My goal for today, is to explain why I like the 5 teams that I follow. Each team will receive its own post focusing on when, why, and how I could follow such an assortment of teams.
Leading off. . . the Cincinnati Reds.
As a fan of the Red Sox, I know how contradictory it is for me to be a fan of the Reds. I wasn’t alive in 75′, so the outcome of that World Series isn’t as bitter, and I have some wonderful childhood memories associated with the Reds.
Growing up, my dad always played sports with his kids. When he got home from work, we would play catch or shoot hoops. He taught all of his kids the fundamentals of the game of baseball. That was what he harped on, fundamentals. He constantly encouraged us to focus on the little things; I think he knew that none of us would grow up to be gifted athletes. So he told us to hustle and play fundamentally correct. I think you can see where I am going with this.
My dad’s favorite player was Pete Rose.
There is no other player in the history of baseball who had more hustle and determination than Pete Rose.
I grew up in the days when Rose was still an active player/manager. Therefore, my childhood is full of references about how I should emulate Pete Rose. While Rose went on to play for two other teams, my dad always told us about “The Big Red Machine.” Hearing about that incredible dynasty made me a fan of the Reds; I was hooked.
In 1990, the Reds were playing against the heavily favored Oakland A’s in the World Series.
I was 8 years old and wanted to be like and liked by my older brother. We are two years apart in age, three grades in school. So there was a lot of fighting, yelling, and playing sports in my childhood. Unfortunately, we were still considered too young to stay up “late” (as my mother would say) to watch the World Series.
My brother and I shared a room in the basement, away from my sisters and parents. Fortunately, in another room in the basement was an old T.V. Each night, during those four games, my brother would sneak into the other room, turn on the T.V., and find out the score. He would come back to the bedroom and tell me the score. For those four nights we were pals, buddies, and partners in crime. Even though he liked the A’s, it was an incredible time to feel so close to my brother as we rebelled against the tyranny of an early bed time.
As I have continued to follow baseball, the Cincinnati Reds have remained a team that I like to root for. With players like Brandon Phillips, Aroldis Champman, and Joey Votto, the Reds are a great team who seem like they are always on the verge of making a serious run in the playoffs.