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Thread: Your rooting interest

  1. #46
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    I'll just post some things from Roy's greatest hits album There are more, but I really remember writing these.

    One of the things I like about baseball and being a Reds fan is that it is a constant companion from April to November. Other sports are big events but baseball is a constant roll of games from early spring through the heat of summer to the chill of fall. Itís integrated into every-day life. Almost every day, it's watching the game on TV, catching bits and pieces on the radio, reading the game stories in the morning paper, and now in the modern era, visiting with all the yahoos here in RedsZone. And each and every one of those games is a fascinating source of stories from the macro of how the season is going to the micro of living and dying with individual pitches. Following the arc of the big stars and the little stories of short callups. Talking and comparing ballplayers from today's teams and reaching back into the history and teams and players I've known about and back even further into what I've read about. Being able to geek out on esoteric numbers or just enjoying the evening in the stadium and watching a game unfold.

    Talking about the Reds is a conversation I can have with a 8 yr. old neighborhood kid, my 75 yr. old mother-in-law, some guy in the elevator, the priest at our church, the guys over beers, small-talk chit-chat around a business conference table, or my 17 yr. old niece. I'm often struck by some of the unlikely places you find a Reds fan and the passion we all have for them and the game of baseball
    1964 was the first season I was a Reds fan. I was 11 yrs old and going into 7th grade. We had just moved to Kettering in a little rented house on Waltham Avenue, I was a geek, had very few friends, and a lot of spare time. So it was Ed Kennedy and Frank McCormick on channel 2 WLW-D on the tube and Waite Hoyt and Claude Sullivan on WHIO 1290 AM on my little white plastic clock/radio. They were my pals all summer long and made a lonely and scary time tolerable.

    That season had looked like a cake-walk for the Phillies. In those days, it was a 10 team league with no divisions and no wild cards. You either won the NL to go on to the WS or stayed home. So pennant races tended to be death marches. And I lived and died with every win and loss.

    The Phils had a 6.5 game lead with 12 games left. But then they lost 10 straight games and the Reds and Cards snuck back into it.

    That last game was on a Sunday and my dad put 2 TVs side-by-side in the family room, one TV on the Reds game and one on the Browns game (the sound was on the Browns game). Tsitouris gave up 3 early runs and got yanked. The killer was the 6th inning. The Reds were down 4-0 but still had a heartbeat. But then Joey Jay gave up a bases-loaded single to Tony Gonzalez to score 2 runs and then an absolute freakin' dagger to the heart 3-run HR to Richie Allen (he wasn't Dick then). 9-zip and that was all she wrote. Phils won 10-0. I was disconsolate and didnít speak for days. I couldnít understand how those kinds of things could happen to MY team. No, no, no.

    I still remember seeing that no-sound, black and white, grainy picture bases-loaded single rolling into left field and, without thinking, I said a really bad word out my 11 year old mouth. THE bad word. Normally that would have merited very severe punishment from my father who certainly didnít tolerate such language. But on that day, at that time, he just said "yeah". And that year was the year I caught the Reds bug to which, still to this date in 2006, I haven't gotten the antidote for yet.
    (after last year's game 5 DS loss)

    I suppose. But OK, I have something that's been on my chest for a while now reading this (and other threads) and I have to let it out.

    I've raged at the game and the baseball gods for a myriad of offenses to my sensibilities. The aforementioned John Tsitouris who broke my 11 yr. old heart for losing the last game of the 1964 season and dooming me to a lifelong love affair with the Reds, Bill Dewitt for trading Frank Robinson and hiring Don Heffner, Ken Burkhardt completely blowing the call of Carbo out at home, Brooks Robinson putting on a show for the ages, Gene bleeping Tenace and Joe bleeping Rudi, Bud punk-ass Harrelson and the bleeping Mets, Bernie Carbo and Carlton Fisk and I still turn that replay of Fisk waving the ball fair every time it comes on TV to this day, the end of the '76 season when I thought the BRM would go on forever and little did I know it was already over, Bowie Kuhn vetoing the Vida Blue trade because it was "bad for baseball" (what!?!??!), Garvey/Lopes/Russell/Cey, Wagner firing Sparky, 1981 with the best record in baseball and not even MAKING THE PLAYOFFS, being foolish enough to buy 81 game season tickets for the 1981 season and watching the Reds pull an all-time suck for the ages and hence developing a taste for large amounts of Hudepohl, the era of the 2nd place Pete Rose teams and his ultimate public self-destruction, Marge making the city a laughing stock and her dog taking dumps on the field, the 1990 team like a blazing comet that was over almost before it began, the '94 strike and what an ultimate act of stupidity and a dagger to the heart of baseball that was, 1995 and Reggie Sanders single-handedly losing the NLCS (no, wait, Mark Portugal giving up a 3 run bomb to Javy freaking Lopez in the 10th), John Allen, the false spring of 1990 when I thought they had something and Al Leiter and how can a 99 win team *not* deserve to make the playoffs, and then the decade of the 2000's and Griffey squandering his talent and Carl Lindner not giving a crap, and the steroid era cheapening and invalidating a whole set of cherished and hallowed records, Bud saying itís a tie, and yes, wild card teams storming the playoffs and beating the "favorites", Roy Halliday, and the heartbreak of losing a 2-0 game lead at home.

    I've had plenty of reasons to hate the game. But it hit me just last week at the heartbreak of a lost game 5 standing in the middle of a berserk group of Reds fans screaming their heads off and blowing their voices out as if by just a collective act of will, they could bring the team back, that its all about the athletes on the field and the fans in the stands and the C on their chest and the game. The competition on the field is all that ultimately matters. All the rest of that crap, well yeah, you can find plenty of places to find fault and dislike the game and get all pissed off and think its unfair and waste a lot of time being bitter. Its all too easy to let all that distract you and take your focus away from the play on the field. But teams win championships (and world championships) on the field with their play, be it the Reds or the Cardinals or whoever. They earn it and there ain't no luck to it.

    So, even a bad day at the ballpark beats the snot out of most other good days. I'll take my scorecard and pencil and beer and hot dog and rage at the dips and cheer at the highs, but I'm not ever going to stop loving this game and this team and nobody will ever take that away from me.

    </rant>

    Pay attention to the open sky

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  4. #47
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    I always thought you were Lonnie, Roy.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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  6. #48
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by wheels View Post
    I always thought you were Lonnie, Roy.
    Well, he's about the same age. Almost.

    Nice riff, Roy.

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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Note to vaticanplum: I tried to PM you, but it said you had reached your message quota.

  8. #50
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Wheeler View Post
    Well, he's about the same age. Almost.

    Nice riff, Roy.
    Thanks, Lonnie (and thanks wheels).

    Every once in a while, something Reds just wells up in me and I have to let it out. Usually it's a cathartic thing.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  9. #51
    Member RedsfaninMT's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    As a child, I can remember with great excitement getting the Reds ticket form, as my dad would allow both my brother and myself to choose one game a year to attend. My brother was a Dodger's fan, though he no longer follows baseball much. I, on the other hand, continue to follow the Reds, despite the great distance from Montana to Ohio.

    For me, a lot surrounds memories of going to the ballpark with my dad. The slowness of the game seemed appropriate for conversation and just enjoying time my father. I can even recall my dad pointing out a merlin, a bird of prey I had never seen before that time, chasing pigeons in the rafters of Riverfront Stadium.

    Last year I went back from Montana and took my dad to a game. I cannot recall who they were playing, but I do know they lost. But during that game, I choked back the tears more than a couple of times, thinking of the memories, wondering if it would be our last ballgame together.

    It has not mattered who was on the team, or how bad they might have been, the Reds have always been my team. There was, however, one time when I stopped flying to Ohio from Montana to attend games, which was when Marge Schott made her racist and loaded comments. I made a silent oath to never buy any Reds paraphernalia or attend any games until Mrs. Schott sold the team, and I never strayed from that promise to myself. I can recall being deeply embarrassed at the time by following and loving a team that was owned by such a blatant racist.

    I know others on here may not share my distaste - Marge brought us the Series winner in '90, but I was not anywhere near as happy then as I was in '75 and '76.

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  11. #52
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Thanks, Lonnie (and thanks wheels).

    Every once in a while, something Reds just wells up in me and I have to let it out. Usually it's a cathartic thing.
    Every post you make is a catharsis.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

  12. #53
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    I'm feeling a little shallow after all these declarations of lifelong loyalty. My confession: I grew up in St. Louis, as deep a Cardinal fan as I could muster. It faded a bit when we moved to Northern Missouri when I was 16, but I recall, as we honeymooned on Nantucket in late September of 1981, still agonizing over the cruel conclusion to that infamous regular season (the Cardinals shared the Reds' fate, other division).

    I'm not sure when it was that I switched over. It wasn't really formalized. Since I was writing some baseball for the local newspapers, I wouldn't have called myself a Reds fan. But at the same time, by being amongst them, knowing the players as people, I developed an empathy. Professionally, I had a stake in their outcomes. And over the last couple decades, I've realized that I don't feel much at all for the Cardinals anymore. I have to say, that bothers me a little bit--at least intellectually, if not emotionally. It smacks of character weakness. I mean, if the Reds don't get it done during a certain year, my rooting interest still defaults to St. Louis; but there's no urgency to that sense. The whole thing feels a little soulless. It's convenient, however, for evening entertainment. Besides that, Redszone rocks.

    Meanwhile, on the matter of numbers . . . Math--or more specifically, arithmetic (I peeled off at the onset of geometry)--always came naturally, and I suspected that baseball had a lot to do with it. I recall, maybe seventh grade, sitting in the back of the room with a baseball-minded friend as the teacher lobbed the class some basic ratios to convert to percentages. Three out of seven, he would say. "Forty two point nine," Ray and I would shout out together. Nine out of twenty-four. "Thirty seven point five." Simple batting averages. We didn't even have to think about it. In retrospect, maybe the inclination toward numbers preceded the one toward baseball; but I don't think so. Maybe they aren't really related; but I don't think so.
    Last edited by Lonnie Wheeler; 08-29-2013 at 10:09 PM.

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  14. #54
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Wheeler View Post
    Meanwhile, on the matter of numbers . . . Math--or more specifically, arithmetic (I peeled off at the onset of geometry)--always came naturally, and I suspected that baseball had a lot to do with it. I recall, maybe seventh grade, sitting in the back of the room with a baseball-minded friend as the teacher lobbed the class some basic ratios to convert to percentages. Three out of seven, he would say. "Forty two point nine," Ray and I would shout out together. Nine out of twenty-four. "Thirty seven point five." Simple batting averages. We didn't even have to think about it. In retrospect, maybe the inclination toward numbers preceded the one toward baseball; but I don't think so. Maybe they aren't really related; but I don't think so.
    Lonnie, not quite numbers, but:

    When I was very young, I first learned my left from my right by knowing the difference between left field and right field.

    Where does Alex Johnson play? in LF, where does Pete Rose play? in RF.

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  16. #55
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    I root for the Reds because its what I do, having been a fan since before birth.

    My great grandfather, a belligerent, drunken German claimed to have worked as a crane operator at the Palace of the Fans. He was likely a hod carrier. His daughter owned a boarding house across from the ballpark where my father would meet my grandfather before they went to weekday afternoon games together. We are Cincinnati mutts, Irish immigrants living in the shadows of the ballpark in the West End who married Germans from Lower Price Hill and eventually moved up past the incline, but who took their love of their neighborhood Reds with them. There has never been a day in my life when I actually had to think about rooting for the Reds, its not a question of choice. I don't pay much attention to the rest of the league, I just follow my team through the box scores and here at Redszone. If I go to a game, I keep score so that I can immerse myself in what is going on. Mostly, I will only drink one beer at a game so that I can stay focused on every aspect of it. That's pretty much how I am at any all game, Reds or otherwise. To some extent I am affected by the individual seasons, but as a lifer I'm accustomed to the nature of the game, that is to say I do not get too up or down by one year, but rather I look at the long run. For instance, I've been especially excited to watch the Reds become competent again at developing their own talent after so many years of dragging along the bottom. Seeing the club have a sense of direction and knowing that they could be in any game makes it fun and I don't wring my hands when they go into St. Louis and drop two of three in a pennant race. As for personalities, the only ones that I would say have affected me as a fan are Al Michaels, Marty Brenneman and Joe Nuxhall, the three guys (Marty and Joe mainly) who have brought me the games in my lifetime.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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  18. #56
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    I root for the Reds because its what I do, having been a fan since before birth.

    My great grandfather, a belligerent, drunken German claimed to have worked as a crane operator at the Palace of the Fans. He was likely a hod carrier. His daughter owned a boarding house across from the ballpark where my father would meet my grandfather before they went to weekday afternoon games together. We are Cincinnati mutts, Irish immigrants living in the shadows of the ballpark in the West End who married Germans from Lower Price Hill and eventually moved up past the incline, but who took their love of their neighborhood Reds with them. There has never been a day in my life when I actually had to think about rooting for the Reds, its not a question of choice. I don't pay much attention to the rest of the league, I just follow my team through the box scores and here at Redszone. If I go to a game, I keep score so that I can immerse myself in what is going on. Mostly, I will only drink one beer at a game so that I can stay focused on every aspect of it. That's pretty much how I am at any all game, Reds or otherwise. To some extent I am affected by the individual seasons, but as a lifer I'm accustomed to the nature of the game, that is to say I do not get too up or down by one year, but rather I look at the long run. For instance, I've been especially excited to watch the Reds become competent again at developing their own talent after so many years of dragging along the bottom. Seeing the club have a sense of direction and knowing that they could be in any game makes it fun and I don't wring my hands when they go into St. Louis and drop two of three in a pennant race. As for personalities, the only ones that I would say have affected me as a fan are Al Michaels, Marty Brenneman and Joe Nuxhall, the three guys (Marty and Joe mainly) who have brought me the games in my lifetime.
    great story Sundeck! Really enjoyed that. Your Irish ancestors may have even downed a few pints with mine - who knows?

  19. #57
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    great story Sundeck! Really enjoyed that. Your Irish ancestors may have even downed a few pints with mine - who knows?
    My great grandfather on the Irish side owned a bar/speakeasy/betting room in Lower Price Hill.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  20. #58
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    My great grandfather on the Irish side owned a bar/speakeasy/betting room in Lower Price Hill.
    Your grandfather know the infamous George Remus?

  21. #59
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Your grandfather know the infamous George Remus?
    I'm told he did, yes. There is a picture of Remus and six other guys in a book called "The Saloons of Price Hill". One of the men in the picture may be my great grandfather. I wasn't so sure about the picture myself, but at any rate, he was involved in the business. And gambling, of course. My dad said the back room of the bars (he actually owned a few of them) looked like the one in The Sting.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.


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