Redsfest ideal for gathering 'Memories'
By John Kiesewetter • email@example.com
• December 5, 2009
He's making a list, checking it twice.
Jim O'Hara came to Redsfest with 24 names of current and former Cincinnati Reds to interview for a one-hour team history DVD and a half-hour show for the MLB Network.
"When we saw how many players were coming to Redsfest, we thought it would be a great opportunity to shoot many of the interviews we need," says O'Hara, 47, a producer with Major League Baseball Productions.
At 3 p.m. Friday, an hour before Redsfest opened, O'Hara and a two-man crew were set up next to the players' "green room" lounge on the second floor of the Duke Energy Convention Center.
As present and former Reds arrived, or took breaks from autograph sessions downstairs, O'Hara asked them to reminisce for two projects:
"Reds Memories," a 66-minute DVD for release in June for Father's Day, will recount the club's 140-year history. Interviews with Lee May, Jim Maloney, Pedro Borbon, Mario Soto, Brandon Phillips, Bronson Arroyo, Eric Davis, Tom Browning, Marty Brennaman and others will be augmented by film from the 15,000 hours in MLB Productions' archives, which dates back to 1909.
It will be the third "Memories" film, following Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox DVDs released last year.
"Baseball Seasons," a half-hour MLB Network program, will feature the 1990 wire-to-wire World Champion team that was saluted at Redsfest, and the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum next season. The show will air in the spring, O'Hara says.
Chris Sabo, Hal Morris, Todd Benzinger, Billy Hatcher, Joe Oliver, Lou Piniella, Davis and Browning were on O'Hara's list. He had met many of the guys 20 years ago while producing the Reds' 1990 season video.
"I spent a lot of time in town here getting to know the players. I know them pretty well. That was a fun team to watch," he says.
For MLB, Browning talked about his perfect game in 1988, the only one in Reds history, and the 1990 World Series sweep of the Oakland As.
Browning recalled how he left Riverfront Stadium during World Series Game 2 - he was resting for his Game 3 start - when told that his pregnant wife was headed to the hospital.
"When they (Reds employees) called the hospital, I just thought they wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl, so I told them to say we weren't there," Browning said. He was unaware the Reds had gone into extra innings, and that manager Piniella was desperately trying to find him to pitch, if necessary - until minutes before Billy Bates scored the winning run.
The "Reds Memories" DVD will include about 20 minutes of bonus video, O'Hara said.