By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wishing the Cincinnati Reds would put those black City Connect uniforms in a bag with a bunch of mothballs and leave them there.
—REAL ROAD WARRIORS: Anthony Daniel Conaway researched the 12-game winning streak put together by the 1957 Cincinnati Reds and came up with a stunning nugget.
All 12 wins came on the road. After losing the last game of a homestand in Crosley Field, the
Reds won every game of a 12-game trip to Shlibe Park in Philadelphia, to the Polo Grounds in New York, to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh and to Wrigley Field in Chicago. Only Wrigley Field is now not a parking lot.
Then the Reds returned home and lost the first game. They should have worn their road uniforms.
The ’57 Reds (80-74) finished fourth in the eight-team National League, 15 games behind the Milwaukee Braves.
That’s also the year Cincinnati fans stuffed the boxes with paper ballots and voted seven Reds to the All-Star game starting lineup.
But commissioner Ford Frick stepped in and replaced outfielders Gus Bell and Wally Post, along with first baseman Geroge Crowe, with some guys named Willie Mays, Henry Aaron and Stan Musial.
He should have left it along. The American League won, 6-5.
And he took away voting by the fans, which wasn’t returned until 1970.
—MEASURING UP: The Atlanta Braves franchise is where the Cincinnati Reds want to be, it’s where every MLB franchise wants to be.
With their recent success, the Reds have anointed themselves as America’s Team. Good for them, good for their confidence, if isn’t a bit audacious. The Braves, as American as hot dogs and cheeseburgers, are pretty close to being America’s Team.
Whatever the case, the Braves and Reds have at it this weekend and many consider it a measuring stick for the first-place Reds (National League Central). Are they on the same plateau as the first-place Braves (National League East)?
The Reds have won 11 straight. The Braves have won eight straight. The Reds are 14-5 in June. The Braves are 14-3 in June.
No matter the outcome of the three-game series, the Reds are still a few steps below the Braves, but they are working their way up and suddenly they are running up those steps instead of taking them one step at a time.
—CINCINELLY REDS?: MLB-TV asked viewers to come up with a nickname for the suddenly attention-grabbing Reds. They liked somebody’s suggestion that they are the CincinElly Reds.
Clever and funny, but why put pressure on Elly De La Cruz? Yes, he runs the bases like a guy fleeing a five-alarm fire, has the power of Duke Energy and the arm of George Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Delaware.
But he is in the infancy of his career and is in the process of learning and making adjustments. Remember Aristides Aquino, the Second Coming of Babe Ruth? He didn’t even turn out to be Babe Dahlgren.
That isn’t to say De La Cruz could be Aquino. It appears De La Cruz has his head screwed on straight and the talent gushes out of him like an onrushing tsunami. But give the kid a chance to breathe.
—WAITE A MINUTE: In his early days of broadcastiing, Cinciinnati Reds icon Waite Hoyt had an uncontrolled drinking problem. To his credit, he checked into a hospital and eventuallly joined Alcoholics Anonynous and didn’t touch a drop for the rest of his life.
When he checked into the hospital, they protected him during his 10 weeks of absence from the radio booth by saying he had amnesia.
His former teammate with the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth, sent Hoyt a telegram that said, “Read about your case of amnesia. Must a new brand.”
—LONG MEMORIES: Fans have not forgotten nor forgiven players from the 2017 Houston Astros who were involved in the sign-stealing scandal. They still boo them.
And apparently some players have elephantine memories, too. Chicago White Sox pitcher Keynon Middleton struck out Minnesota’s Carlos Correa, who played for the ’17 Astros.
After the game, Middleton said, “I don’t like him, so it was kind of cool. I like that. I enjoyed that a lot. I mean, he’s a cheater.”
—TIN SOLDIERS: What’s all the excitement about the Cincinnati Reds possibly winning the National League Central to have a chance at winning the World Series?
Didn’t baseball commissioner Rob Manfred once call the World Series trophy, “Just a piece of tin?”
OK, just call the Reds a bunch of tin soldiers because that’s one piece of tin they covet.
And remember when they couldn’t find the Reds’ 1990 World Series trophy? Turns out owner Marge Schott had it in her living room, probably propping open a door.
—ZEROS AND MORE ZEROS: Did you watch that baseball game Thursday that was tied, 0-0, after nine innings and went extra innings?
No, I don’t mean the Altlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, which was 0-0 after nine and the Braves won in 10, 5-1.
I’m referring to an even better game. It was the College World Series and No. 1 seed Wake Forest and No. 5 seed LSU played for the right to meet Florida in the finals.
It was 0-0 after nine and went into the 11th inning when LSU’s Tommy White hit a two-run walk-off home run for a 2-0 victory.
It was pitching, pitching, pitching. The two starters were nearly invincible LSU’s Paul Skenes pitched eight shutout innings on two hits and nine strikeouts. Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder pitched seven shutout innings on three hits and six strikeouts.
Both LSU’s football and basketball programs were hit recently with recruiting and other violations. Let’s hope the baseball program has kept its dugout free of scandal.
—ABOUT NUXY: If you haven’t picked one up yet, do yourself a favor and purchase John Kiesewetter’s excellent tome: Joe Nuxhall: The Old Lefthander And Me.”
Copies are obtainable from Amazon, the Reds Hall of Fame and www.tvkiese.com. It’s an easy and enjoyable ride with Kiesewetter through his days with his friend Nuxy.
So far, close to 5,000 copies have been sold.