Because it's almost time to bring down the curtain on 2006, and this is a time we tend to look back at the past (as well as ahead to the future…that's why they put Janus on the calendar, folks!), I've decided to help offset the shortage of Reds-related news during this holiday season by posting this, my list of the ten greatest moments in Reds history.
It wasn't easy. Also, I limited it to events that happened during my time as a Reds fan…so stuff like Johnny Van Der Meer's consecutive no-hitters isn't here because that stuff was before my time. OK, here goes…the first three were no-brainers:
1. Reds Sweep Oakland in 1990 World Series - Nobody, and I mean nobody (except maybe the Reds themselves) gave the Reds a prayer against Oakland in the 1990 WS. Everybody you talked to was sure the A's were going to clobber the Reds. One person - only one - asked me if I thought so too. She didn't like the answer, either. I told her, “Well, don't bet your house on it.” Eric The Red - Eric Davis - set the tone in Game One with a homer in his first at-bat of the series. The Reds never looked back. So Dawn, if you're reading this - I was the guy in Good Guys West who told ya so. Hope you enjoyed the Series!
2. Reds Sweep Yankees in 1976 World Series - No offense to anyone who's a Yankees fan, but I live in the Buffalo area…I'm a Reds fan…and because of the Yankees it's almost impossible to see a Reds game on TV here. Due to this, I hate the Yankees, and enjoy watching them lose almost as much as I enjoy watching the Reds win. So imagine how much fun it was watching the Reds beat the Yankees four times in a row to repeat as World Champs following…
3. Reds Win 1975 World Series - This was the one featuring Carlton Fisk's famous homer in Game Six, but the Reds overcame a 3-0 fifth-inning deficit to win Game 7. Ken Griffey Sr. scored the last two runs.
4. Johnny Bench's game-tying homer leading off the ninth inning of the 1972 NLCS against the Pirates. I can still hear Al Michaels on WLW radio: “Change hit in the air to deep right field! Back goes Clemente!! At the fence!! SHE'S GONE!!!”
5. Pete Rose Collects #4192 - Charlie Hustle lines a first-inning single into right center off the Padres' Eric Show to break Ty Cobb's record. There followed a standing ovation that went on for a full seven minutes. A much better September 11 (1985) event than the one that comes to mind when that date is mentioned now.
6. On Fathers' Day 2004, with his father and his son watching from the stands, Ken Griffey Jr. takes Matt Morris deep for his 500th career homer.
7. Tom Browning's perfect game against the Dodgers in 1988.
8. Tom Seaver's No-Hitter - How perfect it was that the cover of the Reds program in 1978 was a tribute to Tom Seaver. Almost a year to the day he was traded to Cinci from the Mets, Seaver pitched the only no-hitter of his career, a 4-0 win over the Cardinals.
9. Pete Rose ends the 1970 All-Star Game (played in Cinci) by annihilating AL catcher Ray Fosse at the plate.
10. June 2, 1989 - Eric Davis saves the hard one for last, getting a triple in his final AB as he hits for the cycle.
Here's hoping 2007 brings something to add to the list. To Amanda and Jon and all of you out there, best wishes for a Happy and prosperous New Year!