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Thread: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

  1. #46
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    This one's easy. My first time walking through the tunnel up to our seats at Riverfront back in the mid 70's. My first glimpse of that bright green "grass". It was the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen. I've been hooked ever since.

    Cut me some slack, I was like 5 or 6 years old....I had no concept of what turf was. To me, it was a beautifully manicured lawn. :O)
    The first time I came to Riverfront was for the All Star game the year it opened, so I was 15 1/2 and I thought the same thing, so it had nothing to do with you be a little kid. It quickly wore down, but it was stunning on that summer day.

    Side story: My dad got these tickets and he and my mom were going to go, but dad then got a chance to sit down in the blue seats. Mom gave them to me and another of my brothers and said "they're probably in the last row". She was right and wow was that high!
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  3. #47
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    My earliest memories of Reds games are at Crosley Field. I don't remember the date, but a kid down the street, his dad had some extra tickets and took me and a younger brother. I remember the get, always a bit of a trouble maker, was flipping cards down on people below and an usher came up and hollered at us. I also took in games, along with some of my brothers, with a priest who was related to the Joseph Automotive family, so Fr. Hurley would take us sometimes and we'd sit in the box seats at Crosley. My dad worked a lot (having 7, then 8 kids caused that a lot back then), so I don't ever recall going to a game with dad when I was younger.

    My most memorable game was the last game at Crosley Field. I remember, I think, that the sky seemed fairly threatening and kept getting blacker and then, finally, I realized the rain clouds had passed and it was night time. I've always had it in my head that Mays hit a home run in that game, but I just checked the box score and only Bench and May hit homers that night.

    As for my own playing days, I only played one year of organized ball because I had asthma (this was before inhalers). I played for the VFW team in Deer Park, a newly stocked club after the kids a year older than me moved up to B level ball to the UDF team. The song "Right Field" was written for me. But, I did strike out once, the catcher dropped the ball and I ended up on 1st base. Somehow was made it all the way to third. My younger brother was playing 3rd base for Squeak's Barber Shop. These teams were pretty cool with real uniforms, not T shirts like the Deer Park Pee Wee teams wore (all sponsored by Rutterer's Pharmacy and differentiated by shirt color; the Royals, the Reds, the Golds, the Browns, etc.). I digress, I believe I died on third, so I never scored. But I did get on base!

    In my softball playing days, I did almost hit a home run twice but got thrown out at the plate both times. I ended my playing days after an injury, but I knew it was time. I slid into third in one game in the co-ed league and the young women playing third fell on top of me. She was probably just a year or two older than my oldest daughter and I remember thinking, "OK, this is just wrong." I doubled in another game and another younger player said it was pretty good for someone my age, still sliding and all. I knew their shortstop, a women nearer to my age and I told her to tell the kid to shut up.

    I really ought to drop about 20 lbs and and find an over 50 league to play in.

    Related Reds moment on the softball field. When my kids were real little, we played in a game down at Salway Park on Spring Grove Ave. One of our players noticed that Chico Cardenas was playing second for this team. I hit a ball just over his head for a base hit and when I moved to second when the next player walked, Cardenas told me it was a nice hit. Wow. I told my daughters that Cardenas was Barry Larkin when Larkin was in diapers. Cardenas liked that one, it cracked him up.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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  4. #48
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    My earliest memories of Reds games are at Crosley Field. I don't remember the date, but a kid down the street, his dad had some extra tickets and took me and a younger brother. I remember the get, always a bit of a trouble maker, was flipping cards down on people below and an usher came up and hollered at us. I also took in games, along with some of my brothers, with a priest who was related to the Joseph Automotive family, so Fr. Hurley would take us sometimes and we'd sit in the box seats at Crosley. My dad worked a lot (having 7, then 8 kids caused that a lot back then), so I don't ever recall going to a game with dad when I was younger.

    My most memorable game was the last game at Crosley Field. I remember, I think, that the sky seemed fairly threatening and kept getting blacker and then, finally, I realized the rain clouds had passed and it was night time. I've always had it in my head that Mays hit a home run in that game, but I just checked the box score and only Bench and May hit homers that night.

    As for my own playing days, I only played one year of organized ball because I had asthma (this was before inhalers). I played for the VFW team in Deer Park, a newly stocked club after the kids a year older than me moved up to B level ball to the UDF team. The song "Right Field" was written for me. But, I did strike out once, the catcher dropped the ball and I ended up on 1st base. Somehow was made it all the way to third. My younger brother was playing 3rd base for Squeak's Barber Shop. These teams were pretty cool with real uniforms, not T shirts like the Deer Park Pee Wee teams wore (all sponsored by Rutterer's Pharmacy and differentiated by shirt color; the Royals, the Reds, the Golds, the Browns, etc.). I digress, I believe I died on third, so I never scored. But I did get on base!

    In my softball playing days, I did almost hit a home run twice but got thrown out at the plate both times. I ended my playing days after an injury, but I knew it was time. I slid into third in one game in the co-ed league and the young women playing third fell on top of me. She was probably just a year or two older than my oldest daughter and I remember thinking, "OK, this is just wrong." I doubled in another game and another younger player said it was pretty good for someone my age, still sliding and all. I knew their shortstop, a women nearer to my age and I told her to tell the kid to shut up.

    I really ought to drop about 20 lbs and and find an over 50 league to play in.

    Related Reds moment on the softball field. When my kids were real little, we played in a game down at Salway Park on Spring Grove Ave. One of our players noticed that Chico Cardenas was playing second for this team. I hit a ball just over his head for a base hit and when I moved to second when the next player walked, Cardenas told me it was a nice hit. Wow. I told my daughters that Cardenas was Barry Larkin when Larkin was in diapers. Cardenas liked that one, it cracked him up.


    Love it, redsmetz; thanks for the memories!

  5. #49
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    There are many--I remember being crushed at the age of 6 when the Orioles beat the Reds in the WS, oh how I hated Brooks Robinson. The '72 playoff game--I remember listening to it at the dinner table--the Bench homer and then the wild pitch that scored the run. And for some reason I remember the '75 playoff game that John Candeleria pitched for the Pirates--he struck out a ton of Reds early on, but the Reds ended up winning to go to the Series.

  6. #50
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Player:
    Had several...
    -Hit a homer in practice. Didnt know I hit it all that hard until my teammates put their arms up to indicate it squeaked over.
    -First left handed hit (I worked hard to switch hit)

    Fan:
    -My dad screaming his head off downstairs. Went down to see what the commotion was. Pete Rose got his big hit. I remember how happy he was. I didnt really know much about the pros at the time and never been to a real game.
    -Me and a friend got kicked out of Riverfront for trying to use a discarded stub to get box seats. I think I was 11. Reds ushers are the worst ushers in baseball. There is no reason to put a couple of kids like us on the street without notifying our parents.

  7. #51
    Quiet Reverence Vada Pinson Fan's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    In this particular game at Crosley Field during the Reds BP when I was 10 years old and there with my Dad and several of his co-workers, we were seated just a few rows behind where the relievers for the opposing team could sit down the 1st base line and who would be there during the Reds batting practice? Well none other than 3 future San Francisco Giants Hall of Famers: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal!!! I asked my Dad if I could just stand behind them and listen to them and Dad said sure Son, go ahead! Man was I happy. I had all 3 of these great players
    baseball cards & now I am right next to them!!!

    The "Say Hey" Kid was talking to McCovey and Marichal about Pete Rose and from what I remember Mays was talking about Pete's desire and intensity, always working, getting better. I am listening to Willie Mays!!! Can you imagine the feeling I had. And there I was right next to Baseball Royalty!!! I had nothing for them
    to sign but I would like to think that even if I did I would not have asked. I saw and heard everything I wanted! I looked back at my Dad with a look that I'm sure told him- Thank You Dad!!! I Love You!!!

    Yesterday;April 19th would have been my Dad's 83rd birthday. I love and miss you Dad, I said once again as I was with him at the cemetary.

    Please forgive me for my written sentiments from my heart about my hero- My Dad!!!
    Last edited by Vada Pinson Fan; 04-20-2009 at 12:35 PM.

  8. #52
    OlafTheBlack Dan's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    I was 15 in 1985, living with my uncle at the time. Anyway, he was on a trip over this certain weekend and was unaware that Pete Rose had played and gotten a hit to tie Ty Cobb's record. When he got home he went straight to Sears in downtown Dayton and managed to score 2 seats to the Tuesday night contest between the Reds and Padres. They were upper deck, top row, but they put us in Riverfront Stadium that historic night, September 11, 1985, when Pete got hit 4192.

    A close second was Johnny Bench's last home game as a Red in 1983. I still remember them bringing out a golf ball to present after the game because JB had hit a home run. (They'd given him a wheelbarrow full of golf balls, one for each homer he'd had, prior to the game.)

    As for playing, it had to be the time I got my only home run in little league. My field didn't have true fences, but I knew when I hit the ball it was going a long, long way. It went over the CF head and he had to run onto another field to track it down. I scooted around the bases as fast as I could and managed to beat the throw to home plate. Best part was next time I was up, everyone backed up and I laid a bunt down the 3rd base line and easily beat it out. Good times.

    As an aside, a friend of my mom's had an extra ticket to a game in 1988 and I was asked to go. But I had to work, plus it was threatening to rain so there was no certainty the game would even be played. And come to find out later, the friend and his son left the game early, during the long rain delay. Turns out that was a HUGE mistake, for it was the night of Tom Browning's perfect game.
    Last edited by Dan; 04-20-2009 at 01:44 PM.
    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. -- Terrance Mann (Field of Dreams)

  9. #53
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    I grew up on the beach so my back yard was the Chesapeake Bay. When I was a kid, we neighborhood kids would play baseball games with a wiffle bat and tennis ball on a sandbar when the tide was low enough. The bases were just squares that we drew in the sand with our toes. We'd play for an hour or so, jump in the water to cool off, play for another hour, lather, rinse, repeat for the entire day.

    No, it wasn't strictly baseball but man, those were good times.

    Also, playing catch with my dad. We were still doing this when I was in my 20s and he was in his 60s. He had a pretty mean knuckler for an old guy! I miss him a lot.
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  10. #54
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vada Pinson Fan View Post
    In this particular game at Crosley Field during the Reds BP when I was 10 years old and there with my Dad and several of his co-workers, we were seated just a few rows behind where the relievers for the opposing team could sit down the 1st base line and who would be there during the Reds batting practice? Well none other than 3 future San Francisco Giants Hall of Famers: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal!!! I asked my Dad if I could just stand behind them and listen to them and Dad said sure Son, go ahead! Man was I happy. I had all 3 of these great players
    baseball cards & now I am right next to them!!!

    The "Say Hey" Kid was talking to McCovey and Marichal about Pete Rose and from what I remember Mays was talking about Pete's desire and intensity, always working, getting better. I am listening to Willie Mays!!! Can you imagine the feeling I had. And there I was right next to Baseball Royalty!!! I had nothing for them
    to sign but I would like to think that even if I did I would not have asked. I saw and heard everything I wanted! I looked back at my Dad with a look that I'm sure told him- Thank You Dad!!! I Love You!!!

    Yesterday;April 19th would have been my Dad's 83rd birthday. I love and miss you Dad, I said once again as I was with him at the cemetary.

    Please forgive me for my written sentiments from my heart about my hero- My Dad!!!
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  11. #55
    Member 15fan's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    I used the Yogi Berra model catchers mitt that my dad used when he caught in little league.

    On the rare occasion that the pitcher connected with my mitt instead of the bat or the backstop, it made this really subtle yet great sound. Most of the mitts would "pop" like a firecracker. My dad's mitt, though, was like a black hole with sound. Nothing but a faint "pooooof" sound would come out.

    My dad traveled a lot for work, so we didn't get to play catch a whole lot. When we did, though, he used the catchers mitt, and I used the mitt my grandfather used when he played little league.

    At the time, I thought it was really cool. And my dad maintains that it taught me the importance early on of catching with two hands.

    But now I know that it was just my dad being too cheap to buy me my own new mitt.

  12. #56
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Thanks Wily Mo for the topic and to Randy In Charlotte, NC for your appreciation of what I wrote. A fun time to recall but a very difficult ending to type.

    Thank You.
    Best Wishes,
    Jerry

  13. #57
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Winning. And brutally high expectations of the team on the field.

  14. #58
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichRed View Post
    I grew up on the beach so my back yard was the Chesapeake Bay. When I was a kid, we neighborhood kids would play baseball games with a wiffle bat and tennis ball on a sandbar when the tide was low enough. The bases were just squares that we drew in the sand with our toes. We'd play for an hour or so, jump in the water to cool off, play for another hour, lather, rinse, repeat for the entire day.

    No, it wasn't strictly baseball but man, those were good times.

    Also, playing catch with my dad. We were still doing this when I was in my 20s and he was in his 60s. He had a pretty mean knuckler for an old guy! I miss him a lot.
    Seriously, somebody has to put this in a movie.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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  15. #59
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    4192 was pretty cool. I was in the red seats with my brother.

    But the strongest baseball memory I have (playing) is of a bullet I threw from short center to 3rd base. I don't fully recall what the play was, just that I took the relay, turned and fired an absolute seed to get the guy out. Pretty sure he was going for a triple. It's memorable because it's the hardest I ever threw a ball and it was the most effortless throw I ever made. Just turned and fired- no thinking, just reaction.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  16. #60
    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most powerful baseball memory from your childhood?

    Is 15 memories okay? I wrote this a couple of years ago, but think it applies here. Forgive the length. LOL.

    I was 7-years old in 1978, when I was first hit by the bug that is the Reds. It was also the first year I started collecting cards. For some reason, I could not ever get that one card to finish my set. It was a Red. Ed Armbrister. I have been planning for some time to change my avatar to that card as it is a perfect symbol to me of 1978 - the year I became a Reds fan. I did eventually get the card and even found another complete set in near mint condition that I recently bought. A special set. A special card. A special year for this 7-year old. Anyway, for years my Grandparents made the trek down I-71 from Westerville, Ohio (outside Columbus) to my field of dreams. Hundreds of trips later, I make the same trips with my 6-year old. Below is a description as best as I can remember of the magic that was the Reds from the eyes of a 7-year old boy in 1978.

    1. The anticipation heading down I-71 was beyond anything I can describe. It was like each mile-marker was placed there to remind travelers (at least me) how many miles to the stadium. 84, 83, 82, 81.....I would be so excited and impatient, that as a kid I did all I could do was count down the 26 markers between each mile. 80, 79, 78, 77.....one step closer.

    2. Seeing the big tower on the horizon, meant we were not only getting closer to Kings Island, but also getting closer to the city. It was like a giant lighthouse leading the way. You could see the tower from miles away, it would disappear behind some hills and then reappear again, getting larger and larger. Finally as we pass it I have no desire, as most kids would, to ride any of the roller coasters. My amusement park is still 20 some miles away.

    3. Coming around the bend, a mile from the destination, it seems like something from the Jetsons. Freeways going in every direction. As a kid from Columbus in 1978, we have nothing like this city. It's overwhelming to see cars going in every direction. Exits everywhere. Our far left lane, however, was put there for one reason and one reason alone. Before we enter the magical tunnel that would expose my dream come true, I would look at the city to the right and try to take it all in. A big Pepsi advertisement painted on a building. Planes pulling banners up in the distance circling my field of dreams that I cannot yet see. Skyscrapers sitting on top of the tunnel we are heading for.

    4. The tunnel. The anticipation is killing me as we roll down the windows and listen to the roar of our car traveling through the tunnel. I can smell the stadium form here or at least I think I can. As the tunnel turns to the right and opens up the first thing I see is the most beautiful things these eyes could see (stolen from Rudy). Yes, it's a cookie-cutter much like many other stadiums at the time. Yes, it's symmetrical and sterile. I, however, am a 7 year-old boy and it's the 1st wonder of the world to me.

    5. We would always park in the garage in the stadium. As a kid, it puzzled me. Are we under home plate? Is our car sitting directly below the field somewhere? How cool. I could not wait to get up the escalators leading out of the garage. Once to the top of the main concourse, I was there. It was awesome. People everywhere. Souvenir stands. I have to remember to remind my Grandpa to get a helmet before we leave. Not before, because I'm already wearing my Reds helmet and I always got a different team's helmet each trip. The planes buzz around the stadium. People walk in all directions. A big giant Reds helmet with people inside. As I walk, holding my Grandpa's hand to insure I don't get lost in the mass of humanity, I can catch glimpses inside. I see beautiful green seats. I can't wait to get in here.

    6. We walk in and go straight until we hit the back of the top row of green seats. There is Dan Driessen taking infield as the Rocky anthem blares over the PA system. Griffey and Rose toss in front of dugout. Foster and Concepcion stretch and jog in the outfield. Their uniforms are so clean. So white and they jump out at you off the background of the faded green artificial turf. Oh and how cool is it that they play on carpet. I wonder what's it like to walk down there. If I could only be so lucky to get on the field. Someday. Wow, this is the place that I "hear" about nightly, as Marty and Joe describe the events as I lay in my bed. It's a surreal experience for this 7-year old. It's time to get to our seats.

    7. This is a good team. Everyone loves them and seats are not as easy to come by. We must go up the ramps leading to the top. The RED SEATS! I wouldn't want it any other way. The journey up the ramps is long and arduous but I know it will be worth it. Our seats are way up. I'm a little tentative walking up the stairs to our seats. They are so steep. I just keep looking ahead as my Grandpa stays behind me and reminds me to hold onto the rail.

    8. We are there. I can finally turn around and see it. Enjoy it. No more moving. I have 2-3 hours to take it in. Oh my gosh, look how high we are. It's like I'm looking straight down at the field. We are just inside the leftfield foul pole (net) half-way up in the red seats. What a sight! I cannot believe how vast this stadium is. How did they build it? How did they get those lights up there? Has anyone ever fallen from the top? I hope not. Has anyone ever hit a ball out of the stadium? I bet Johnny Bench could. I remember hearing a story that Joe Morgan once did it and the ball rolled all the way down the road outside the stadium. My Grandpa insures me that nobody has ever hit one out of the stadium, but if I was lucky I could maybe see one hit into the red seats.

    9. The game moves on. The PA announcer reads off the lineups. I love his voice. It is so cool. "Joe Morgan"...........Morgan." "Pete Rose..........Rose." "George Foster.......Foster". My favorite because I loved the sound of it - Ken Griffey...........Griffey". It was like he paused a perfect a three seconds between the first time he said the last name and the second. How awesome that sounded. I would for years replay this ritual all the way to the national anthem in my front yard. Many of the neighbors remind me to this day how hilarious they thought it was.

    10. During the game, someone gets a "stolen base" . I don't understand. Why was it stolen? Are they bad? My Grandpa explains that a stolen base is good (as long as it's a Red). Ok.

    11. One by one, my hero's step up the plate and even though they seem a mile away, I can tell by their stances that, yes, that is Joe Morgan. Look at the arm flap. Yes, that is Johnny Bench as he pauses in between his rhythm at the plate to kind of bend backwards to stretch his back. Yes, that's Pete Rose as he crouches down in his stance. Yes, that's Danny Driessen as he mimics Bench with his back stretch thingy but has a little wider stance and from he left side. Yes, that's Griffey as he takes his practice swings at the plate one....two....three, each time his weight shifting like a little dance from left foot to right foot, his head following the end of the bat as it hits it's point.

    12. As the game goes, I'm glued to my seat. I don't fully understand the situations. I don't care about the errors or strike outs. Everything is perfect. The planes are buzzing overhead. The stadium is packed and there is a constant buzz in the crowd as well. All of a sudden something special happens. George Foster is a mile away but there is a special sound coming off his bat and the ball seems to be coming straight at us. As it is about to land in the very red seats we are sitting in, it seems to hook a bit and land in our very row, 10 or so seats away. Wow. He's a mile away, but from a little boy's perspective I still don't fully realize what he has accomplished. He had pulled it right down the line inside the foul pole for a home run! To me, it look like a pop-up that curled a bit. No, this was no pop-up. The place goes crazy.

    13. Later, another ball hit right down the line, but way below us for another home run. This one is special too because a pitcher hit it. I don't understand why this is a big deal until my Grandpa explains that pitchers don't usually hit home runs. Well, for Paul Moskau, his special day was mine as well. He got the win on a glorious summer sunday and hit a home run to boot.

    14. It's time to go. But before we leave my Grandpa lets me pick out a helmet from the souvenir stand. I pick the Phillies. Little do I know that these Phillies would steal one of my favorite players away next year. In this case, a steal is not a good thing.

    15. As we head back up I-71, I put my head down in the back seat and shut my eyes and try to picture Foster's home run again. I see it. Almost as if it is permanently etched into my memory. Like a negative from a picture. I can see it perfectly. And I fall asleep dreaming about it.

    Is this heaven?

    No, it's Cincinnati in the late 70's.


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