Re: Crosley vs. Riverfront
I saw one game in Crosley on August 31, 1969, and it still is vivid in my mind. I was 8 years old. I thought that I had gone to heaven. My dad, my grandfather, my uncle and myself drove from Huntington, WV to Cincinnati in my dad's 1968 black Ford LTD. My dad purchased the tickets from the only place in Huntington that sold them, Humphrey's Southside Pharmacy. I remember parking and walking up to the ballpark. My dad bought me a Centennial Edition yearbook that had Pete Rose, Alex Johnson, Johnny Bench, Tommy Helms, Tony Perez and Lee May on the cover. I still have it. My grandfather bought me a Reds cap, and later on, I talked my dad into buying me one of the plastic batting helmets. We sat behind homeplate in the second deck. I could see everything, and the sound of those fastballs hitting the catcher's mitt were so distinct. Bob Gibson pitched for the Cardinals and Jim Merritt for the Reds. The Reds won that game against the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-5. Johnny Bench and Tony Perez had homeruns for the Reds, but the highlight was a triple by Pete Rose in the 7th inning with the signature head first slide into third base. I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I watched many games in Riverfront stadium through the 70's, 80's and 90's and while I always loved the excitement that was generated there through those years, it couldn't hold a candle to that one game in August of 1969 at Crosley Field. I would love to be able to watch another game there. It was a beautiful old ballpark with lots and lots of character. The terrace, the scoreboard, the sun and moon deck. What a place! I feel very blessed as a lifelong Reds fan to have been able to see my first game in that wonderful old ballpark with the three men who most influenced my life. God rest all of their souls, including Crosley.
Talent is God Given: be humble.
Fame is man given: be thankful.
Conceit is self given: be careful.