Posted on 29. Sep, 2010 by in All, Dayton Dragons Baseball, General Baseball.

 
I remember…rambling about Reds postseasons of old…

I am so thankful that I was blessed with a good memory.  Being a huge sports fan in the city of Cincinnati, I have been forced to live in the past and remember memories from years ago.  Ever since I was born, I have been a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan.  My father instilled baseball in my blood and Riverfront Stadium seemed like a second home to me.  We always had season tickets and I remember many of days spent at the park.  As I have stated on this site before, spending time with my dad at a baseball park is the greatest thing I can ask for.

The last decade and a half there has not been to many bright spots for the Cincinnati Reds.  It seemed like a losing season was clinched shortly after the All-Star break and fans were left with memories of old.  Luckily I do remember those memories of old like they happened yesterday.

I remember the magical season of 1990 and what a wonderful time for all Reds fans. The team hit the ground running going wire to wire and winning the National League West.  I remember the day they clinched the division and my dad took me to Swallen’s to buy every style and color of apparel we could get our hands on.

I remember the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Game one featured Jose Rijo against Bob Walk and fans seemed to cheer each play.  I remember Ted Power coming out of the bullpen in the ninth inning to save the game for Pittsburgh.  Twenty years later, Power and I would have lockers across from each other at the Reds Spring Training Complex in Goodyear, Arizona as he was the pitching coach for the AAA Louisville Bats and I was working in the clubhouse.

I remember game two of the NLCS as Mr. Perfect Tom Browning threw six terrific innings as the Reds evened the series at one game apiece heading to Pittsburgh for the next three contests.  Again, twenty years later Browning and I would be Facebook friends on the computer as we both worked in the Reds system together. Browning always likes to joke around with the clubhouse managers calling us “Jock Hangers.”

I remember the Reds returning to Riverfront Stadium for game six of the NLCS leading three games to two and trying to close out the series and advance to the World Series.  It was a Friday night and over 56,000 packed the park.  When the game began I was upset that my dad had given away our “good seats” for the game to his best buddy Jerry, and we were forced to sit upstairs in the Red seats with our friends Steve and Noah.  I remember Luis Quinones pinch hitting for Paul O’Neil in the seventh inning of a tied game.  He delivered a base hit to right field scoring Ron Oester and giving Cincinnati a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.  Again, twenty years later I sat and relived this memory with Quinones as he was the hitting coach for the West Michigan Whitecaps who were in town playing the Dayton Dragons.

I remember sitting in the parking garage for over an hour trying to get out as everyone honked their horns in celebration as fans ran through the garage screaming and cheering. The Reds were on their way to the World Series to take on the mighty Oakland Athletics.  I remember this being one of the only times my dad was very calm and patient sitting in post game traffic with a bit of a smile on his face knowing what we just witnessed.

I remember game one of the 1990 World Series at Riverfront Stadium as the Oakland Athletics brought the Bash Brothers (Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco) and their 103 regular season wins into town.  I remember Eric Davis hitting a first inning homerun and the stadium exploded as the Reds went on to defeat the A’s and 22 game winner Dave Stewart.  I remember 17 years later sitting on the backfield in Sarasota, Florida talking with Davis about movies and live in the minor leagues, all the time thinking about that home run I witnessed him hit.

I remember game two and 27 game winner Bob Welch on the hill for Oakland.  I can still close my eyes and remember extra innings and Joe Oliver knocking in little Billy Bates as the toilet paper streamers dropped to the field. The Reds were heading to Oakland with a two games to nothing lead.

I remember being with my best buddy Mark at his grandparents house to watch game three of the World Series. Mark’s Nanny and Papa Abe gave us a TV to set up in the extra bedroom to watch.  I remember Chris Sabo smacking two home runs on that Friday night and a seven spot in the second inning was all the team needed.

I remember watching game four of the World Series in my living room with my sister Jodi, my friend Emily and a babysitter as my parents were out at a party to watch the game.  I remember sitting the entire night holding a broom, hoping my Reds would sweep Oakland for their first Championship of my lifetime.  I remember the emotions of the game as Billy Hatcher and Davis went down with injuries and Rijo threw a gem, but the Reds trailed 1-0 going to the eighth. I remember them manufacturing two runs that inning to take a 2-1 lead.  And then I remember the bottom of the ninth inning and Nasty Boy Randall Kirk Myers on the mound trying to finish it off.  And what I remember next wins me trivia contests all the time.  Oakland third baseman Carney Lansford fouls a ball in the air off the first base bag.  Todd Benzinger catches it and the 1990 World Championship belonged to the Cincinnati Reds.  Nineteen years later Benzinger would be my manager in Dayton and he would share stories of that magical season with me whenever I asked.  I felt like a little kid again listening and reliving those memories.

I remember the 1995 playoffs as the Reds entered as Champions of the Central Division in the National League.  I remember watching on TV as Cincinnati took the first two games in Los Angeles before returning to Riverfront to cap off the sweep against the Dodgers.  This time around, my dad kept the good seats we had for us as I remember the Reds between David Wells beat up on Hideo Nomo and LA to sweep to Division Series three games to zero.

I remember returning four days later to start to the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.  I remember feeling sick as the Reds dropped the first two games at home and then went to Atlanta losing the next two and being swept out of the playoffs.  And for some reason I cannot get Reggie Sanders and his poor performance that post season out of my head.  Little did I know, that would be the last time the Cincinnati Reds and Playoffs could be used in the same sentence for 15 seasons.

If you are still reading this, thanks for bearing with me as I remembered those great memories I had of those two post seasons.  But for some reason, winning the National League Central in 2010 means more to me than the last two.  I have been to less games this season than in years past since I was working the entire summer in Dayton with the Dragons.  But I feel much more connected to this team and the players.

I wouldn’t call any of the members personal friends of mine, but I can definitely use the word acquaintance, and yes to the friend that asked me, more than a few know me by first name.  A number of the players that appeared in uniform during the 2010 season I have helped along the way in some aspect.

I remember when Joey Votto came to rehab in Dayton for two games.  I remember the first pitch he saw he HAMMERED to right center field.  I remember two innings later he sat down on the bench in between innings to rest on the very muggy day and sat on a handful of skittles.  I remember when he stood up, he had colorful marks on his butt of his pants as he took his position at first base.

I remember this season when  Homer Bailey rehabbed for a few days in Dayton and we tossed a football together in the clubhouse telling stories about the apartment building he use to live it, that I lived this season.

I remember standing on the dugout rail at Fifth Third Field just a few weeks ago with Edison Volquez and talking about pitching strategy as he worked on some mechanics before joining the big club again.

I remember watching the Major League Debut of Eneiro Del Rosario against the Pittsburgh Pirates and how good I felt as he became the first player I had at Dayton to make his big league debut.

And I remember all the younger players and dealing with them the last few years at minor league Spring Training camp first in Sarasota and then in Goodyear. I remember eating chocolate peanut butter eggs that Chris Heisey gave me from his grandmother that were homemade.  I remember Jay Bruce in 2008 walking into the minor league clubhouse every day and asked me for a bottle of water and then apologizing for bothering me, which he wasn’t.  I remember chatting daily with Drew Stubbs about anything that popped into our minds.  I remember Chris Valiaka always going out of his way to just say hello to the clubhouse guys and give us a smile.  And I remember driving Yonder Alonso’s huge SUV to Cracker Barrel several times a week to get breakfast for him as he took extra swings in the batting cage.

I could go on and on with personal stories about the 2010 Cincinnati Reds and the memories I will have of them.  But the greatest memory will be that this team is going back to the playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons.  Chills just shot through my body as I typed that.

I will always remember Jay Bruce and his walk off home run to send us to the Division Championship.

I will remember the 2010 playoffs as I will attempt to be there for EVERY game, both home and away and built new memories for years to come.

One Response to “I remember…rambling about Reds postseasons of old…”

 
  1. ERB says:

    THANK YOU DAD!


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