I’m not sure if anyone has been following the Reds Rewind Classics on FSN Ohio.  I’ve been watching the game that originally aired on March 2, in 15-30 minute streches.  It’s Game 3 of the 1976 NLCS, but it’s different from all the other classics they show on FSN:  MLB had video of the game, but no audio.  So FSN matched up the video with a collector’s audio tape of Marty and Joe’s call. 

According to USA Today, this was a lot of work.


Marrying the audio and video was not as easy as it might seem because the two were recorded at different speeds and the synchronization had to be exact to time up with the crack of the bat. [FSN VP of Programming & Production Tom] Farmer said producer Tim Baker had to make an edit about every 10 seconds.

“It took over 500 edits to make the thing work,” said Farmer, estimating Baker alone spent more than 70 hours on the project. “The longest stretch where we didn’t have to make an edit was 20 seconds.”


That doesn’t surprise me, because it matches up almost perfectly, especially compared to the typical lag in radio play-by-play.  They also have on-camera interviews with nearly all the participants, some of them new.

It’s a classic game, with an exciting finish and, of course, at least 8 arguably HOF-caliber players (Morgan, Bench, Schmidt, Perez, Rose, Concepcion, Kaat, Dick Allen).  Plus Doug Harvey umping second base, Steve Carlton in the dugout, and Marty, Richie Ashburn, Hal McCoy, and Si Burick up on the press level.  

Some other random things of interest:


  • Marty and Joe are both in their absolute primes.  They’re comfortable, focused, but still unique.  It’s odd to think that Joe was 47 (the same age Eric Davis is now) and Marty was only 34.
  • Marty says “we” when referring to the Reds.  If I’m not mistaken, he is all over it when broadcasting partners who do the same thing now (The old, “Really?  We?  How many hits did yooou have last night).  I could be wrong, but I found that funny.  FWIW, I think he’s correct now.
  • Jim Kaat worked FAST.  The Reds hitters had to step out on him or they’d get quick-pitched.  He was also pretty jacked for a 36-year-old guy, especially in those days.
  • Both teams uniforms were not only ugly, they were cheap.  The fabric, needlework, and fit of the Reds, especially, were sub-JV-quality.
  • But:  Real stirrups!!!
  • And:  Mike Schmidt’s mustache!
  • Something really odd was going on with the Riverfront turf.  Balls were bouncing over guys’ heads left and right.  One ball short-hopped Tony Perez at first, bounced up off his chest, and into the stands.
  • No three-out “closers.”  The Phillies brought in their relief ace Ron Reed with a 3-run lead and two men on in the 7th.  He blew the lead, but stayed in for the 8th.  He then let him bat for himself with a 1-run lead in the 9th.
  • 1976 TV cameras simply could not adapt to the difference between shade and sun.  When they changed focus from one area to another, you had about 2 seconds of white-out.
  • Defense was terrible.  It may have just been that one game, but the Reds were the best defensive team in the NL – and they looked worse than the 2008 Reds in the field.
  • There was a LOT more speed.  Just about every play at first was a bang-bang play.  Ken Griffey, Sr. looked as fast as anyone I’ve seen, other than Vince Coleman.
  • Players voted George Foster the Sporting News NL Player of the Year.  He had a great year (.306 .364 .530, 29 HR, 121 RBI, 17 SB), but I’m not sure how he beat out Joe Morgan (.320 .444 .576, 27, 111, 60 – and he was winning his 4th consecutive Gold Glove at second).

I’m watching the game as a type this.  And my Tivo just cut it off, right before Bench’s tying HR in the 9th.  I so wanted to hear Joe screaming.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for repeats.  Supposedly, MLB TV wants the combo tape, so maybe we’ll see it there sometime soon.