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Thread: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

  1. #16
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    Lastly, as a kid - i remember there being a lot of drinking at the games- this would be 1976. And there would be fights in the stands where 2 guys that had too much would fight in the aisles - of course now those guys would not even have a chance to square up- but back then there was a more relaxed view on social drinking. You'd be watching a game and you'd hear certain sections yelling -you'd see 2 guys wildly swinging at each other. This was not rare. Baseball had a problem and it took them 10-15 years to work out the kinks and get control of the alcohol problems in the the stands.

    My best day evey - i attended game 3 in the 76 playoffs -Bench hit a homer in that game too. Good lord he was good.
    Drinking at Reds games was still a problem in the late 80s in my experience. There was an incident with drunks about 1987 with the Reds ushers doing nothing that kept my wife from going to games for years.
    I remember game 3 of the 1976 NLCS. The Reds were losing to the Philliies 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Foster lead off with a HR, Bench followed with another HR, and Griffey eventually knocked in Concepcion with an infield hit as the Reds won 7-6 to advance to the World Series against the Yankees.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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  3. #17
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Baron- your memory is good (real reds fan's don't have to look it up.

    My cousin and i went to that game and sat in the last row behind the left field foul pole. You could see the river better than home plate- didn't matter --we got to skip school and go to a playoff game -for a 12 year old that's the best thing that could happen.

    I think they started to do something about the alcohol mid eighties. Many teams were tied to alcohol so admitting there was a problem took a long while and it cost them some fans. It wasn't as bad as taking your kid to an NFL game because there were less fans -but it was certainly heading that way. I went to a Bengals game this fall and thought "i'm never bringing a kid to this environment"- i've never had that thought with a Reds game.

    Baseball may come back and be the national sport because it is rooted in family. I loved how Johnny's mom went up to the railing to tell him to hit a home run -i can't imagine anything like that in football (heck, she wouldn't even be in the open stands).

    Bench was such an interesting player --he never looked like he was trying hard. Very smooth and fluid-he ran on his toes. When you think about it -he is the anti-Pete Rose. Rose looks like he's trying very hard and very much wants you to know that-when he runs he wants to make the ground hurt --when Johnny runs -it looks like he is trying to sneak up on you. He doesn't want to leave a foot print. When he threw the ball back to the pitcher, he did so very softly so as to not tax the pitcher in any way.

    There could probably be a pretty good book written on the yin/yang of Bench and Rose.

  4. #18
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    We sound old As a kid Al Micheals call was repeated 100 times --it was the call that everyone imitated when playing catch -when at school- when imitating an announcer. That call was just a part of who it was to be a Reds fan at that time.

    Johnny's surgery was big news at the time -there were newspapers dedicated to it's success "Johnny A-ok" was one headline i remember --in fact, there was a big section of the yearbook that was dedicated to it.

    As a fan back in those days --they televised 35-40 games a year- most of those were away games -so when the playoffs came and they showed Riverfront, there was an added sense of excitement about something you rarely got to see- a Reds home game and because it was the playoffs, every game was on. This was a huge deal in 1972.

    Around this time was the first time when baseball stadiums really began to erupt- you look at the films from the 68 series and everyone in the stadium wore a hat and a white shirt and black tie. Very formal -72 was the first time when people that i knew started going to games in relaxed wear. It was, as if the 60's finally came to Cincinnati. By 76 -people were wearing bell bottoms and tank tops. That did not happen 5 years prior.

    1 question - i remember they did not allow fans to sit in the blue seats in the outfield but by 83 or 84 they allowed it -does anyone remember why that was the case? What's the story? It never made any sense to me as a kid --there would be a sell out -with SRO and 200 empty seats in right field -i seem to remember it being related to the Bengals, that may not be the case.

    Lastly, as a kid - i remember there being a lot of drinking at the games- this would be 1976. And there would be fights in the stands where 2 guys that had too much would fight in the aisles - of course now those guys would not even have a chance to square up- but back then there was a more relaxed view on social drinking. You'd be watching a game and you'd hear certain sections yelling -you'd see 2 guys wildly swinging at each other. This was not rare. Baseball had a problem and it took them 10-15 years to work out the kinks and get control of the alcohol problems in the the stands.

    My best day evey - i attended game 3 in the 76 playoffs -Bench hit a homer in that game too. Good lord he was good.
    IIRC, they didn't allow people to sit in those seats because the ball came out of the pitchers hand right out that background and people wearing white would cause a big problem for the hitter's ability to see the ball. Now seats like that don't exist, instead they are replaced by a "batters eye."
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Those seats didn't stretch into the centerfield area and were only in a portion of right to right center field if I remember right. They didn't even come close to the area where it would be a problem. Looking at the diagram now, they only were in right field and didn't go into right center..
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 02-09-2014 at 09:38 AM.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    There was a larger black wall behind the center field fence that served as a "batters eye" at Riverfront.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    The Reds loss in the 1972 World Series remains the most terrible and bittter loss during my nearly 40 years as a Reds fan. After the Reds won the NLCS I was certain that winning the Series would be a mere formality. I have rooted against the A's ever since.
    In fairness though, I cannot blame the NLCS for the Reds Series loss. The A's had a five game, very difficult ALCS against the Tigers, and the ALCS ended on October 12, 1972, one day after the NLCS, so the A's starting rotation was as messed up as much as the Reds. The A's also were without Reggie Jackson in the World Series because of an injury.
    The Reds primarily lost the 1972 World Series because the A's shut down the Reds bats. The Reds pitching was magnificent in the Series, giving up only 16 runs in seven games, but the Reds only scored 21 runs themselves.
    I can recall reports after game six, the only runaway game in the Series, won by the Reds 8-1. When Campaneris came to bat late in the game he said to Bench "we never lose three in a row." Bench growled back: "You've never played the Cincinnati Reds before." Sadly, the Reds lost game seven by one run.



    I was going to respond to the post about how the reds pitching staff was messed up because of the NLCS but you explained it as good as I could have.... I mean the detroit series was crazier than the PITT series.

    One game had the team in the top of an inning score 3 runs and then another score 3 in the bottom of the inning.

    I forget which one. Joe Coleman SO 14 A's in one of the games.

    They also did not have Reggie Jackson. I mean that guy always came through in big playoff games. Heck.... the Reds were lucky they did not have to face Jim Rice in the 1975 series as well.

  8. #22
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Evidently, Johnny Bench is doing some work as a spellchecker.

    http://books.google.com/books/reader...ver&pg=GBS.PA6
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  9. #23
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Those seats didn't stretch into the centerfield area and were only in a portion of right to right center field if I remember right. They didn't even come close to the area where it would be a problem. Looking at the diagram now, they only were in right field and didn't go into right center..
    I assumed he was talking about Green. Didn't the OF wall replace all the blue seats in the OF? This description doesn't mention blue seats anywhere in the OF, but I vaguely remember those seats in RF. Maybe three rows IIRC... and I don't remember if they seated people there or not.


    Riverfront Stadium was similar to every other multipurpose, cookie-cutter stadium built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It had a capacity of 52,952 for baseball and 59,754 for football on four levels. The lower (blue) level seats stretched from the left field foul pole to homeplate around to the right field foul pole. The other three levels green, yellow and red circled the playing field. A three level parking garage accommodating 2,500 cars encased the stadium with the entry gates to the stadium on the second (green) level. Fans had to walk down ramps to get to the field (blue) level of seats. The scoreboard was located above the centerfield seats in the upper deck. In order for the stadium to be converted to football, the lower field box seats for baseball from home plate to the left field foul line were moved on wheels so the field could be converted to a football gridiron.
    - See more at: http://ballparksofbaseball.com/past/...OHEoAWvM.dpuf9

    There was a larger black wall behind the center field fence that served as a "batters eye" at Riverfront.
    I thought they just covered the CF Green seats with the gray "tarp." The Batters eye wasn't until after the remodel when they were building GABP IIRC.

    In 2001, to make room for Great American Ball Park, the seating capacity at Cinergy Field was reduced to 39,000. There was a huge wall in Center Field visible after the renovations, to serve as the batter's eye. The stadium was demolished by implosion on December 29, 2002.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverfront_Stadium

    I don't remember a batters eye at Riverfront. The last game I went to there was in 1994, so I don't remember much after the changes. I was never really a stadium or uniform guy and just paid attention to the players and the game, so I could be wrong.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  10. #24
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    The green seats went across the outfield and you could sit in them directly behind the Centerfielder. I remember sitting there as a kid. The batters eye was below the green level. The blue seats were in right field one section below the green and they ran from the right field foul pole to about right center field -they stopped in right center because (i'm assuming) they would have interrupted the batter's eye. I do remember sitting there in 85, so somewhere between 1970 and 85 they were opened, but why they were ever closed is beyond me -the seats were good.

    I also seem to remember around 84 they lowered the fence in the OF to about 8 ft.
    When did they do away with the Zamboni? They would soak up the rain from the astroturf and then empty it against the outfield wall above the left center wall. At some point the zamboni became obsolete because the drainage system in the park improved and the astro-turf was better able to handle rain.

    The thing i'm always amazed about was how bad the astroturf looked - it appeared bleached out and if a ball was hit hard enough you would not be able to see it because the bleached out turf would hide it. Never could figure out why they didn't color it green every year to show off the stadium--my guess is they didn't want to pay for it. There were a lot of issues like that where the reds, bengals, and the city faced off and the fans always lost....i betcha we could make a quick list:

    1. The OF walls were not padded because the Reds and city went at it.
    2. The scoreboard was always behind the times because the Reds and Bengals fought about it.
    3. The astro turf and the R, B, and C fought.
    4. I seem to remember they held off on getting grass because of cost and this goofy idea that they couldn't grow it in the corners (come on....really).

    There was a constant rift between the Reds and the Bengals with the Bengals as victims (eye roll). Heck, the Bengals got one of the best stadium deals in the world and they STILL play the victim.

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  12. #25
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    The grass wouldn't grow in the right field corner, I believe, until they demolished the outfield seats. There was not enough sun light and the corner was always in the shade and shadows until then. The blue seats in right field were basically only in right field and comprised sections 125-132. The batters eye was always there.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 02-10-2014 at 08:14 AM.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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  13. #26
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Great show. Brought back a lot of good memories. This was one of the few times I saw my dad get excited over a sports event. When Bench hit that HR he jumped up and slapped his hands together and just started laughing. As a little boy, I thought the Reds would come back and win all along. After Bench's HR it just seemed inevitable they would win that game.
    I can also remember Bench's lung surgery. Back then it was considered extremely serious if a spot was found on the lung. I think many thought he had lung cancer. I never realized that surgery he had was a ground breaking type surgery using staples?
    IIRC the blue seats in RF were always called football only seats. Around 1977 they opened them up for basbeball. I'm pretty sure I sat in those seats for a doubleheader against the Cardinals in 1977. The Reds were drawing huge crowds during this time and I guess they finally decided to try to max out attendance by opening up those seats.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  14. #27
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    I DVR'd the show and watched it again last night. I have seen Bench on some TV shows come across as somewhat arrogant and unlikable. Not in this show. He really seemed like the kid from Oklahoma, who grew old but didn't grow up, to use his words. I really liked him and the video from game five really brought back wonderful memories.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    The grass wouldn't grow in the right field corner, I believe, until they demolished the outfield seats. There was not enough sun light and the corner was always in the shade and shadows until then. The blue seats in right field were basically only in right field and comprised sections 125-132. The batters eye was always there.

    I recently got a few boxes of things from my mothers home. One thing in one of those boxes were some old ticket stubs from Reds games I went to in the 70's. One of them was from section 131,those blue seats in RF. It was from a game in 1977, a doubleheader in fact. So they were opened up in 1977. I don't know if that was the first year or not? You could probably watch some old clips from the 76 World Series or playoffs and see if they were open then. When I get a chance I will take pictures of that stub and all of them to post here. They are fun to look at.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    any chance to find/watch it online?

    hard to follow the reds from overseas

  18. #30
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    Re: TV Alert Thursday 9PM MLB NETWORK--Johnny Bench

    Might try here:
    This is all I could find.
    Short clip:
    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/201...n-mlb-network/
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