Re: Your rooting interest
I learned to love the game on my grandmother's lap. Before my father's coaching came my gran's stories. Her dad played in the early days of west side stoop ball. She was a rabid Reds fan and Vada Pinson was her favorite player in those early days of my childhood. Before Vada was Wally, before Wally was Frank Mc or Buck, before Buck was Sunny Jim and on and on back into memories fed me at night the way other children got Brer Rabbit or Cinderella. I had no choice in the matter, really. Summer was ice cream, swimming, a couple weekends at Coney Island and BASEBALL. Only baseball got the caps and baseball was synonymous with the Reds.
I was an odd duck as a child. I always liked the role payers for some reason. Elio Chacon, Don Pavletich, Billy McCool, Art Shamsky. Maybe because I knew they were much, much closer to my own skill set than the superstars. Still a world away but role models on how to grind away at being part of team even if you're not the one with the spotlight on you.
Vietnam came. I joined the Marines just in time to miss most of the BRM glory years. I watched and listened from afar but I was kind of busy. War interferes with your enjoyment of a lot of things. And that haze of smoke you are trying to escape said war with. Came stateside to folks spitting on me and such pleasantries in Southern California so my new bride and I started civilian life in KC where her family was from. Cut off from Cincy and my family my fandom never waned but in those years getting Reds news was sketchy. A box score here or there and the weekly SN. Al Gore hadn't done his Internet inventing magic yet. Funny thing happened. My three sons grew up White Sox or Royals fans. White Sox!!!!! Damn that Frank Thomas! Hang you George Brett!!!
This is no laughing matter actually. A family is in crisis! A genealogy of Reds fandom about to be severed. The baton unpassed. My father died, a Redszone fanatic and huge, huge Reds fan. He got me hooked on Redszone. Well, to make a long story shorter, about four years ago I had a heart attack and open heart. It has been touch and go - complications. My health has been iffy. My youngest son Rich has suddenly come around and we've opened my collection of Reds cards and memorobilia. He's avidly listened to all the old stories and touched and looked at the stuff with that unmistakeable glint in his eyes.
"Dad, what are planning to do with all this stuff...you know...." He left it unsaid.
"I'm gonna leave it to a Reds fan somewhere"
We've watched a bunch of Reds games this summer together. Last night he was cussing those damn Cardinals and demanding Rolen to get back in the clubhouse.
I know where that collection is going now. And that legacy is safe for another generation. I wish I had a Hudie to drink to Gran...