As we’ve already discussed, today is the anniversary of the greatest game in World Series history, Game Six in 1975. What better opportunity for an open thread to discuss your favorite Big Red Machine moments.

Sure, the organization is in shambles now, but there’s no reason we can’t reminisce about the good times. Right?

36 Responses

  1. jason1972

    Jack Morris pushing 40 and shutting out the Braves for 10 innings is my personal all time favorite WS game.

  2. Drew Nelson

    1975 and the World series is almost over….2009 and the World Series hasn’t even started…Now that is a problem.

  3. Redsfanx

    Game six – a great game; yes. But the Reds did win the 75 World Series in spite of what RedSox Nation wants us to believe. 😆

  4. Dan

    Drew Nelson: 1975 and the World series is almost over….2009 and the World Series hasn’t even started…Now that is a problem.

    Yeah, the weather can be an issue if northern teams make the playoffs.

    But how would you solve this? We’ve added a round of playoffs now, and I don’t see MLB ever going back on that. (And, in truth, I’m not sure I’d want to. More teams are “in the hunt” every year when there’s a wildcard in play. It’s not “purist-friendly,” but it is more interesting for a lot of fans.)

    Would you shorten the regular season back to 154 games? Start the season in March? (Those games could be wintry also.)

    It’s kind of a sticky issue.

  5. mike

    I’ll add a little twist since I was thinking about this yesterday

    Who are your favorite lesser known BRM players???

    What I mean is, everyone knows Seaver, Nolan, Carroll, Gullett, Morgan, Rose, Bench, Perez, Foster, and Griffey but during the BRM there were a LOT of other player that played on the team.

    who are your favorite lesser known BRM players

    I thinking the entire 70s since it’s hard to define exactly when the BRM began and ended. Driessen is one of my favorites that doesn’t get mentioned too often. And I always like Eastwick.

    and lets not forget Tommy Helms, Bill Plummer, Billingham, and Washburn

  6. Drew Nelson

    First I cut the season to around 140 games, yes that is lost revenue but trust me baseball would find a way to make it back. Second I return to playing some DH throughout the season. It is sad that games are being played in sub 30 degree weather and going late into the night so kids can not watch. All weekend games should be day games.

  7. preach

    I always liked Doug Flynn and Bill Plummer. No real reason. Eastwick was a fav of mine as well, and is the reason that I favor closers today.

  8. Mr. Redlegs

    @Drew Nelson:

    Money drives the product. Television is the BIG money. Television needs ratings to get advertisers to pay that big money. Baseball can’t get ratings playing opposite college football on Saturdays and NFL on Sundays during the playoffs and World Series. Like any smart business, you take the money over some ideal about when and how the games should be played.

  9. Bill Lack

    Like some others here, I was lucky enough to get to see the BRM play often in these glory years of the early/mid ’70’s. I take issue with Mike including Tom Seaver as a member of the BRM…he came on board, but the BRM was gone by then. It ceased to exist in ’77, IMO.

    But my favorite ‘unsung heroes” of the BRM are Jack Billingham and Fred Norman. Norman was traded for (I’ve always believed) b/c the Reds couldn’t beat him…but he came to the Reds and did a great job. 3.43 ERA, ERA+ of 106 over the course of his Reds career. Billingham’s performances in the World Series were every bit as good as Jose Rijo (1990) for the youngsters among us. I was also a Gary Nolan fan, talk about a guy that adjusted his pitching style. Went from a hardthrowing phenom to a soft tossing veteran and was effective with both.

  10. Drew Nelson

    If the World Series can’t stand up to regular season NFL games and regular season NCAA games, then we have major issues.

  11. preach

    The World Series can’t stand up to NCAA/NFL in markets other than the ones which the baseball teams play in, IMO. It would be interesting to look at the ratings this year when baseball and football overlapped in the post-season.

    …also, just having this open thread is the answer to “You know if you’re a Reds fan if_____”

  12. David Kaiser

    as a young reds fan then(16)and an old one now I don’t think that was the greatest game ever because they lost!sure they won the series but nobody wants to talk about that,all they care about is fisk standing there waving like an idiot when the reds are walking off the field knowing it was a homer!

  13. Drew Nelson

    Sorry but even though we lost that game, I can’t find any game that can even stand up to that game. There was drama like never before, incredible baseball and more twists and turns. Who won or lost that game takes a backseat to the overall greatness of that game.

  14. KY Chip

    Drew, if I had no team in that fight, I’d be inclined to agree with you. However, I love the Reds and despise the Red Sox with every fiber of my being, and since Game Six was a Red Sox victory, I cannot in good conscience call any Red Sox win a “great game”.

    Now Game 7 of the 1975 Series — THAT was a great game! 🙂

  15. Dave H

    Tom Hall, nicknamed The Blade, was always one of my favorite players.

  16. MfGMachine

    @Dan: There is a way to solve it without shortening either the season or the playoffs, its a thing called……. The Double Header!! bring them back!!

  17. DS in Seattle

    I always liked Jim Merritt, Hal McRae, and Bernie Carbo from the 1970 team. And the little known Angel Bravo.

    My favorite Reds memory was going to game 5 of the 1975 series with my father, mother and grandfather. Perez homered twice and since our seats were in dead center in the third deck. We couldn’t tell if they went out or not. I still have my ticket stub. The cost? $10

  18. MikeC

    I was also fortunate to attend game 5 of the 1975 Series. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) knew I was a big Reds fan, so she surprised me by buying tickets for the game. We sat in the left field red seats.
    The Series was tied at 2 -2 going into the game. It was crucial for the Reds to win because the last 2 games were going to be played in Boston. Perez had been having a bad Series up to that point, but delivered 2 HR.
    In the early years of the BRM, I really liked Bobby Tolan. He was an excellent center fielder, good hitter and great base runner. His error in the ’72 Series helped sink the Reds. According to books I have read, he developed a bad attitude afterward, leading to his eventual trade.
    On the 2 World Series winning teams, I always liked Borbon and his rubber arm. And the fact he took a bite out of a Mets hat during the ’73 playoffs. After a bench clearing brawl, he had picked up a hat and put it on his head. When he realized it was a Mets hat, he took it off and took a bite out of it.

  19. pinson343

    My favorite palyers on the BRM were Concepcion and Griffey. As far as unsung heroes go, it was the bullpen 4 of Carroll, Borbon, McEnany, and Eastwick. The starting rotation was good but not great, only Gullet was that good, and he was injured for much of 1975. The Reds won 108 games in the 1975 regular season because of the great starting lineup plus Dan Driessen plus the bullpen. Will McEnany had an off year in 1976, the main reason the regular season win total dropped to 102.

    Speaking of the bullpen, Jack Billingham was part of the bullpen in 1975, and we probably would not have won the series without him. He pitched multiple scoreless innings in the critical games 2 and 7 in Boston, where we had to come from behind to win both times.

    Jack Billingham was truly the unsung hero of the 1975 World Series.

  20. pinson343

    I had to watch game 7 in a bar in Grand Central Station in Manhattan, as I had to catch a 12:35 train back to New Haven. The bar was full of Yankee fan commuters who as AL fans were rooting for the Red Sox (that would be different now). They were wowed by Luis Tiant, and most of them left after 3-4 innings, saying there was no way the Reds (down by 3-0) were going to score that many runs against Tiant. Of course the Reds came back to lead by 6-3.

    My favorite moment in the game was Foster’s 9th inning throw to Bench, one-handed by Bench, which resulted in a double play that killed the Red Sox bases loaded, no out rally. Bench was the only (and I believe the first) catcher to make one-handed catches when needed on throws from the OF.

    When Fisk came up, it was close to 12:35 and I had to move to the entrance to the bar, to get ready to run for the train. He was the last batter I could watch. His HR came at 12:34. Then I had to run full speed to the train and got on just as the doors were closing. I was the only one on the train who knew the Red Sox had won.

  21. pinson343

    PS I my final post, I meant game 6, not game 7.

  22. GreatRedLegsFan

    I was 9 years old at that time. My passion for baseball and Red Leg Nation came a little bit later, around 1977. I can tell, when I see the footages from the 1975 WS, I have not seen a better catcher than Johnny Bench.

  23. RiverCity Redleg

    GreatRedLegsFan: I have not seen a better catcher than Johnny Bench.
    Reply

    That’s b/c there has never been a better catcher than Johnny Bench.

    My favorite “not talked about” player was Pedro Borbon. I always liked his name, plus he was good.

  24. Dan

    I’m just a little bit too young to remember the Big Red Machine in action also. I was born in 1971. I started to have some awareness of what was going on w/ the Reds in 1979, and I do remember the Reds-Pirates NLCS which we lost, but that team didn’t resemble the BRM much. Concepcion, Bench, Dave Collins, and John McNamara stand out in my mind from that team, for some reason.

    Random memory — I remember staying over at my friend Dave’s house when we were both probably 8 or so, and staying up too late w/ the Reds game on the radio, and Dave Collins hit an inside-the-park HR. We went crazy for a split-second but then quieted down really fast so his parents wouldn’t hear us. (I’m sure they did, of course…)

    I also remember thinking after the fact, does that count as a HR? What makes something a HR — hitting the ball and making it all the way around the bases (in which case Collins’s hit was a HR), or hitting over the wall (in which case it was not)? Some serious existential angst for an 8-year-old. 😉

  25. Dan

    I guess one other thing that stands out in my mind from the late 1970’s Reds were those uniforms. I know that technically the Reds had basically the same uniforms from the early 70’s through about the early or mid 90’s, but don’t be fooled… they definitely changed enough to be distinctive to a short period of time.

    My main memories of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s uniforms were…

    –the HUGE letters they used for the last names on the back. (Remember how CONCEPCION would get buried in his armpits at both ends? I don’t know why but I loved how that looked.) Then, as an aside, in those lame boxscores the next morning in the paper, Concepcion’s name would show up as something like:

    Cncpcn ss

    –The low Red stirrups which no other team wore.

    –The all-black shoes that also no other team wore. (Remember how cool it was to see Concepcion and Soto wearing red or even white shoes in the All-Star Game? That was strangely cool and bizarre to me.)

    The late 80’s and early 90’s teams changed all that. Smaller letters, red shoes, “normal” stirrups.

    Oh, the even added that double-pinstripe down the sides of each leg on the pants. That’s what the 1990 World Championship team wore.

    It was fine – it was still the Reds – but it doesn’t evoke the same fond, warm memories as those late 70’s, early 80’s uniforms for me.

  26. WORLD

    I have been very lucky in my life to have become friends with a whole bunch of folks that played in that memorable game. Rick Wise and Denny Doyle are buddies from Philly and I’ve got stories and stories about both of them that need not be repeated here. On the Reds side of the ledger, I’ve gotten to know Pete, George, Darrell, Blackjack, Pedro, Wil, Griff, and Pat Darcy. In addition, I’ve been longtime friends with Don Gullett, Doug Flynn and the late John Vukovich.

    Anyway, I’m pretty lucky for a guy whose never set foot in Cincinnati.

    I’ll share one story with you. In October of 2007, I was playing in a tournament in Tucson with some fellows who regularly play at the Reds Baseball Heaven program in Florida (now moving to Arizona). Our last night there, I told Pat Zachary that I would take everyone out to dinner at this quaint little Italian spot in town. Zach got on the phone and called Pat Darcy who was living in Tucson and he joined us.

  27. Bill Lack

    Here’s a question…we all claim that the Reds were one of, if not THE the greatest teams ever.

    Why didn’t the Oakland A’s of the ’70’s receive the same acclaim?

    The were 1st or 2nd 8 years running, won their division 5 years in a row, and 3 straight World Championships…why so little respect for them?

  28. WORLD

    I have been very lucky in my life to have become friends with a whole bunch of folks that played in that memorable game. Rick Wise and Denny Doyle are buddies from Philly and I’ve got stories and stories about both of them (mostly about Rick) that need not be repeated here. On the Reds side of the ledger, I’ve been so fortunate to get to know and become friends with Pete, George, Darrell, Johnny B., Blackjack, Pedro, Wil, Griff, and Pat Darcy. In addition, I’ve been so very lucky to know such great guys who were on the team but did not play in that game such as Don Gullett, Doug Flynn and the late John Vukovich. I’m not sure who was on Boston’s roster that didn’t play in the game but I’m going to look that up and see if I know any of those men.

    Anyway, I’m pretty lucky for a guy who has never set foot in Cincinnati. Thought I had many times as I switched planes at the airport but later found out I was actually in Kentucky.

    I’ll share one story with you. In October of 2007, I was playing in a national tournament in Tucson with some fellows who regularly play at the Reds Baseball Heaven program in Florida (now moving to Arizona). I was on the Reds B team that didn’t fare too well. The A team lost in the finals. Whatever. Our last night there, I told Pat Zachary that I would take everyone out to dinner at this quaint little Italian spot in town. Zach got on the phone and called Pat Darcy who was living in Tucson and he joined us.

    It was ironic that Darcy would break bread with me as I had just been in Boston for a wedding and had taken a tour of the Fenway Park that I had never gotten around to seeing. I had especially savored touching the Fisk pole while up in the Monster Seats, not knowing that the hurler of the historic pitch which would give the pole its name would be chatting it up with me a week later.

    Anyway, I asked Darcy what he remembered about that night and he said that he had told Sparky before the game that he absolutely couldn’t pitch that night because his arm was killing him from an earlier start in the Series. The old baseball saying is that he couldn’t wipe his a**. But when the call came from the Reds dugout, what could he do? I think he told me that they only had 10 pitchers on the roster and he had to go in. Of course, he hung in there for a while but when Fisk hit the pitch that named the pole and ended this classic contest, he couldn’t get off the mound fast enough.

    I asked him if he remembered what the organist played when Fisk was skipping around the bases? Pat said “I have no idea. All I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could.”

    OK. Help Mr. Darcy out. What did the organist at Fenway play as the crowd went wild?

    FIRST CORRECT ANSWER gets some e-mailed Reds pictures of former greats from The World.

  29. WORLD

    Hey, sorry about the duplicate (sorta) post.

    And checking the Bosox roster, I’ve met Butch Hobson and Tim McCarver but can’t call them friends. Met McCarver while he was buying wine in Delaware when he was with the Phils and talked to him for a while. I rmember that he didn’t want to talk about the fight that he had with Lou Brock in Philly in 1972. Butch was not much more than a howdy when introduced to him by Mark Mann.

  30. WORLD

    Matt- you are a winner. Pat Darcy had no idea.

    How do you want to get your pics? You’ll laugh at some of them.

  31. Matt WI

    Try sending them to this address: [email protected]
    It’s not my main email, but it should still work. If you’re feeling especially generous, I’d love to know who you are, but I certainly respect any desire for anonymity. If it makes you feel better, I’m a therapist by trade, so I’m good at keeping private things private. Regardless, thank you very much in advance for the pictures.

  32. Matt WI

    @WORLD: Or… if it’s better for you, perhaps you can use the Honorable Chad Dotson as an intermediary.

  33. WORLD

    I’m off to the Bowery Mission in New York for some volunteer work but will send these to you tonight when I come back after 10ish or so.

    I’ll give you a bio also.

    Thanks for doing the quiz.

  34. pinson343

    @Bill Lack:

    Back in the 70’s, it was not overlooked that the A’s had won 3 consecutive WS and the Reds 2. And the Yankees won 2 consecutive WS in 77-78.

    The Reds were not widely considered “one of the greatest ever” back then (except by Reds fans). Their starting pitching was regarded as average by many. Frank Robinson himself said that a great team has great pitching and the Reds don’t. Yankee fans scoffed at any comparison of the Reds to the ’61 Yankees.

    I think the Reds are better remembered than the A’s for two reasons:
    1. The HOF (plus Rose) players on the Reds, who are remembered better than any of the A’s except Reggie Jackson.
    The starting 8 – “The Great 8” – captured the imagination of baseball fans then and now.

    2. The Reds were so dominant in ’75 and ’76. 108 wins in ’75 and 102 in ’76, the A’s teams did not match that. And in those postseasons, the Reds – except for the Red Sox series – didn’t lose a single game, they were 14-3. The A’s were more of a team that would win the big game when they had to, they did not usually dominate (although they did beat the Dodgers in 5 in ’74).

    Also the Reds were “the team of the 70’s” – the most wins, the most pennants, the most divisional titles.

    Some people BTW argue (even heard Sparky Anderson say it) that the ’72 WS, where the A’s beat the Reds in 7, was a greater WS than ’75.