Home » Reds Hall of fame intudtion 2014 » I had one of the best weekends of my life during Reds Hall of Fame weekend

I had one of the best weekends of my life during Reds Hall of Fame weekend

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Johnny Bench , the  first baseball player I rooted for because I remember watching him on our old 1979 RCA tv hit a homer in a home game .My 3 year old  mind loved how his homers made people happy . As I grew he was always  a Red and hitting home runs.  The only time  Johnny ever made me sad when an

thanks for being the one who planted the lifelong love of baseball and the Reds and being more gracious in our brief meeting then I even dreamed you would be

August 9 & 10, 2014, was a weekend I shall never forget. The Reds Hall of Fame Museum held a meet and greet  for fans to snap selfies      and say hello to  some  of the members of the Reds Hall of Fame. When I heard that Johnny Bench was going to be one of the players at the meet and greet, I knew that it might be my best and only chance to met my first baseball “hero”.  After winding our way into the museum theater,my family and I were content to wait our turn in line.  There were 3 or 4 wheelchair users in line. Johnny took charge and had the  guys get off  their stool and go to us.It was so awesome to meet  Ken Griffey Sr., Jim  Maloney, Gary Nolan, Mario Sotto, Leo Cardenas, and of course Johnny. It gave the fa crowd a big chuckle when   the guys kept making comments about Johnny’s bossyness that has had since he was a 19-year-old kid

Jim Maloney  hard throwing pitcher of the 1960s.  Crosley Field   must have been packed every time he pitched No hit stuff  (threw 3)

Jim Maloney hard throwing pitcher of the 1960s. Crosley Field must have been packed every time he pitched No hit stuff (threw 3) If LaRosa’s Pizza had its free pizza for 11Ks giveaway in his day, Jim might have drove them out of business single-handedly

Gary Nolan  starting pitcher for the Big Red Machine. We chatted briefly as dad and i exited

Gary Nolan starting pitcher for the Big Red Machine. We chatted briefly as dad and I exited

hope Sr. never lets 2014 inductee  Junior forget  who has more rings

hope Sr. never lets 2014 inductee Junior forget who has more rings

Mario Sotto, master of the circle change  great pitcher on those bad early 1980s Reds clubs would have been another La Rosa bankrupter

Mario Sotto, master of the circle change great pitcher on those bad early 1980s Reds clubs would have been another La Rosa nightmare

1960s Reds slick fielding SS Leo Cardeness  stands behind a fan as Ken Sr. chats with my dad

1960s Reds slick fielding SS Leo Cardenas behind a fan as Ken Sr. chats with my dad

We still had some time to kill before the induction so toured this years main exhibits Hometown Reds,featuring all the players who grew up in Reds Country and wore the Reds uniform, also “King of  the Queen City” , featuring some of the awards won by Reds players over the years. I would post pics of these but I would rather encourage fans to  go to the Reds Hall of Fame Museum to check it out for themselves. For  Reds Hall of Fame info go to http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof/index.jsp Then it was time for the pregame  ceremony. A lot of Reds Hall Fame  came back to welcome the  new inductees to the  Red Jacket Club. The greats  who came were

1966 NL Rookie of the Year

1966 NL Rookie of the Year

Tommy Helms 2014

Tommy Helms 2014

one of our new friends

one of our new “friends”

Jim  waves to the fans

Jim waves to the fans

Big Red Machine Starting Pitcher

Big Red Machine Starting Pitcher

Jack  2014

Jack 2014

our other new "friend"

our other new “friend”

Leo looking sharp

Leo looking sharp

"Mr. Prefect"

“Mr. Prefect”

Tom is somewhere under that hat and bread

Tom is somewhere under that hat and bread

1988 NL Rookie of the Year. "Spuds"

1988 NL Rookie of the Year. “Spuds”

looking good with the goggles

looking good without the goggles

"Eric the Red"

“Eric the Red”

having a laugh probably about  how out hit and out ran almost everyone back in the day

having a laugh probably about how he out hit and out ran almost everyone back in the day

Johnny Cueto's mentor

Johnny Cueto’s mentor

Mario waves

Mario waves

"The Mayor"

“The Mayor”

hey Sean look up

hey Sean look up

Reds single season home run record holder (52 in 1977)

Reds single season home run record holder (52 in 1977)

DSCN6954

"Chief"

“Chief”

Just as smooth as when he played CF in the 1970s

Just as smooth as when he played CF in the 1970s

Best all around SS of the 1970s

Best all around SS of the 1970s

Big hello from Davey

Big hello from Davey

My dad's new "best friend"

My dad’s new “best friend”

and proud papa of a 2014 Reds Hall of Fame inductee

and proud papa of a 2014 Reds Hall of Fame inductee

my " buddy"

my ” buddy”

There's Johnny! He could catch for me any day

There’s Johnny! He could catch for any day

NL MVP 1975-76

NL MVP 1975-76

He never seems to age

He never seems to age

The "Big Dog"

The “Big Dog”

Tony looking good

Tony looking good

Then it was time to add 3 living hometown legends and a player  from pro baseball’s early decades . The  hometown  inductees  had major challenges in their Reds  careers : Ron Oseter   The steady second baseman from 1978-1990 .He had the tough task of replacing Joe Morgan in 1980. He did  it the best way he knew how by not trying to be Joe Morgan. Ron  showed the fans that while he may not have been as talented as Joe Morgan or his idol Pete Rose, Ron would use every ounce of his talent and baseball smarts to help the Reds win a ballgame. I think Ron may have even been tougher than Pete. On an early summer day in 1987 Ron was trying to turn a double play on a late feed from Barry Larkn. Ron was unable to clear the sliding Mookie Wilson  The collision  tore Ron’s ACL costing him the rest of the ’87 season. Many fans feared that Ron would never play in a Reds uniform.These fears were anything but calmed when the  Reds would release Ron but gave him a minor league deal offer. Now ,he could have called it a career or signed with another team,but he went to Reds Triple A team in Nashville and worked his butt off to make it back to the Reds the tail end of the ’88 season. He was a guiding force for the wire to wire World Champion Reds in 1990. After he retired he served as a coach for the Reds. He made a point to thank his family,  his teammates, and the fans.. On behalf of the fans  i would just like to say  thank you for playing hard every game and giving parents a cool example to teach  kids about not giving up. I think all Reds fans and most baseball agree with you that your hero and former  manager Pete Rose should be in both the Reds’ and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

ron at bat

ron at bat

ron at mic

ron at mic

 

Dave Parker  came to the Reds in 1984 under a cloud of cocaine suspension in his past. Coming home to Cincy gave him a fresh start to his baseball career and a new lease on life. Because of a strict drug testing requirement and Mrs.Schot’s promise that he would be released for any drug offence, He kept clean and showed he could still be a feared power bat and cannon armed OF as he had been in  Pittsburgh. He showed a bunch of young Reds how be big leaguers,  He gave his gratitude by a video because of his recently diagnosed  Parkinson’s . The fan reaction lead him to grab his cane and move his  still Herculean frame to the  podium and again thank the fans. I keep going back and forth on whether Dave’s drug past should keep him out of Cooperstown. All I can say is this he played clean and great in the Reds uniform,and  i pray for his health.

cobra ready to strike

cobra ready to strike

 

dave's video  to the fan

dave’s video to the fans

dave feeling the love

dave feeling the loves

Ken Griffey Jr  had the most natural talent of any player in Reds history but also had the most challenges of any player.Trying to live up to his Reds Hall of Famer dad and help lead his team to world titles, injuries, and god like hopes from the hometown fans and media.There were still enough awesome moments to make a Hall of Fame career. The 500th and 600th home runs are etched in Reds lore.As well as many of diving leaping catches.Junior said he just wanted to be like his dad,He thanked his Dad and his dad’s Big Red Machine teammates for showing him how to be a ballplayer.Thanked his mom for making sure he made baseball practice and playing catch with him. It  was hard  to do that with dad with Ken SR.on the road playing.He apologized for being hurt so much and not leading Cincy to a world title.  In hindsight complaining about what he did not do is kind of like complaining about the wrong color sprinkles on your birthday cake.

jr dive

jr diving catch

 

the kid's sweet swing produced many rbis

the kid’s sweet swing produced many rbis

jr looking sharp

jr looking sharp

The games were a mixed bag. a close loss to the Miami Marlins on Saturday with Reds hurlers failing to get 11 strikeouts to give the fans free La Rosa’s pizza. On Sunday Devin Mesaroco did his best Johnny Bench immation by Hitting 2 homers, one of which was a grand slam, to power the Reds offense.  Cueto and Chapman made sure fans got pizza.

Months later I still can’t belive I Met Johnny Bench!!!

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