By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
In 1961 the Reds met the Yankees in the World series. The Yankees were filled with stars such as Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle. They were already a storied program going into 1961. That was 62 years ago. The Reds had Frank Robinson. Cincinnati had a few stars, but the Yankees had a team of stars. When all was said and done New York bested Cincinnati 4 games to 1.
Fifteen years later it was payback time. This time it was the Reds with a galaxy of stars and future hall of famers. Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, and Pete Rose filled out the Reds roster. Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine was determined to change the fate. This time Mantle, Ford and Berra wouldn’t be anywhere around to try and stop this new Big Red Machine. The Reds showed New York absolutely no mercy.
Cincinnati would go on to sweep the World Series 4-0 for their second straight title and cement themselves in the conversation as one of the greatest teams of all times.
Oh how times have changed in the game of baseball. Stadiums are not named after counties. Whomever is willing to write the biggest paycheck gets the naming rights of the stadium. Inter-league play, pitch clocks, and 30 plus million dollar players dominate the scene in current times.
The two teams got together for a big weekend series this past weekend. No, the world championship wasn’t at stake. This time it was just bragging rights to defeat MLB’s most famous. The results were nothing to brag about, if you were a fan of Cincinnati. Cincinnati was swept by 40-million-dollar-per-year recipient Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. The series was easily the most attended Reds series of the season. The Reds were simply overwhelmed by a team with nearly four times their own payroll. New York swept the series 6-2, 7-4, and 4-1.
Though the Reds were on the losing end, at least one weekend of nostalgia and history took the forefront and left results behind. The oldest franchise verses the most storied franchise. Who knows if the two teams will ever meet in another World Series.
With the Reds being swept they are currently in last place. The team will have a chance to make up some ground this week, but will have to do it against one of the leagues current hottest teams in the St. Louis Cardinals.
Times have changed in baseball and games may never have the importance of those in the past. But for one weekend fans weren’t watching Senzel, Greene, Judge and Rizzo. They were watching those players thinking about some of the greats that wore the uniform of the past.