Re: Old Red Guard
Just for general info I think Dad was referring to a combination of guys he never knew but was intensely interested in and linked to - his grandfather Tommy Maddock, a second baseman/SS who played on different amateur and semi-pro teams from about 1895 to 1915, and great granddad's friend Frank Fennelly who played for the Reds in the 1890s and barnstormed one winter with my Greatgranddad in the south (nearly getting ggd divorced as the family lore goes). Tommy died in 1919 and Fennelly about 6 months later (in Philly). They remained friends all their lives. My grandma, Emily Maddock Elledge was a rabid Reds fan and instilled the love of baseball in Dad. She died in 1976 and always claimed her favorite players of all time were Vada Pinson and Frank McCormick. She was a 4-8" Irishwoman from the Irish area in west end. She was true to the stereotype, too - she could cuss like a sailor, drank beer like a fish drinks water and had a temper like nitro. She wasn't bad as it sounds but rather exciting because you never knew what she'd do next. She died in November of '76 and got to see the Reds greatest heyday before she left us. Dad's knowledge of the early Reds through the fifties especially, was encyclopedic but it was Granma who wrote much of that lore into his memory and taught him baseball when he was little. Grandpa was a blacksmith and an engineer for the old Balcrank plant in Norwood later in life and too busy to play much so Gran got out there with the boys. I'm pretty sure she probably sharpened their spikes...