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The Big Red Machine (The 1976 Cincinnati Reds) Essay Sample

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The Big Red Machine (The 1976 Cincinnati Reds) Essay Sample

The team that has wooed the Baseball lovers since centuries with the nick name Red stockings is none other than Cincinnati Reds of Cincinnati Ohio. The team got the name “Red Stockings” from the red uniforms designed by Ellard which included red long stockings, worn with short white trousers which were considered as a novelty in team. This new unique color red was the color of Red Sox of Boston. The Red Sox of Boston was also known by the names Old Town Team and The Bosox, which in other words is a portmanteau of Boston and Sox. The Cincinnati Reds is a major league Baseball team with the players placed in the Central Division of the National league.

The team was part of the Cincinnati Baseball Club formed in 1866 at a downtown law office. The club formed its own constitution and framed own by-laws. Its electing President was Alfred T Goshorn. After few years Goshorn received international fame when he became Director-General of the United States Centennial Exposition in 1876 in Philadelphia. The club organized the number of events for teams of the National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP) between 1867-1870 and was shaped by the Cininnati Ohio businessmen and English-born baseballplayer Harry Wright. It was the first Organization to bring about the rules and regulations of the American baseball.

When they had played four Matches in the summers of 18th century, Cincinnati joined NABBP for 1867 tournaments and signed an agreement to play for tournaments at the Union Cricket Club grounds. Soon after words, in April, new clubhouses were constructed and more enclosing fences came up. The members from both the clubs were given chance to prove their worth free.

When NABBP gave the sanction to make the baseball game professional, in 1869 Wright and George Ellard formed a fully professional team of ten players on salary for eight months, from March 15 to November 15. Wright occupied his position as a center field and played the role of coordinating the team defense.  His younger brother George Wright who was new to the team proved to be the best player. Their other star players were Fred Waterman, and pitcher Asa Brainard.

The club played their first match on 4th May, 1869 against Great Westerns of Cincinnati and won with  45-9. Then there was no looking back for the team and their winning spree continued. They won 57 games and that too against National Association club only. The Red Stockings played more than 70 games in the first season and that included other collegiate and amateur teams. In their final game on 6th November 1869, they gave a crushing defeat to the Mutuals of New York by 17-8.

For 1870 matches, the same team continued to take the club on victory spree. They won  24 games but eventually lost on 14th June while giving a dashing spirit against Brooklyn Alantics in Brooklyn by 8-7 in eleven innings. Those years were the brightest for the Red Stockings claiming to be one of the few strongest teams. They only lost six games, but slowly the old players started leaving, especially at home.

On 21st November 1871, The Executive Board under the Presidentship of A.P.C. Bonte recommended that the club now should not continue with just nine, as that had become too expensive for them, instead the club decided to bring forth amateur talent and therefore the club was disbanded. Harry Wright was appointed to form a new pro club in Boston whereby he signed three amateur players who joined the 1871 Boston Red Stockings in their first ever professional league. In 1880, the second Red Stockings team was expelled from the league because they were accused of violating the league rules of serving the beer to fans in the games, and also stopped on Sundays to rent their ballpark, the Bank Street Grounds. After they were expelled, the third team was formed and founded American Association and played the matches in 1882 for nine seasons and won pennat for the Association in 1882. Then due to some disputes the team became member of the stronger National League, and changed their nickname from Red stockings to Reds. By the end of the century Reds had stars like Sam Crawford and Cy Seymour. The nineteenth century proved to be disaster for Reds.

After lots of ups and downs, the year of 1970 was a boon for the Reds when  Geroge “Sparky” Anderson became the manager of the team. The team reached at the pinnacle of heights with yet another nick name, The Big Red Machine. On June 30, 1970, they entered the Riverfront Stadium on the shores of River Ohio, with 52,000 spectators to cheer them. This was the new birth for the Reds as in 1970s they won 70 out of the 100 games. Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Pete Rose, Lee May and Bobby Tolan were the soul of the team with their offensive approach and they gave the opposite team a good Knack. The others were Gary Nolan, Jim Merritt, Jim Maloney and Jim McGlothlin with pitchers like Tony Cloninger and Clay Carroll and youngsters like Wayne Simpson and Don Gullett. 1971 was not good for Reds but again in 1972, Reds won the NL West by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates. The fifth game in Cincinnati was the last major league game for Roberto Clemento of Pittzberg who after words played against the Oakland Athletics in the World Series.

            Again the year 1975, was the golden year for the Reds when they won 108 games and the NL West. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in three games and got the NL pennant. Their achievement was remarkable in the World Cup series when they had to face Boston Red Sox, which became the most memorable game in the history of Baseball. But the last four years of the Reds were the period of little turmoil for them, as their best players like Tony Pérez, Don Gullett, Pete Rose, Sparky Anderson, Gary Nolan and others had left the team. Though they managed to gain victory in the 1979 NL West and broke the previous records in 1981 yet they got second position and the banner of Baseball’s Best Record 1981 was placed just above their photograph, but in 1982, the Reds lost 100 games.

            The 1976 Cincinnati Reds led by manager Sparky Anderson, won the second straight World Series title by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees in the post season and finished 102-60. The machine included the second baseman like 1976 NL MVP Joe Morgan, outfielders George Foster, Ken Griffey, Cesar Geronimo, and third baseman Pete Rose and others like first baseman Tony Perez, shortstop Dave Concepcion, and catcher Johnny Bench who also won the World Series MVP award by batting .533 with two homers, a double, a triple, and six RBI’s against the Yankees. Bench also received ninth Gold Glove Award, which proved them as the great power and a great defensive catcher. (Anderson, 1976 Cincinnati Reds, Para3)

            In the nine years, the Cincinnati players got the average of 96.4 wins, from 1970-76 the Reds won five division titles, four league pennants, and the consecutive World Series. Their average was 98 wins for a winning percentage of .607 and between 1972-1976, the Reds’ winning percentage averaged .626 — or 100 a season. (Morgon, Cincinnati’s great eight, Para10).

             After 1976, the team witnessed some personal changes. The most popular of the players like Tony Perez was sent to Montreal which led to the break up of the starting line up of the Big Red Machine and starting pitcher Don Gullet also left via free agency and joined the New York Yankees. Yet after many prolonged disasters and turbulence witnessed by the team, the Cincinnati 1976 became a legend. On 15th June 1977, the Reds made their entry in the trading market when pitcher Tom Seaver was traded to the Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman. The Reds did not shy away even to trade Gary Nolan to the Angels for Craig Hendricksone, Rawly Eastwick to St. Louis for Doug Capilla and Mike Caldwell to Milwaukee for Dick O’ Keeffe and Garry Pyka, and got Rick Auerbach from Texas. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, The Machine Dismantled and “We Wuz Robbed!” Para 24)

             In 1976, The Cincinnati celebrated the 100th season of the National League’s along with N.L. clubs like St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburg Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Mets where they wore an old-fashioned pillbox-style cap for nostalgia events. Again 2006 brought a new beginning for the Reds when Robert Castellini became its owner and took over the charge of controlling the team from Carl Lindner. Castinelli promptly fired General Manager Dan O’Brien and Wayne Krivsky was appointed as the General Manager. When Wayne Krivsky took the charge, the first task he did was to exchange the young outfielder Wily Mo Pena to the Boston Red Fox for Pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

               In the opening day of 2006, President George W. Bush threw the ceremonial first pitch at a Reds game and he was the first sitting President to do this honor to the game. There is no doubt of the fact that still The Big Red Machine is the leader of the Baseball game. And not in December 2007, with all-red cap and a white wishbone C outlined in black and traditional jerseys, the baseball lovers will again see them in action and in the years to come.

WORKS CITED

  1. Leadbetter Greg, “1976 Cincinnati Reds” Internet Available:

             http://www.historicbaseball.com/teams/1976reds.html, April 29,2007

  1. Morgan Joe, “Cincinnati’s great eight” Internet Available:

             http://reds.enquirer.com/bigred/, April 29, 2007

  1. MySpace, “The Myspace of the Cincinnati Reds” Internet (2003-2007) Available:

             http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=29268485,

             April 29, 2007

  1. Schechter Gabriel, “30 Years Ago: The Big Red Machine Steamrolls the Opposition”

Internet (May 10, 2006) Available: http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/history/2006/060510.htm, April 29, 2007

  1. Wikipedia Encyclopedia, “Cincinnati Reds” Internet (Last Updated: 29 April 2007)

             Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_Reds, April 29, 2007

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