A few notes from this past week in baseball history…

I was sparked to do this watching the bogus ESPN top ten moments in all-star history.

Frankly, it really annoyed me, and it goes back to some comments written the other day about the lack of positive Reds coverage shown on ESPN. I guess it goes back to us losing for so long now (thank you, Reds owners…yes, I firmly believe the Reds ownerships are responsible), but any top ten list of all-star memories is ludicrous if it would NOT include Tony Perez’s 15th inning game winning home run in the 1967 all-star game.

Perez homered off Catfish Hunter in the top of the 15th to give the National League a 2-1 lead. Tom Seaver pitched the bottom of the 15th to earn a save. Trivia: all three runs in the game came on solo homers by the game’s third basemen: Dick (he was Richie then) Allen and Perez for the Nationals, Brooks Robinson for the American League. It was the longest all-star game ever played.

I can’t remember which item was #1; Pete Rose’s homeplate collision with Ray Fosse was #2, but should’ve been #1. I don’t know; second is pretty good, too.

Another memorable moment, not included and not Reds related: In 1961, Giants pitcher Stu Miller was blown off the mound in Candlestick Park in the 9th inning and was charged with a balk. Miller wins the game in extra innings, 5-4. Exciting or not, how often does that happen?

Okay-memories…Perez’s homer was from July 11, 1967. Miller’s blown off the mound moment came on July 11, 1961.

The Rose-Fosse crash came on July 12, 1970, and introduced me and millions of other Reds fans to the idea of what hustling in baseball was all about. It also has a set a standard that no other Reds player will ever match (as we see everyday reading the blogs and newsprint and hear on the airwaves).

July 11, 1957….Reds and Dodgers brawl…Brooklyn’s Jim Gilliam pops up a bunt, and Reds pitcher Raul Sanchez runs directly into Gilliam trying to catch the pop up. The two come up swinging. Reds third baseman Don Hoak rushes over to help, but is forcefully intercepted by Dodger second baseman Charlie Neal. Hoak’s threatened revenge doesn’t happen.

July 14, 1974…Sparky Anderson in a fight? Jack Billingham hits Pirate pitcher Bruce Kison with a pitch and both teams leave the dugouts to pursue some WWF threats and taunts. Then, after all is quiet, Sparky accidentally steps on the foot of Ed Kirkpatrick, who shoves Anderson (Pedro MartinezDon Zimmer?). The Reds’ Andy Kosco punches Kirkpatrick, and the fight begins. Pedro Borbon goes crazy (I don’t remember this one) and pins down Pirate pitcher Daryl Patterson. Borbon starts pulling out Patterson’s hair by the the clump and BITES him, tearing a chunk of flesh out of Patterson’s side. Patterson had to get a tetanus shot for the wound. (info from “Day by Day in Cincinnati Reds History” by Floyd Conner and John Snyder).

9 Responses

  1. Dan

    Question: Was that Rose/Fosse play a great hustling play by Pete, or was it kind of dirty? (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Fosse had the ball yet.)

    Thoughts?

  2. Steve Price

    Play was legal, and I believe right on…

    Fosse was blocking the plate.

  3. Steve Price

    One thing I should add about Fosse here…

    Most things read will say Fosse was “never quite the same”…

    He was selected as an all-star and a Gold Glover again in 1971 when he batted .276 and he played over 900 big league games over 12 seasons as a catcher. He was having a fantastic rookie season, but it’s making a rather large jump to think he would have maintained that kind of pace. He did hit over .300 once more, in 1976.

    In the minors his batting average record goes like this: .219, .304, .261, and .301, with a grand total of 15 home runs. .304 came in A ball and .301 came in his second season with Portland in the PCL. I don’t think he had established a baseline of hitting superiority…his best season was his 1970 rookie year (the year of the crash).

    Anyway…the second half of 1970, he batted .297 with only 2 homers. I think it would be blind to see he wasn’t hurting some. His 1971 also had widely different split: first half BA of .264 with 4 homers; second half was .291 with 8 homers.

  4. taoistlumberjak

    So I’m sitting in a restaurant, watching ESPN, and I’m having a “What is this s**t?!” night all night because of ESPN.

    An entire 10 minute long story on Lebron James biting his fingernails.
    Poker.
    The Favre category.
    Yankees-Red Sox.
    Almost complete lack of sporting value.
    A discussion on the Romo-Simpson breakup (this was last night).

    These are reasons why ESPN is dead to me.

  5. pinson343

    I recently had a nite watching ESPN Sports Center cover every single major league game played except the one played by the Reds.

    As for fights, Pedro would take a bite out of just about anything. There was a story of his taking a bite out of someone’s helmet, but that wouldn’t seem possible.

    I don’t remember the Reds being in a fight since the one with the Cubs, where Kyle Farnsworth tackled and beat up on Paul Wilson. Dusty was the Cubs’ manager, and referred to a “little a**-kicking” afterwards.

    Maybe it’s time for the Reds to rumble.

  6. Steve Price

    Borbon took a bite out of one of the Mets’ hats (I believe it was Cleon Jones) in the 1973 championship series after a fight broke out between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose at second base.

  7. Steve Price

    According to Redleg Journal, the hat belonged to Mets reliever Buzz Capra.

    After the fight, Rose went to his position in left field and the Mets fans began throwing bottles and other debris onto the field at Rose. Sparky Anderson removed the Reds from the field, and then Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Cleon Jones, Tom Seaver, and Rusty Staub went out to left field and stopped the barrage.

  8. pinson343

    I was at Shea Stadium for Game 4 of that NLCS series, which was a total victory for Pete Rose. The fight and the brouhaha that Steve described took place in Game 3. In Game 4 Rose was booed lustily, to say the least.

    He responded with 4 hits and the game winning HR in the 12th inning. He raised his right arm while running around the bases.

    The Mets led 1-0 nothing late when Tony Perez tied it with a home run. Pete’s HR made it a 2-1 win.

    Unfortunately the Mets won the deciding game 5. The format was unfair back then. The Reds had won 99 games to the Mets 82, yet after the first 2 games were split in Cincy, the remaining 3 were all in NY.