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Thread: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

  1. #106
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    munson vs gabriel a rams dilemma


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  3. #107
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Growing up in West Virginia, a chance to see a major league baseball game in person was the Holy Grail. I was thinking recently about how magical an experience it was when I finally got to see a major league game.

    We actually lived in the back of a 100 year old wood frame building, formerly a train station. It was my grandfathers country store, very similar to Sam Drucker's General Store on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. It was a dry goods store, a grocery store, the post office, and my grandfather and grandmothers home all in one building, I guess about 3,000 sf all together.

    It was 50 feet from the railroad tracks on the Norfolk and Western's main
    line. When a train went by, the house shook, pictures rattled on the walls, you couldn't hear the TV set. But I thought the whole world was like that, and I actually thought we were wealthy, as we had a car and owned a business in this little town of 150 in the farthest backwoods of West Virginia.

    After becoming totally addicted to baseball as a 6 year old, my mom, the only single mother anyone knew back in the day, saved all her money for what I now know to be quite some time to take my brother and I to Cincinnati to see my beloved Reds.

    We actually whistle stopped the train behind the house, the N&W Pohattan Arrow, which ran from Norfolk to Cincinnati. You stood out by the tracks with your suitcase and flagged it down, and they stopped.

    For a 9 year old kid who had never been 50 miles from home, everything about the experience was magical. The train ride took about six hours, I believe. And the scenery was beautiful, a fantastic way to travel.

    So many things about the trip are still ingrained in my memory. When we got to Union Station in Cincinnati, I thought I had landed in Oz.

    We took a taxi to downtown Cincinnati and stayed at the old Sheraton. Everything about it was mesmerizing. Buildings the likes of which I'd only seen on TV. The buzz of the city. I thought I was in Manhattan, relative to where I lived.

    Then the long awaited day arrived. We took a bus to Crosley Field, the equivalent of a pilgrimage to Mecca in my mind. I was beside myself with excitement.

    We passed through the turnstiles, into the concourse and made our way to our section's portal.

    The next memory I have from that trip is one which I've drawn on many times in my life. As we walked up the ramp towards the usher and stepped out of the portal and saw the vast expanse of the field, the brilliant green of the grass, the crowd, the bleachers, the players on the field taking batting practice, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I stood there in amazement for a moment, just taking it all in, without a doubt the happiest moment of my life.

    I really don't remember much about the game, other than Frank Robinson made a really nice sliding catch on a tough chance and my hero, Johnny Edwards, had a couple of hits.

    But I'll never forget that first step through the portal into a world I had only dared to dream about, a world I have loved every day since then.

    Now, every time I go to a game, no matter who I'm with, I do the same thing. I go to the nearest portal once I get in the gate and stand there, taking in the field, and thinking about that day.

    I stand there and think about the things that are good and decent in the world, and the childlike wonder that sports can bring out in all of us. I think about how much I loved playing and still miss it so badly. I think about the wonderful experiences I've had in baseball over the years and how much joy it gave me to take my son to his first game.

    And most of all, I think about the sacrifices my single mother had to make to take us there, our only vacation of the year, and she picked something she knew I loved. It was just a weekend series, but it meant the world to me.
    Moms....that’s an awesome story.
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  4. #108
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    My first game was likely when I was 11 or 12 y/o at Crosley Field (circa 1965/66?). A neighbor kid's dad worked for DuBois Chemicals and he had some tickets. He took his son and me and my next younger brother. Sat in the upper deck area along the first base line, maybe midway from home to the outfield. I don't remember anything about the game itself except that an usher came along to tell the neighbor kid to stop dropping things on people below.

    I went to a number of games at Crosley Field. A priest, Fr. Jim Hurley, who taught my dad at Elder High School in the late 1940s was chaplain at a nursing home in Silverton. He was somehow connected with the Joseph family of automotive fame and he would take some of us boys and sit in the Joseph family box seats. That was a thrill.

    We also went for Crossing Guard Day during the summer before my 8th grade year. We were surprised that some schools had girls who were crossing guards (we were referred to as Patrol Boys). At that game, we met a couple of the girls from two schools in Delhi on the other side of town (we lived in Deer Park). My buddy prodded me to ask for their phone numbers. A year later, having chatted off and on over the phone, I invited her to a party my parents let me have after we moved to Madeira. At the end of the evening, her dad drove over to pick her up and while he and my parent were upstairs yacking, I had my first kiss. I guess this would be where I'd talk about the first base line too.

    I was also at the last game at Crosley Field. Then my first game at Riverfront Stadium was the All Star game. And I remember walking through the entrance to the seating area and I found the deep green of the Astroturf (which was very much the thing then) and found it breathtaking. My dad had tickets for the game and he and mom were going to go, but then he got the opportunity to sit down in the blue seats and mom gave the tickets to me and my next older brother and said there probably in the last row anyway. She was completely correct. The last row all the way at the top. And to keep with the theme, those seats were along the 1st base line too.
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  6. #109
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    1974 Riverfront.

    8.

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  8. #110
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    It was 1948 or '49. Crosley Field against the Brooklyn Dodgers. I was 10 or 11. I sat in the left field section with my Uncle Pete. He loved the Reds although he always criticized them just like a lot of guys on Redszone. (No offense intended). He passed away in early 1961 and missed celebrating their National League Championship. There were these huge I-beams that supported the second deck. (Seemed huge to this 10-year old anyway.) I was seated behind one and I continually shifted right and left to see what was going on. Jackie Robinson was, of course, the phenom. There was a black family seated in front of us who cheered when the Dodgers scored and also when the Reds scored. I asked my Uncle why they were doing that and he replied "Loyalty and Jackie Robinson, my boy, Jackie Robinson. You just gotta cheer for him." On the base paths Robinson was like a Billy Hamilton who had a brain and could hit. Reds defense played with sheer panic. Robinson got caught in a run down between second and third and the action was majestic. There must have been 20 throws. He ended up on third base. The fans seemed to be in awe. Only much later did I realize why. I remember the shortstop, either Virgil Stallcup or Eddie Miller throwing his hands in the air in either disgust or disbelief.

    I saw Stan Musial play. Robinson was the best all around player I ever saw. I am so glad a Redszoner started this thread so I can recall my first Reds' game and my fondness for my Uncle Pete.

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  10. #111
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by demas863 View Post
    It was 1948 or '49. Crosley Field against the Brooklyn Dodgers. I was 10 or 11. I sat in the left field section with my Uncle Pete. He loved the Reds although he always criticized them just like a lot of guys on Redszone. (No offense intended). He passed away in early 1961 and missed celebrating their National League Championship. There were these huge I-beams that supported the second deck. (Seemed huge to this 10-year old anyway.) I was seated behind one and I continually shifted right and left to see what was going on. Jackie Robinson was, of course, the phenom. There was a black family seated in front of us who cheered when the Dodgers scored and also when the Reds scored. I asked my Uncle why they were doing that and he replied "Loyalty and Jackie Robinson, my boy, Jackie Robinson. You just gotta cheer for him." On the base paths Robinson was like a Billy Hamilton who had a brain and could hit. Reds defense played with sheer panic. Robinson got caught in a run down between second and third and the action was majestic. There must have been 20 throws. He ended up on third base. The fans seemed to be in awe. Only much later did I realize why. I remember the shortstop, either Virgil Stallcup or Eddie Miller throwing his hands in the air in either disgust or disbelief.

    I saw Stan Musial play. Robinson was the best all around player I ever saw. I am so glad a Redszoner started this thread so I can recall my first Reds' game and my fondness for my Uncle Pete.
    Great story, I tried to find the game you mentioned, I assume it was day game since there were so few night games then. But if it was a night game maybe it was this one in 1949 (8-6)

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/b...94908050.shtml

    I found this tidbit on it in the paper

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also found this one from the year before, it's a nice call out to your observation about the family in front of you

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #112
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    My first Reds game in which they were the visitors was Game 4 of the 1990 NLCS in Pittsburgh. I was 20 years old and a junior at Ohio University. I had a Theory of Statistics I course at 10:00 that morning, and there was a guy in my class from Cincinnati. We didn't know each other that well but we were both big Reds fans, so we were talking about the Game 3 win before class. He said that he had gone to Game 1 in Cincinnati, and he had tickets for Game 4 in Pittsburgh that night, and that he and some of his friends were going. I said that that was awesome, and wished him well.

    When I got home from classes around 4:00, I ran into Karl, a buddy of mine from Chicago (we would get an apartment together the next year), and I told him about it. He said matter-of-factly, "Why don't we go?" I was dumbfounded -- the thought had never even entered my mind!

    Me: "Dude, we don't have tickets!"
    Him: "We'll get tickets when we get there!"
    Me: "The game starts in less than four hours!"
    Him: "I can get us there!"

    I thought about it, and decided "What the hell...", and he and I (along with one other guy -- Jon) jumped into his 1978 Impala and took off from Athens to Pittsburgh! It was the most impetuous thing I had ever done up to that point!



    We got there just shortly before the game started. Karl stopped at a street corner and waved down a scalper, who looked us over. "How many?"

    "Three," Karl replied. The scalper said, "I got three in the upper deck for $40 apiece." Karl looked at me and said that was fair, so we bought them. (Face value was $25.) Karl parked in the loading dock of a Kaufmann's department store, and we walked to Three Rivers Stadium. I asked Karl if he was concerned about getting towed, and he said, "Nah. Everyone will be at the game tonight."

    We walked in just as the National Anthem was being sung. We didn't realize it at the time because we were concentrating on finding our seats, but this was the infamous Bobby Vinton rendition that got Jack Buck and CBS in trouble with the Polish-American community. Our seats were in the next-to-last row of the upper deck along the LF foul line between third base and the foul pole. There is something special about seeing your favorite team in their road grays for the first time. We had a great view of the tag of Bobby Bonilla at 3B after Eric Davis made his incredible defensive play backing up Billy Hatcher in CF. The Reds played a great game that night, and from beginning to end it was simply the best experience I have ever had at a baseball game.

    I thanked Karl by getting Reds tickets from my dad (the company he worked for had season tickets in the blue seats by the visitors' bullpen) the next summer when the Cubs were in town. (Karl worked a summer job in Athens, and hadn't seen his Cubs in three years.) The Reds won that game, too!
    Last edited by Big Klu; 11-23-2020 at 02:53 PM.
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  14. #113
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    One other thing to add about my story:

    I was surprised at how similar Three Rivers Stadium was to Riverfront Stadium. They weren't identical by any means, but it was obvious that they had a lot of the same DNA -- or as my uncle would have said, "You could tell they came out of the same litter."
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  15. #114
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    One other thing to add about my story:

    I was surprised at how similar Three Rivers Stadium was to Riverfront Stadium. They weren't identical by any means, but it was obvious that they had a lot of the same DNA -- or as my uncle would have said, "You could tell they came out of the same litter."
    I always think of Riverfront as a baseball stadium and Three Rivers as a football stadium. That's what happens I guess when during the decade they were both built, one of the greatest baseball teams of all time played in one and one of the greatest football teams of all time played in the other.

  16. #115
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by foster15 View Post
    I always think of Riverfront as a baseball stadium and Three Rivers as a football stadium. That's what happens I guess when during the decade they were both built, one of the greatest baseball teams of all time played in one and one of the greatest football teams of all time played in the other.
    Of course, an argument can be made that the second-best baseball team of the 70's also played at Three Rivers Stadium.
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    Of course, an argument can be made that the second-best baseball team of the 70's also played at Three Rivers Stadium.
    No they didn't, they played almost 3000 miles away in Oakland lol

    Anyway, my point was that both the Steelers and Reds of the 70s are always in the argument of the greatest teams of all time in their respective sports. I never have seen the Pirates brought up in those debates.

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  19. #117
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by foster15 View Post
    No they didn't, they played almost 3000 miles away in Oakland lol

    Anyway, my point was that both the Steelers and Reds of the 70s are always in the argument of the greatest teams of all time in their respective sports. I never have seen the Pirates brought up in those debates.
    The Pirates never got the chance because the Reds were always in their way. If the BRM didn't exist, then both the Pirates and the Dodgers might have had the opportunity to be the Team of the 70's. (They were both that good.)

    It's like in the NFL in the 70's, the Oilers may have been the best team that nobody knew about, because the Steelers were always in their way in the AFC Central.
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  20. #118
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    The Pirates never got the chance because the Reds were always in their way. If the BRM didn't exist, then both the Pirates and the Dodgers might have had the opportunity to be the Team of the 70's. (They were both that good.)

    It's like in the NFL in the 70's, the Oilers may have been the best team that nobody knew about, because the Steelers were always in their way in the AFC Central.
    My point is that if the BRM didn't exist, the Dodgers nor the Pirates would've taken their place as one of the greatest teams in history. Nor would the Oilers have done the same if the Steel Curtain didn't exist.

    This isn't about the 70s, other than that's when both stadiums were built, this is about two of the greatest teams in their respective sport's history.

  21. #119
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    Pirates didn't do too bad, same number of titles in the 70's.
    Go Gators!

  22. #120
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    Re: When/Where Did You Attend Your First Reds Game? How Old Were You?

    I had it in my memory that my first Reds game was in 1988 against the Dodgers, where the Reds lost 3-0. But after some perusing through historic box scores, no such game by that score exists that year (or in 1987 or 1989). It turns out, I actually don't know which game it was.

    I was at this game in 1991: https://www.baseball-reference.com/b...99109140.shtml The Reds hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in another losing effort. Hal Morris hit the middle of the three, and my father caught it. We were sitting in the first few rows of the green seats in straight-away center. It was perhaps the longest home run Hal ever hit, and I still have the baseball after all these years.
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