there on the page. His .980 lifetime fielding percentage is second only to Jackie Robinson. He hit .409 in the 1946 World Series, while Ted Williams hit .202, and Stan Musial hit .250. He was by far the best player on the Red Sox for that series, and would have been the best overall if it hadn’t been for Enos Slaughter of the Cardinals hitting .412. He was the model of consistency, having six seasons of over 100 RBIs (it took 25 years before another second baseman, Joe Morgan, repeated this feat), and churned out 1,507 double-plays in his career; 132 in 1943 alone. He was The Sporting News AL player of the year in 1944. He is the only Red Sox player to hit for the cycle twice. His #1 was retired by the Red Sox in 1988 (his was only the 3rd such number), and he was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1986.

At 84, he is one of the last great players left from that time when baseball consumed the nation. Unassuming and modest, his life is richly woven in the tapestry of baseball having played it at a high level almost all his life. He fell in love with the game at the age of 9 by bouncing a rubber ball against the steps of his front porch, and has been involved since.

Coming up in the PCL

OBC: When you were 16 and playing on your father's American Legion team with Mickey Owen and Steve Mesner, Oscar Vitt of the Hollywood Stars tried to hire you on. Vitt must have wanted you pretty bad. Did your dad have any misgivings about you signing at such a young age?

Doerr: No, my dad never said, no exactly. He said it would be up to me, but if I did sign he would want me to go back and get my diploma in High School, which I did over the course of 2 winters. See then you could sign by the rules of the PCL.

OBC: Once the Stars moved to San Diego and became the Padres you were really coming into your own hitting .324 and leading the league in hits. Did it help having someone like George Myatt to team up with out in the field? He must have been a great guy for turning double plays.

Doerr: Oh, sure we got to play along side each other. You got to know each other habits and things. It was a real good combination.

OBC: Can you recall how the Red Sox picked you up?

Doerr: See in the winter of 1935, I guess the San Diego Chamber of Commerce got a hold of Bill Lane who was the owner of the Hollywood team at the time. And I guess they gave him free rent and a lot of incentives to come down there, and that's when they decided to move in the winter of 1935. And it was the winter of 1935 that the Red Sox took an option to buy George Myatt's and mine contract, and they excersied the option in the middle of summer 1936.

OBC: It's also at this time that some kid from Hoover High in San Diego named Ted Williams joined the team. Can you tell us what your impression of him was the first time you saw him taking batting practice?

Doerr: What happened on that was in June when school was out of '36 , I was standin' on the right side of those old batting cages they used to have. And most of the time most of the players was leanin' against the backstop there waiting for batting practice. Most of the guys were ex-Major League players in those days, and right in front of me about 10'-15' was this big skinny kid. He was 6' 3" and 147lbs. And I can remember him just standing there in front of me, and Frank Schellenbach was the manager of the team, and he was pitchin' batting practice, and he yelled in, "Let the kid get in and hit a few." And all the guys; all the old players were around the battin' cage were, "Oh geez, this guy is going to get in there and take all of our time in batting practice." Anyway, he got in and hit 6 or 7 balls and was really impressive. I think he might have hit one out of the ballpark it seemed like to me that he did, and he hit some line drives, and the guys said, "Jeez, who's this kid?" But when he got done he walked out of the batting cage, I heard one of the these players on the other side of the batting cage say, "This kids going to get signed before the weeks over." And this was like on a Thurs.

Every Monday was off day in those days in Coast League. You played a 9-inning and a 7-inning double-header on a Sunday, and travel day was a Monday. So, Monday night when we go to the train depot, here's here's Ted prancin' up and down, he had signed a contract, and when we got there we knew he had been signed.

And that's the first time I got to know Ted. He and I kinda of hung around together cause we were the same age. He and I would go out every night and get a chocolate milkshake or something trying to put weight on.

OBC: In August of 1937, the story of how you and Ted Williams got discovered in Portland is a great story. Eddie Collins came out to Portland, on his only scouting trip ever, while the Padres were playing 3 double-headers in a row at Vaughn Street Park against the Beavers. Can you tell me about those games against the Beavers that Eddie Collins was at, how you felt and how Ted Williams plays into this?

Doerr: This was on a Sunday doing a double-header in August. Collins had been following us in Seattle, but we didn't know that. Now he's down in Portland at the double-header, and somebody said, "Eddie Collins is in the stands". And jeez I remember, God I dropped the ball on a double-play, I think I made 2 or 3 errors in that game, cause in those days you didn't hardly ever see a scout in those days. I had been going real good I was havin' a good year, but I did get nerved up. Anyway, in-between games on Sunday there was a knock on the door of the clubhouse, I just always remember, it was kind of unusual. And he said, "We're going to take your contract Bobby, but we're not going to take Myatt's because we have Joe Cronin" who was our [Red Sox] shortstop.

But it was during that time that he saw Ted Williams taking batting practice. Ted might have got in one game that particular time, but he liked his swing so much that he went to Bill Lane and wanted to buy his contact and Lane said "No" not right then, saying they wanted to see more and see what Ted could do. But, Collins had the foresight enough to ask Lane if the Red Sox could have the first chance at buy his contact, and they shook hands on it, and there was no written thing. And that's how the Red Sox had the foresight to sign Ted.


Life with Ted, Dom, "Double X" and the Red Sox

OBC: When you first came up with the Red Sox you had a huge first base target to throw to: the Double?X, Jimmie Foxx, who had already proved himself as a great player by the time you joined the big leagues. Did you have to pinch yourself for a while knowing you and he were on the same team?

Doerr: Oh, jeez I'll never forget the first time I went to spring training in 1937. When I was a kid growing up I had all these guys pictures, Grove, and Foxx, and Cronin and all those players on my bedroom wall. I had my bedroom stuffed full of pictures, cause I idolized these guys. And now all the sudden you go to spring training and you walk out that first day and here's Foxx hittin' balls… jeez looked like golf balls going out of the ball park. And seeing all these great players… There was the Ferrell brothers there… Lefty Grove… [Jimmy] Foxx at first base, Mike Higgins third base, [Doc] Cramer in center, [Joe] Cronin [at shortstop], and you felt like a little pea out there. You almost had to pinch yourself to think you were amongst all those great ball players.

See back then we didn't see on the coast many Major League players. The Cubs trained out there, and the White Sox, and you'd see some of those guys; The Giants one year. So you saw a little bit of them, but nothing like you know when you went there all the sudden.

OBC: During your career you must have seen some unreal pitchers. Guys like Spud Chandler, Bob Feller, and Lefty Gomez. Were there some guys that you had a heck of time with over your career with the Red Sox? If so, who?

Doerr: Well, Feller was always tough. He threw like 100mph every time you saw him. Big gaudy motion, little on the wild side. Then two guys that bothered me probably as much as any was Bob Muncrief with the St. Louis Browns, and Al Benton with Detroit. They had big gaudy motion with a about a ¾ motion, with big breaking curve balls, and those two guys bothered me about as much as anybody.

OBC: If not for you, Bob Feller would have two more no-hitters on his list. You had the only hits against him in 1939 and 1946. Do you recall the pitches that you hit?

Doerr: Ya, well I kid Feller about that too. In 1939 it was on Memorial Day in Boston. It was a cold day. And Feller had some stuff that day - he had good stuff every day - but it was just one of those days where he was just overpoweringly fast. And I hit a ball over second base, and broke my bat. It was just a freak thing you know. I broke my bat and it just dropped in over the second baseman's head for a base hit. And of course we kid each other all the time, but actually it was shame that a no-hitter was broke up in that manner.

In then in '46 I hit a line drive that was in the old League ballpark in Cleveland over the shortstop for a bases hit that broke up a no-hitter.

OBC: So you kid him around about that?

Doerr: Ya, we talk a lot about that. I suppose if you look at my batting average against him, it probably would be something like .150. But DiMaggio hit 11 homeruns off Feller. Ted Williams 10, and I hit 9, and think [Henry] had 8. I can remember some balls I hit off of Feller that were probably 6" over my head. But I always felt like if I could hit a fastball off of him, it would be from the middle plate in. I had much better luck of hitting a bad pitch like that than trying to hit a strike pitch that would be on the middle plate out, on him. I remember Cronin tellin' me when I broke in, "When you face Feller cut the plate right in half and just look at everything being inside. And don't worry too much about trying to make it a real good strike." Because if your trying to be too careful that way, with the stuff he had it'd be on you before you had a chance to [hit]. And that helped me hittin' him in that manner, and he used to kid me about hittin' bad fastballs high.

OBC: A lot is made about Joe DiMaggio, but his brother Dom was pretty good as well. What was he like?

Doerr: Dominic was a really good player. [He] was just an everyday, smooth type of player. He never had a problem with a popup out in the outfield between center field and second base. You had to play with him to appreciate the amount of range he had in the outfield. He had a good accurate arm, [and] played a very shallow center field. He was good.

OBC: And what about any of the games against Joe?

Doerr: Joe DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I saw. I mean for hitting and everything. Good arm, great range in the outfield. Good hitter, I mean he was right there with Ted being a great hitter. Yankee Stadium was the toughest stadium, I thought, that I hit in for a right-hand hitter. Because of shadows during the day games. Tall stands. And then, we always played to a big crowd and fans always had white shirts in center field with their white shirts, jeez it was tough the pick the ball up. And then straight away left-center was God, a long ways before they remodeled it. I remember hittin' balls out there, my God, I thought I hit the heck out of it, and you'd fly ball out, and be like 5' from the fence.

I think about how many times how many balls DiMaggio must have hit out there that any other park in baseball would have been homers or hits. He was so good.

OBC: Can you think of a play in the field with Joe running that stands out?

Doerr: I had him in a rundown between first and second one time in Boston. And I had the ball within… I must have been 5' from him. And I was on the move to catch the ball to go after him. And by God, he took off from a stand still position and I just barely tagged him, and remember I'm already on the run. It opened my eyes why he was such a great outfielder cause he could accelerate from a stand still position [with such speed].

OBC: You played under mainly two managers your whole career, Joe Cronin and Joe McCarthy. Can you tell me a little about the two as managers, and Joe Cronin as a player?

Doerr: Well Cronin, I loved to play for Cronin. He was firm, but he patted you on the back; he always encouraged you in different ways. That was when I was younger, and was a big help to me. Then when McCarthy came over in '48, I'm quite sure that he had the feeling we had been pampered a little bit too much between Yawkey and Cronin. He was much firmer disposition kind of guy. He hardly said much to you, or encourage you much. Very smart baseball man, good baseball man. But, I felt it was a little more difficult to play for him, and yet I had my best years with!

OBC: A lot of people are still mourning the passing of Ted Williams this year. Now that Ted is gone, is there anything that you'd like people to know about him that they may not have known before?

Doerr: Well, I think that Ted was more of a compassionate guy then what a lot of people think. But he was a son-of-a-gun at times, you'd like to grab him and shake him and say, "Come on Ted, let's get going here." But, he did so many things. After ballgames he would sit in the stands with the kids. They'd come in the clubhouse and ask, "Will you talk to the kids?" Ted would say, "As soon as all the fans are all out of the ballpark, and I don't want anything in the press about it. Then I'll come up there." And he'd go up there and talk to them for a half-hour or so, talkin' with those kids. Not every day, but times he'd do that. And then he'd go to hospitals a lot of times. But he did a lot of charitable work, and, of course, the Jimmy Fund that he did.

And yet, he was very good with the ballclub. He was always encouraging us players in wanting to win. But, his disposition was really stinkeroo sometimes…

OBC: In '46 Ted Williams won the American League MVP, but you must have made quite an impression that season. How did you feel when you heard Babe Ruth say, "Doerr, and not Ted Williams, is the No. 1 player on the team. He rates the Most Valuable Player in the American League"?

Doerr: Ya, I was quite honored to think Ruth would say something like that. You had to be flattered, but Ted did so many things. God he was such a great hitter, and he wasn't a bad outfielder. He had a good accurate arm, not strong arm, but he covered the ground pretty good. See, Dom kinda had a deal Ted that anything that I can get I'll come over and get. And Ted pretty much let him do it.

The '46 World Series: Red Sox vs. Cardinals

OBC: Let's talk about the '46 World Series. So much has been made of the fact that Ted Williams only hit .200 for the series, but looking at the Cardinals, Stan Musial only hit .250. I know he got hit in the elbow by Mickey Haefner playing a tune-up game just before the Series. Is it fair that Ted got so much of the blame for the Red Sox losing the series?

Doerr: No, I don't think so. See we finished around the 12th of September or something like that. So, I think, looking back, we kinda went flat a little bit. We were playin', but the competition and everything wasn't competitive or anything. The Cardinals and the Dodgers went into a 2 out of 3 playoff, and so they came out of that series they were all revved up. We had that group come in [The Senators] and play us, but that was just some routine type of thing, but not like the competitiveness they had.

But, back to Ted. Every year Ted would get a virus. A flu-type virus that he got in the fall. And he had, but he never said a thing as an alibi or anything like that, but he wasn't fellin' good. That hurt him a lot more, I'm sure, than the elbow did. I think it was his weakened condition. In fact, if it hadn't been the World Series I don't think he would have been playin'.

OBC: On the opposite side of things you hit an amazing .409 for the series. Can you tell me a little about how you were feeling at the plate during the series compared to the regular season?

Doerr: What happens is you get hot streaks. I was in a little bit of a rut in the last part of September, and I wasn't hittin' all that good. Somewhere or another 2 or 3 days before the World Series I tried this and that, and I got in a little bit of a hot groove. And going into the Series I guess was in that little groove. And that's happened during the season, 2 or 3 times, you'll get into those… I think what you do is get tired, and you don't have that quickness you should have. But, during the season that happens. You'll go 2 or 3 weeks and be hot, and hit good. Then you go 5 or 6 days where you cool off. I think your body gets tired before you realize it, but your not quite as quick with the bat. I think that's what happened with me in the World Series. I just happen to be lucky to get into a little hot groove just before that and went into the Series hot.

OBC: In the ninth inning of Game 7, with the Red Sox down a run, you singled the tying run into scoring position. Did you feel any differently at that point about the outcome of the game, like, "Hey, we're going to pull this off"?

Doerr: No, I don't think you feel any different, you just always have that hope of doing that. Dominic and I have talked of the play to Pesky. Dom had pulled his leg muscle and [Leon] Culberson was put in to replace Dom in center field. Dom said, "If I had been center field Slaughter would have never scored on that play." He would have been positioned different. He would have charged the ball more, and got the ball in or would have made the play himself. That outfield in St. Louis was rough, just terrible, and I think Culberson going in there probably played the ball pretty conservative. He was playin' a little more straightaway than what Dom would have done. See, Harry Walker was pretty much a straightaway left center field hitter, and Dom would have been playin' over there. He says, "Slaughter would have never scored had he been playin'"

OBC: You've had a while to think about that World Series, and what might have been. Can you put a finger on something with the team that could have been done differently to change the outcome?

Doerr: No, I don't think there would have been anything different. Like I say, I just don't think we were quite revved up. You think you are, but I don't think we were. Just like hitting you get hot and cool spells. I think we were just in one of those cool spots. I'm not saying we were a better club, but I think that in the first part of the year we were winning so many games… just so many good things happening. They were just better because they beat us, but I think if we were in the same situation as they were, playin' in the playoffs or something like that, we would have been a little more revved up for that.

Closing Thoughts

OBC: Looking at the players during your era, and looking at players like Barry Bonds, or Sammy Sosa, how do you think the players then and now would have stacked up against each other?

Doerr: Oh, I think that players now are every bit as good. God, they've got some great players in there now. Pitching is so good, and there is much good relief pitching. If we had even one of these great relief pitchers back in '48, '49, and '50, I think we would have won 3 pennants and could won one or two World Series. So many games we'd go into the last part of a game 8th or 9th inning and couldn't hold a lead. You didn't have that outstanding pitcher like they do now.

OBC: You were born in Los Angeles, and played in Boston. How did you wind up buying a farm and living in Oregon?

Doerr: When I was out in San Diego there was trainer of the ballclub, Les Cook, and he had been coming up here to the Rogue River in the winter time hunting and fishing. It was 35 miles up the river. No roads or anything, and really primative. He had all these pictures in the training room. And I'd go in everyday, and as a kid I always wanted to live in the mountains, and fish and hunt. So, I'd talk to him after batting practice everyday about those pictures. And finally one time he said, "Why don't you come up with my wife and I and spend the winter?" When I got here I thought I'd gone to heaven, all the mountains and rivers, just beautiful country. So, anyway, I just decided this is where I wanted to live.

OBC: Portland is the only city from the original PCL to not have a Major League Baseball team. After playing in Vaughn Street Park, and living in Oregon, would you like to see a Major League team in Portland?

Doerr: Well I always remember when Seattle was trying to get back in. I got a letter that someone gave to me to give to Cronin who was the President of the American League at the time. Cronin said that if they get the facilities and everything that they would certainly have to be considered. But, I always thought Portland, at that time, would have been a better franchise than Seattle.

Bob Borkowski
06-06-2007, 08:48 PM
FYI, my wife and I had lunch with the real Bob about a month back. Still as feisty as ever and doing great.


Great to hear, Roy.

According to Baseball Reference, Bob is now 81 years old and I'm glad to hear he is still 'up and at 'em'.

I always kind of identified with him when he was with the Reds. He wasn't a flashy hitter but he was versatile on defense(played the outfield as well as a little first base).

I'm sure you've told him that my handle is keeping his name alive with all of these young whipper-snappers here on the Zone. ;)

LINEDRIVER
06-07-2007, 01:16 AM
I went to many games at Crosley Field in the 60's. 1964 was the earliest.

here's a handful of my Crosley Field memories.....

about 1968...Roberto Clemente homered twice in a Pittsburgh win. A wicked liner down the LF line and in the next AB, a wicked liner down the RF line. Pirates won something like 19-2. The Pirates mgr was Larry Shepard who would later become the pitching coach of the Big Red Machine.

1966...went to a Reds/Mets Sunday doubleheader. Our seats were near the Mets dugout. I got a bunch of autographs before the game. Mets 1B Ed Kranepool was my very first big league autograph. He signed my scorecard and said, "There you go, son". That made my day and I became a Kranepool fan instantly. I got Whitey Herzog's autograph that day. He was a Mets coach at the time.

1968 or 69...Before the game, I spoke with Mets utilityman Phil Linz who spent some time warming up pitchers in the bullpen. We talked about the young Mets pitcher Nolan Ryan and how hard he could throw.

1967....Tony Perez crushed a Ferguson Jenkins pitch and the ball sailed over the CF fence and out of the lights. The ball just faded into the darkness. I would have to say that the 'crack of the bat' sound on that HR was the loudest that I've ever heard.

1965....Reds sluggers Deron Johnson and Frank Robinson hit HR's against the Cubs. Johnson's blast struck the scoreboard clock. Robby's belt hit the scoreboard and knocked letters and numbers off the scoreboard. The letters and numbers fell to the the ground. Cubs' leftfielder Billy Williams picked them up and handed them to guy thru a door at the base of the scoreboard.

1966...I spent the 65-66 school yr as a school crossing guard so that I would be able to get one free ticket to to School Crossing Guard Day which didnt come about until May of 66. That's alot of mornings of getting up early and standing in rain, cold, snow. LOL. I look back on that and I'm glad I did it. The School Crossing Guard Day finally came and I was able to see Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale hit a line drive over the LF fence for a HR.

1969 or 1970...Got there extra early to see batting practice because the Giants were in town. I looked everywhere and didnt see Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. They finally emerged from the tunnel shortly before game time. They walked right past me. I was awestruck. McCovey pinch-hit late in the game against reliever Clay Carroll. McCovey nearly hit a pinch-hit HR. Everybody jumped out of their seats when the ball left the bat. I glanced down to see the Reds jump off their dugout seats and straining their necks to see down the RF line. The ball was foul by inches. The ball struck a brick wall causing a puff of brickdust to float in the air. The next day in the newspaper, Carroll was quoted as saying something like, "I knew I had him all along".

wally post
06-07-2007, 01:48 AM
'61. I got out of first grade to see the Yankees kill us in the series. Went to some games before that, but the World Series is my first clear memory.

Yogi falling down in left field going up the incline....funny :D
Whitey Ford. OTOH, Mantle and Maris... Bruisers!

OldRightHander
06-07-2007, 06:52 AM
Reading some of the stories here just brings one word to mind...jealous. Crosley is just a bit before my time. I was at the last game there, but that was only because my mother couldn't find a babysitter. I wasn't even 2 yet.

Roy Tucker
06-07-2007, 08:39 AM
Great to hear, Roy.

According to Baseball Reference, Bob is now 81 years old and I'm glad to hear he is still 'up and at 'em'.

I always kind of identified with him when he was with the Reds. He wasn't a flashy hitter but he was versatile on defense(played the outfield as well as a little first base).

I'm sure you've told him that my handle is keeping his name alive with all of these young whipper-snappers here on the Zone. ;)

Yep, I've told him about your handle a couple different times. He said he was surprised anyone remembered him as a player. I told him to check in here but he said he doesn't do the internet thing. I'll work on him.

But yeah, he's still active. He had both knees replaced a few years ago that slowed him down for a while. Still has the iron grip handshake though. I think there was an article about him in the DDN a couple years ago.

A couple years ago, he got to participate in the 50 year reunion of the '55 Dodgers. The Dodgers flew him and Mary Ann out to LA for all the festivities. He said the Dodgers did it first class all the way and it was a fantastic time. He said the late night BS sessions with Lasorda, Newcombe, Snider, et al were priceless.

He does '55 Dodger autograph sessions every so often. They fly him somewhere, he signs for a couple hours, and then flies home. He has an agent that handles it all.

I always genuinely look forward to spending time with Bush. Just a great guy.

redsmetz
06-07-2007, 08:45 AM
No 1940s games for me, but I'm close. My first game was at Crosley in 1952, Reds vs. Cubs.

My grandad knew that I worshipped the Reds and he arranged a train ride from Aurora to Cincinnati for a Sunday doubleheader. The train ride itself was thrill enough for a 10 year old country boy but the games knocked my socks off.

Bob, did you and your grandpa ride in on the old CL&A traction line? I worked for the trucking company that was originally the old CL&A rail line that ran out there.

redsmetz
06-07-2007, 08:56 AM
1966...I spent the 65-66 school yr as a school crossing guard so that I would be able to get one free ticket to to School Crossing Guard Day which didnt come about until May of 66. That's alot of mornings of getting up early and standing in rain, cold, snow. LOL. I look back on that and I'm glad I did it. The School Crossing Guard Day finally came and I was able to see Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale hit a line drive over the LF fence for a HR.

Patrol Boy days is what we called them and I went to the 1968 game at the end of my 7th grade year. There were girl Crossing Guards (hence, not Patrol Boys) and a couple of my buddies egged me into getting the numbers of two of the girls; one from St. Dominic's, the other from Our Lady of Victory.

I kept the OLV girl's number and called and we'd talk from time to time (I lived in Deer Park at the time, she across town in Delhi). At the end of my 8th grade year, we moved to Madeira and I had a party for all my old Deer Park friends, but I invited the girl from Delhi. Her dad came to pick her up and he was upstairs yacking with my folks; all my other friends had left and right then and there, I kissed my first girl. Now there's a baseball story!

Bob Borkowski
06-07-2007, 09:19 AM
Bob, did you and your grandpa ride in on the old CL&A traction line? I worked for the trucking company that was originally the old CL&A rail line that ran out there.


Hi rm,

I'm not really sure if it was the 'CL&A traction line' or not. All I can remember is that it was a train and it seemed to follow the path of US 50 (River Road) up the river to Cincy. :)

I do remember the CL&A (Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg and Aurora) Trucking here in southeastern Indiana.

redsmetz
06-07-2007, 09:34 AM
Hi rm,

I'm not really sure if it was the 'CL&A traction line' or not. All I can remember is that it was a train and it seemed to follow the path of US 50 (River Road) up the river to Cincy. :)

I do remember the CL&A (Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg and Aurora) Trucking here in southeastern Indiana.

That would have been the CL&A line you took then. The trucking company came out of the old rail line and they got their first operating authority in 1932 when motor carriers were regulated - they were "grandfathered" in as an existing operation at that time. They hauled mostly empty bottles and the finished products out of the distilleries out there. When I worked for them in the late 70's, early 80's - the owner then was one of the nicest folks you could ever hope to work for.

I've heard about those train excursions into Cincinnati for Reds games, but never came that way. By then I was living in the Cincy suburbs, although I understand when we lived in Dayton in the mid-50's, that my mom would take us boys down to Cincinnati on the train and catch the bus out to my grandma's in Price Hill.

I ache for a genuine train system that could let you go intercity now. But that's another topic that should be over on the non-baseball area.

paintmered
06-07-2007, 09:36 AM
I ache for a genuine train system that could let you go intercity now. But that's another topic that should be over on the non-baseball area.

Not to derail the thread but....

There has been talk of introducing high speed rail between Dayton and Cincinnati. Maybe your wish will come true someday.

My first baseball game was not in the 1940s. I really wish I could have seen baseball from that era since it is so romanticized today. The first Reds game I remember attending was in 1988 against the Dodgers. I was 4 and was pretty much the best day of my life up to that point even though the Reds lost.

I remember the final score as 3-0, but after perusing Retrosheet, I couldn't find the game.

I really wish I could have recorded some of my great grandmother's Reds memories. She was an avid fan her entire life and passed away two weeks ago at 98. She was the one responsible for brainwashing my dad into a Reds fan and subsequently, me.

RFS62
06-07-2007, 10:50 AM
We also went on the train to Cincinnati every summer for several years. What a treat. They had a bubble top car where we always sat if we could.

Here's a picture I found of the Powhatan Arrow, the train we always took.

http://spec.lib.vt.edu/imagebase_new/norfolksouthern/F1/NS3559.JPG

OldRightHander
06-07-2007, 11:21 AM
The first Reds game I remember attending was in 1988 against the Dodgers. I was 4 and was pretty much the best day of my life up to that point even though the Reds lost.

I was just starting to feel young reading this thread, and then I have to read this. I was in college then.

The_jbh
06-07-2007, 11:43 AM
I'm scared for the days when on this bored I'm old balls because I saw a playoff game in Riverfront... :devil:

redsmetz
06-07-2007, 12:01 PM
I was just starting to feel young reading this thread, and then I have to read this. I was in college then.

Ha, my third child was on the way by the time Paintsmered went to that game. But I know he's young because he worked on our Youth Group team at our parish. Paintsmered, my oldest daughter's first game was when she was one month old - an extra inning plus rain delay job that we won on the first batter back after the rain delay (runner on second, base hit, game over; thanks for staying). But that was a few months before you would have been born!

paintmered
06-07-2007, 12:04 PM
I don't know if it was my first game, I do know it was the first game I remember. I'll have to ask my parents about it this weekend.

I do remember asking my dad what the score was every 5 minutes because I couldn't figure out the scoreboard.

RichRed
06-07-2007, 12:55 PM
I have very little to add to this thread other than to say I'm thoroughly enjoying reading it.

Keep the great stories coming, guys! :thumbup:

MrCinatit
06-07-2007, 06:57 PM
I am pretty sure my dad attended some 1940s games - does that count?
However, he did attend some games in the early 1960s in Dayton which impressed me, where he got to see a young pre-Reds Pete Rose hustle like all get-out.

REDJAKE
06-07-2007, 07:00 PM
The first Reds game i seen was in the 40s. Ewell Blackwell was pitching and i was so excited when he threw a wild pitch into the stands and i almost got the ball.I think he was trying to intimidate the other team which i don't recall who it was or why else would a wild pitch get in the stands. There was a pitcher in the 50s or 60s who always did that before he pitched to his first batter.Most of you never heard of Ryan Duran but he was a wild one and loved to intimidate.Go Cincy!!!!

KittyDuran
06-07-2007, 08:51 PM
Though this can't be posted in the SunDeck, I couldn't find an area where it could be posted so all could respond?

Though I was born in 1959, I didn't attend my first game until 1983.

I know many of you attended a game in the 60's and some may have even attended one in the 50's.

Who here would be the elder statesman among REDS' game attendees?I was born the same year as you... my first game was in 1971. I wanted to go to a game so badly in 1970 but my Dad was stubborn. :bang:

Bob Borkowski
06-07-2007, 10:08 PM
The first Reds game i seen was in the 40s. Ewell Blackwell was pitching and i was so excited when he threw a wild pitch into the stands and i almost got the ball.I think he was trying to intimidate the other team which i don't recall who it was or why else would a wild pitch get in the stands. There was a pitcher in the 50s or 60s who always did that before he pitched to his first batter.Most of you never heard of Ryan Duran but he was a wild one and loved to intimidate.Go Cincy!!!!


Oh, man, Blackie (The Whip) was a truly intimidating side-armer. I remember Bob Elliott, the right-handed hitting third baseman of the Boston Braves, being quoted as saying that he hated to face Blackie because the ball seemed to always come out of third base.


Blackwell had no reservations about hitting batters with pitches either. A guy I used to work for played some low minor league ball in the Reds organization. He roomed with Blackie and just simply described him as 'mean as a snake' and I'm sure that helped the big guy a lot when he pitched.

mth123
06-07-2007, 10:27 PM
Reading some of the stories here just brings one word to mind...jealous. Crosley is just a bit before my time. I was at the last game there, but that was only because my mother couldn't find a babysitter. I wasn't even 2 yet.

Being young enough to have only been < 2 when Crosley closed brings one word to mind ... jealous.

Ron Madden
06-08-2007, 04:54 AM
Reds vs. Dodgers Crosley Field June, 1963.

One of my older brothers took me to the game, I was 9 yrs old.

Joey Jay and the Reds beat Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers 1-0.

Can't recall very many other details worth posting here. :)

RedsBaron
06-08-2007, 06:39 AM
Being young enough to have only been < 2 when Crosley closed brings one word to mind ... jealous.

You're about 13-14 years younger than me then--I'm jealous of you! ;)

mth123
06-08-2007, 06:55 AM
You're about 13-14 years younger than me then--I'm jealous of you! ;)

I was referring too OldRighthander. I'm guessing I'm in your age group. I saw my first game as a young kid in 1965 or 1966.

RFS62
06-08-2007, 07:13 AM
I was referring too OldRighthander. I'm guessing I'm in your age group. I saw my first game as a young kid in 1965 or 1966.



Yeah, he's got some nerve calling himself "old".

RedsBaron has socks older than he is.

MrCinatit
06-08-2007, 07:31 AM
The first Reds game i seen was in the 40s. Ewell Blackwell was pitching and i was so excited when he threw a wild pitch into the stands and i almost got the ball.I think he was trying to intimidate the other team which i don't recall who it was or why else would a wild pitch get in the stands. There was a pitcher in the 50s or 60s who always did that before he pitched to his first batter.Most of you never heard of Ryan Duran but he was a wild one and loved to intimidate.Go Cincy!!!!

Duran is a legend at my household. My dad loved to watch him pitch - mainly because no one had a clue as to where the ball would go.
He also said fans would not sit behind home plate, for fear of being hit.
Was it Duran who literally broke a device used to measure the speed of the fastball. If I am not mistaken, ages ago, pitches had to throw the ball through a device about the size of a shoebox - I seem to recall it was Duran who hit the device, completely shattering it.

RFS62
06-08-2007, 07:32 AM
He was legendary for his thick glasses. Really added to the image of a guy who not only had no control, but couldn't even see the plate.

He threw very, very hard.


Here's a great article about him.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCI/is_10_63/ai_n6189432

cumberlandreds
06-08-2007, 08:02 AM
My first game was in 1971. Living in the mountains of SE Kentucky made going to Cincy for ballgame a once a year expedition. My oldest brother who was living in Harrison,Ohio at the time got the family tickets for a game in August against the Pirates. Myself,my dad and I think, both of my brothers went. The Reds won 6-3 with my hero at the time,Johnny Bench hitting a home run. Also a little known player named George Foster had a key triple that won the game for the Reds. And,also Jim Merrit won his only game that season. He finished the season 1 win and 11 losses. I remember the field at Riverfront being so green and just being awestruck at being able to see the players I had listened to on the radio. Since I lived so far from Cincy we only went one time a year for many years until I was old enough to drive and then went more often. I recently racked my brain and remembered many games I went to over the years. I researched retrosheet and found many of them but certainly not all I have went. I printed out the games I could distinctly remember and I have a pretty good record, 22-10. But I know there were many more games I havee seen but just can't remember them. Somewhere back at my mothers house there are old ticket stubs put away in boxes I would like to get to. Just finding the time to go back down to Kentucky to do it is the problem.
My dad talked about going to a game at Crosley in, I think, 1964. It was when Rose was a young player as they gave him a baby buggy before the game. He and his first wife were expecting there first baby at the time. My dad said he,my two brothers and an uncle who lived in the Cincinnati went to the game. The Reds played the Cubs but he said he couldn't remember who won or very much about the game. I was only one year old then and probably in the Cincinnati Children's Hospital at the time and didn't go.

BuckWoody
06-08-2007, 09:07 AM
I was never at a game in the 1940's but I was at the first Friday night game this year against the Pirates and it was in the 40's. Does that count? ;)

This thread has been a great read. Like many, my first game wasn't until after they had moved into Riverfront. I never made it to a game at Crosley. My folks went to games in the '50's but neither of them ever made it to a game in the '40's. One of my most prized possessions is a Johnny Temple foul ball that my dad caught at Crosley in the late '50's.

westofyou
06-08-2007, 09:27 AM
He was legendary for his thick glasses.

And his drinking, he was a grade A alcoholic.

Roy Tucker
06-08-2007, 09:51 AM
The LAST game I saw at Crosley was the double-header when Hank Aaron got his 3000th hit (May 17, 1970). I was a senior in HS and about to graduate in a couple weeks. I took my little brother. It was SRO and we stood the whole first game. I remember Aaron's hit as a 32-hopper up the middle that Concepcion gloved but couldn't make the throw. I didn't even know it was his 3000th hit till they stopped the game and announced it.

I was getting to be quite the longhair at the time (it was 1970 and Kent State was just a couple weeks before). During the second game, I took my little bro to the bathroom. Walking down a Crosley ramp, I was asked "hey man, you want to buy some reefer?". Still being the white 'burb kid at heart, I said "no thank you".

Riverfront opened a few weeks later.

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/exhibits/online_exhibits/3000_hit_club/images/aaron_boxscore.jpg

Heath
06-08-2007, 11:49 AM
Never saw Crosley.

First Reds game I saw was against the Astros. Well, as much as 9 month old could see. I guess it rained past the 8:05 start time and didn't start until 10:30 or so. Game was done in less than 2 hours. It was fireworks night. They sent one up and then they sent up the rest. I slept like a baby.

First Reds game I remember attending was a 1983 game against the Padres. There were two important foul balls that night as I sat in Section 216 of the Green seats. One, was Johnny Bench's HR that hit the foul pole. Two, was a foul ball hit off of Alan Wiggins bat that hit me in the glove only to fall below to the blue seats. Oh well.

mth123
06-08-2007, 08:52 PM
The LAST game I saw at Crosley was the double-header when Hank Aaron got his 3000th hit (May 17, 1970). I was a senior in HS and about to graduate in a couple weeks. I took my little brother. It was SRO and we stood the whole first game. I remember Aaron's hit as a 32-hopper up the middle that Concepcion gloved but couldn't make the throw. I didn't even know it was his 3000th hit till they stopped the game and announced it.

I was getting to be quite the longhair at the time (it was 1970 and Kent State was just a couple weeks before). During the second game, I took my little bro to the bathroom. Walking down a Crosley ramp, I was asked "hey man, you want to buy some reefer?". Still being the white 'burb kid at heart, I said "no thank you".

Riverfront opened a few weeks later.

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/exhibits/online_exhibits/3000_hit_club/images/aaron_boxscore.jpg

I was there in the bleachers with my dad. Rico Carty had a 30 game hitting streak stopped that day. If I remember right, Bench and May hit back to back HRs in the late innings to bring the Reds back in one of the games. I was pretty sure this was on April 30th but your May 17th date is correct.

I thought it was Helms that gloved Aaron's hit and not Concepcion.

Yachtzee
06-08-2007, 09:26 PM
If only someone would invent a time machine so that we could organize a Redszone trip to Crosley.

RedsBaron
06-08-2007, 09:33 PM
In 1970, my dad gave me a choice as to whether to make our annual trip to Cincinnati early in the season to catch one last game at Crosley Field, or wait until mid-year and see at game after Riverfront Staduim opened. I opted for one last visit to Crosley.

Yachtzee
06-08-2007, 09:40 PM
In 1970, my dad gave me a choice as to whether to make our annual trip to Cincinnati early in the season to catch one last game at Crosley Field, or wait until mid-year and see at game after Riverfront Staduim opened. I opted for one last visit to Crosley.

You chose wisely.

http://purgatorio1.com/wp-content/pics/GrailKnight.jpg

Heath
06-08-2007, 10:06 PM
If only someone would invent a time machine so that we could organize a Redszone trip to Crosley.

We can't. Chip might enjoy too much $1 Burger Beer.

Yachtzee
06-08-2007, 10:19 PM
We can't. Chip might enjoy too much $1 Burger Beer.

The scary thing is that I used to enjoy $1 Burger Beers at Ray's Place in Kent back in the early '90s.

Always Red
06-08-2007, 10:34 PM
I was fortunate to go to a lot of games at Crosley as a kid. I was born in 1961, and my dad was a big Reds fan.

I have no idea of the dates, but I do remember one of my first games was when the Reds were playing the Giants. My dad was a huge Wille Mays fan, and he pointed Willie out ot me and told me he was the best player in the game. This was the late 60's (67 or 68) and they had Mays, McCovey, Perry, and Marichal.

A game I especially remember was a Cub Scout outing when we sat in the Sun Deck. The Reds were playing the Mets, and it was a continuation of a suspended game. Ed Kranepool hit a HR in the Sun Deck in the top of the inning, the Reds did not score in the bottom of the inning, and the game was over. The Reds and Mets went on to play the next game after about a 15 minute break, and I have no idea who won.

I'll go to Retrosheet and see if I can figure it out.

OldRightHander
06-08-2007, 11:56 PM
Yeah, he's got some nerve calling himself "old".

RedsBaron has socks older than he is.

I'm just a young pup compared to some folks on here. By the way, what was it like attending games at the Palace of the Fans? I hear it was really something.

BoydsOfSummer
06-09-2007, 02:12 AM
My first was on my birthday in 1976. My hero Johnny Bench hit one out (just for me I thought). Santo Alcala got bombed and the Reds won 9-8.

creek14
06-09-2007, 06:39 AM
My first game was in Wisconsin in 1962. We were on vacation with another family and all the boys were going to go see the Reds play the Braves. At the last minute my dad decided to take me along. I don't remember a lot of the game (other than I was hooked), but I do remember sitting in the Bob Uecker seats.

When we got back to Ohio I started the nearly daily mantra of "dad, please take me to a Reds game tonight." Being the great guy that he was, he took me too many.

I remember one game at Crosley where they passed out tennis balls (!) with numbers on them and then they would draw numbers for a giveaway. Well one bad ump call and I think you know what happened. But the funny thing was a few people didn't throw the balls on the field, but saved them and every half inning or so the ump would get nailed.

I also remember hearing the sound of HR's hitting cars parked behind the OF walls.

We went to a game the first week of Riverfront. $4 blue seats and that was a splurge.

Good times.

RedsBaron
06-09-2007, 08:12 AM
I'm just a young pup compared to some folks on here. By the way, what was it like attending games at the Palace of the Fans? I hear it was really something.

RFS62 has told me that he wasn't that crazy about the Palace of the Fans. In his words: "I didn't like that new fangled ballpark. I preferred League Park."

Heath
06-09-2007, 08:54 AM
RFS62 has told me that he wasn't that crazy about the Palace of the Fans. In his words: "I didn't like that new fangled ballpark. I preferred League Park."

I've heard that RFS was really torn when the National League left Cincinnati in 1880. Sure the 1882 American Association Championship was great (and if you ask him, have him show the ticket stub from Bank Street Grounds) but leaving the National League was pretty tough.

RedsBaron
06-09-2007, 09:38 AM
I've heard that RFS was really torn when the National League left Cincinnati in 1880. Sure the 1882 American Association Championship was great (and if you ask him, have him show the ticket stub from Bank Street Grounds) but leaving the National League was pretty tough.

You don't have to ask him. Geez Louise, he brings it up enough all by himself.
He didn't care that much for the Bank Street Grounds ballpark though--again it was too modern for him. He preferred the Avenue Grounds and Union Grounds ballparks that came before Bank Street Grounds. I guess there is something about the ballpark where you saw your first Reds game.
He still thinks the President should have thrown out the first ball at the first game he attended. I'm not sure he has forgiven President Grant yet for that oversight.

JaxRed
06-09-2007, 02:00 PM
I'm pretty sure we made the trip to Crosley a few times in the late 50's but the first game I have a recollection of is 1962. Reds are playing Giants. In those days, they sold popcorn in containers that could "transform" into a megaphone (anyone remember those?)

The pocorn box had a white square on it for autographs. 2 SF pitchers were sitting in the bullpen before the game and I got their autographs. When I got back my dad asked who they were. I told him I'd never heard of either one of them.

Many years later, I found the megaphone and one of those nobodies was Don Larson.

I remember the terrace and I remember Jerry Lynch totally unable to catch anything....

RedsBaron
06-09-2007, 06:32 PM
I'm pretty sure we made the trip to Crosley a few times in the late 50's but the first game I have a recollection of is 1962. Reds are playing Giants. In those days, they sold popcorn in containers that could "transform" into a megaphone (anyone remember those?)

The pocorn box had a white square on it for autographs. 2 SF pitchers were sitting in the bullpen before the game and I got their autographs. When I got back my dad asked who they were. I told him I'd never heard of either one of them.

Many years later, I found the megaphone and one of those nobodies was Don Larson.

I remember the terrace and I remember Jerry Lynch totally unable to catch anything....

I remember the megaphone popcorn boxes very well, now that you mention them. I thought they were neat.

Wheelhouse
06-09-2007, 10:03 PM
My father did (he's known as Demas863 on Reds Live!) and he said the best year of pitching he ever saw was Ewell Blackwell in 1947. Blackwell that year was 2 outs away from matching Vandermeer's 2 no-hitters in a row. He also had a streak of winning 16 games in a row.

OldRightHander
06-10-2007, 12:41 AM
I think they still had those megaphone boxes when I was a kid.

Jpup
06-10-2007, 05:40 AM
My first game was against the Phillies in about 1988, I think. I was 8 years old in '88 and remember the extremely long rain delay and the "Big Red Machines" to dry the carpet. I don't remember much about the game. It could have even been in 87, I'm not sure. I also remember going to a game at Riverfront in 1990. I'll never forget because Eric Davis didn't play and I was very upset. Barry Larkin also upset my brother and I because he wouldn't sign an autograph for us.

After that, I hadn't been to a Reds game until Great American opened. I have been to about 10 or so since. I've been twice this season and plan on going a few more times. 6 hours of driving makes it tough though.

This is a great thread. Keep sharing guys! :cool:

redsmetz
06-10-2007, 06:14 AM
I'm pretty sure we made the trip to Crosley a few times in the late 50's but the first game I have a recollection of is 1962. Reds are playing Giants. In those days, they sold popcorn in containers that could "transform" into a megaphone (anyone remember those?)

The pocorn box had a white square on it for autographs. 2 SF pitchers were sitting in the bullpen before the game and I got their autographs. When I got back my dad asked who they were. I told him I'd never heard of either one of them.

They looked something like this (with the opposite side having a folded handle and the autograph area. The bottom would tear away (as it is in this photo).

http://www.antiqueathlete.com/orioles-megaphone.jpg

RedsBaron
06-10-2007, 07:35 AM
Barry Larkin also upset my brother and I because he wouldn't sign an autograph for us.



One of my fondest memories about going to games at Crosley is getting autographs from the players. I still have a vivid picture in my mind of Pete Rose signing autograph after autograph near the Reds thirdbase dugout before a game in 1966. In 1969 I had a scorecard signed before the game by, among others, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez. The Reds warmed up before the game in full view of the fans back then, and there were plenty of autograph opportunities.
Now, when the gates to GABP open, the Reds have already taken batting practice. When I've brought my two older sons to Reds games at GABP, their only autograph opportunities have come from the visiting team while it warms up. :(

GAC
06-10-2007, 08:07 AM
I remember the megaphone popcorn boxes very well, now that you mention them. I thought they were neat.

Oh yeah! They were the best audio system at the stadium. :mooner:

My first game was in 1966 vs the Giants. Got to see Willy Mays. Ran into Pete Rose out in the causeway. I stood there in awe as he walked by.

We lost the game 8-4.

vaticanplum
06-10-2007, 03:38 PM
My grampa, who is probably the person I adore most on this earth, turned 90 on Friday, the day of Homer Bailey's first start. He was the child of Italian immigrants and in fact that only one in his family born in America (he was the youngest of seven boys, four of whom survived childhood). I think he probably felt a little removed from American things as a young child -- they spoke only Italian at home; his mother never learned English at all -- and on top of that my grampa was quite sick with epilepsy as a child, at one point missing about a year of school. He couldn't play sports when he was very young, and they were too poor to go to Redland Field despite living only a few blocks away in the West End. So he picked up on listening to baseball and football on the radio. My instinct is to say that this was the way he could really connect with kids his own age and feel like he belonged here.

His first game ever at Redland Field was not a Reds game. His oldest brother was working for a tailor and playing on their hardball team, and apparently these teams had championships at Redland Field, so my grampa got to go. His brother's picture was in the paper as well, which my grampa still has. His first Reds game was courtesy of a western movie star whose name -- man, I will probably get this wrong -- Tom Mix? Micks? Anyway, he was in town or from town or something and hosted an underpriveleged kids day at the ballpark. So my grampa got to go and sit in the bleachers with a bunch of other kids and I think this cowboy guy actually rode around the field on his horse. My grampa doesn't remember anything about the game -- who the Reds played or anything like that -- but remember that this had to be in the 1920s, maybe even early 20s. Babe Ruth was just hitting his prime.

From then on he got to go occasionally, sitting in the corner bleachers which cost 50 cents. He began to go more regularly once he started working; I guess it was Crosley at that point. He was, notably, at the first night game, which he remembers best for FDR turning on the lights in Washington. At one point he decided that he wanted to be an announcer, so he wrote a letter to Red Barber asking if he could sit in the booth with him during a game. And -- here's how we know my grampa's from a different age -- Red Barber wrote back and said sure. So my grampa sat with him in the booth for a game. I've long wanted to get a copy of this tape somehow to give to him because I'm sure his name was mentioned, but without more details of the game I don't even know how to begin to go about this. As a side note: later, when my grampa was in the army down south somewhere, he wanted to get a gig as a sports broadcaster, so he wrote to a local station and mentioned his experience at 700 WLW in Cincinnati. They responded and asked him to send his tapes. He never wrote back :laugh:

He has a lot of great memories, very sharp and detailed about games he heard on the radio and that sort of thing. One of his favorite pictures is of a couple of Reds outfielders on a boat in the middle of the ballpark during the flood of 37. Of course, he was already 20 years old by that point.

Chip R
06-10-2007, 07:27 PM
http://www.crosley-field.com/

RFS62
06-11-2007, 07:00 AM
Awesome story, Vaticanplum.

:clap:

Jpup
06-11-2007, 07:10 AM
my great grandfather is 97. Vaticanplum, your story urges me to go see him this week for sure. Maybe I'll ask him if he has any baseball memories. I've never heard him talk much about sports, but I'll see what I can do.

cumberlandreds
06-11-2007, 09:06 AM
Great story,Vaticanplum. Your grandfather seems like a true treasure! You should write down the memories he tells or record them if he's willing.

SunDeck
06-11-2007, 10:15 AM
My first game was in 1970 at Crosley. A neighbor was a sports writer for the Post and he offered to take me and his son to an afternoon game in about May. I don't remember much except that the place was absolutely packed. We were at field level, real close to the backstop. Was that thing made of plexiglass or something? That seemed really cool to me, very modern and it made quite a sound when a foul ball hit it.

I had just turned six and my memory of the place was mainly of being overwhelmed by the sights and sounds, the crowd, the joy of being at a Reds game. But I do remember very clearly that Bernie Carbo's bat ended up in the seats. We thought that was awesome.

westofyou
06-11-2007, 10:15 AM
Was that thing made of plexiglass or something?

Plastic.

Eric_Davis
06-11-2007, 08:39 PM
One of my fondest memories about going to games at Crosley is getting autographs from the players. I still have a vivid picture in my mind of Pete Rose signing autograph after autograph near the Reds thirdbase dugout before a game in 1966. In 1969 I had a scorecard signed before the game by, among others, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez. The Reds warmed up before the game in full view of the fans back then, and there were plenty of autograph opportunities.
Now, when the gates to GABP open, the Reds have already taken batting practice. When I've brought my two older sons to Reds games at GABP, their only autograph opportunities have come from the visiting team while it warms up. :(

I can't begin to say how so wrong that is. :(

LINEDRIVER
06-11-2007, 08:53 PM
We were at field level, real close to the backstop. Was that thing made of plexiglass or something? That seemed really cool to me, very modern and it made quite a sound when a foul ball hit it.

I have two solid memories of that clear plastic backstop.

1972....I saw Reds' hard-throwing lefty reliever Tom Hall whiff Pirates' star/slugger/big man Willie Stargell on 3 pitches. Swing and a miss, a foul ball straight back to the backstop and a swing and a miss. A Stargell foul ball to the glass could make a louder sound that from most other players.

1974....I saw Johnny Bench foul one straight back to the glass and I knew he was getting dialed in. The next pitch was sent into the left field seats for a grand slam homer.

vaticanplum
06-11-2007, 10:03 PM
my great grandfather is 97. Vaticanplum, your story urges me to go see him this week for sure. Maybe I'll ask him if he has any baseball memories. I've never heard him talk much about sports, but I'll see what I can do.

It's a great thing to do. I don't know if this is universal, but I've found that with my grampa, his long-term memory is almost freakish in comparison to his short-term memory. While he's still pretty sharp overall, he's more likely to be able to tell you the names of all the kids in his kindergarten class than he is to tell you what he ate for breakfast this morning.


Your grandfather seems like a true treasure! You should write down the memories he tells or record them if he's willing.

He is a good egg. He also happens to be about the funniest person on the planet. Just a really bone-dry wit, one of those people who can sit back and say two words a day and those two words are the most hysterical thing you've ever heard. I should record him, you're right. We hang out a lot (I'm really cool and have lots of friends, you see), so maybe I'll get on that.

Yachtzee
06-11-2007, 11:12 PM
It's a great thing to do. I don't know if this is universal, but I've found that with my grampa, his long-term memory is almost freakish in comparison to his short-term memory. While he's still pretty sharp overall, he's more likely to be able to tell you the names of all the kids in his kindergarten class than he is to tell you what he ate for breakfast this morning.



He is a good egg. He also happens to be about the funniest person on the planet. Just a really bone-dry wit, one of those people who can sit back and say two words a day and those two words are the most hysterical thing you've ever heard. I should record him, you're right. We hang out a lot (I'm really cool and have lots of friends, you see), so maybe I'll get on that.

I miss the times I used to hang with my grandpa in his kitchen, talking until all hours of the night. He'd have his Paul Mason Rose jug wine and his pipe and I'd have a cold beer from the "beermeister" he kept in the dining room. We'd talk about the Reds, his childhood growing up in a German household in Mt. Washington, his experiences in WWII, working at NCR, and driving the bookmobile for the Miami County Library. I'd hear the same stories a lot. If it involved baseball, it was usually about seeing his first games at Crosley or games down at Riverfront in the glory days of the BRM, when they had friends who would pass on some of their season ticket allotment for box seats near the owner's box. Good times.