In 1968, Johnny Bench was a 20-year-old rookie embarking on his first full Major League season with the Cincinnati Reds. He was also the Reds starting catcher, an All-Star, and the National League Rookie of the Year. And he was one other thing as well: the foundation for one of the greatest teams ever assembled in Major League history – the Big Red Machine.
Bench’s Major League journey lasted 17 seasons – all in Cincinnati – and earned him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of the game’s greatest legends. But when talking about the legendary Reds teams of the 1970s, it was Bench who said, “The Big Red Machine teams will never be forgotten … They’ll be remembered because of the professionals they had, the character they had, the skill they had. Those teams were a symbol of what baseball really should be.”
The professionals included Tony Perez and Pete Rose, who were already on the club when Bench burst on the scene in 1968, and then one by one the rest of the pieces fell into place: manager Sparky Anderson (1970), followed by Dave Concepcion and George Foster (1971), Joe Morgan and Cesar Geronimo (1972), and Ken Griffey (1973).
In 1975, with all the pieces firmly in place, the Reds were World Champions.
In 1976, the Reds defended their title and became a dynasty.
This is a book of history and trivia that covers all eras of Reds baseball – but it is also a tribute to the legacy of Sparky Anderson and the professionals who made up the Big Red Machine.
Think you know everything about Reds baseball? Think again.
With ten chapters and 200 brand new trivia questions to challenge fans of all ages and skill levels, it’s time to find out how smart you really are about the Cincinnati Reds. Each chapter profiles a member of the Big Red Machine and then offers 20 brand new exciting and challenging trivia questions.
And we’re keeping score … so test your skills, wrack your brain, and get ready for the ultimate Cincinnati Reds IQ test!
FROM THE INTRODUCTION
I have a Cincinnati Reds 1978 Yearbook Magazine that my dad paid $1.50 for at a Spring Training game in Tampa, FL. Pete Rose is on the cover with the caption “Pete Rose and the 3,000 Hit Club” and inside the magazine is an article on his quest to reach 3,000 hits (he began the season needing just 34 to become only the 13th player in history to reach that plateau). It also discusses his goal to become the National League’s all-time hits leader … no mention of the MLB record Rose would later eclipse.
On page 7 is a great picture of Tom Seaver – and lucky for me, mine is autographed. Same with the picture of Paul Moskau on page 13, George Foster on page 17, and Davey Concepción on page 25.
It’s a great souvenir that brings back a lot of memories – and thanks to Spring Training, Cincinnati was my “first” team.
Later, my first regular season major league game was Atlanta vs. Cincinnati and my favorite player, Johnny Bench, hit a grand slam.
After writing or collaborating on more than two dozen baseball history and trivia books, I’m glad I finally have the opportunity to write about and pay tribute to one of baseball’s great franchises, and the one that helped instill my lifelong love for the game when I was just a kid.
Sparky Anderson wasn’t just my favorite manager … he was my mom’s favorite manager.
And in our backyard wiffle ball games, my brothers and I stood at the plate and imitated the batting stances of Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Tony Pérez, and Johnny Bench.
We even practiced flapping our back elbows like Joe Morgan as we tried to imagine what it was like to be a two-time MVP, a World Series hero, and a two-time World Champion … in back-to-back seasons.
We worked hard to be like the guys on the mound, too. Our favorite was Tom Seaver, of course. If you didn’t hit dirt with your right knee when you shoved off the mound, well … then you just didn’t have what it took to be like Tom Terrific.
Later it was Mario Soto, and later still it was Jose Rijo … but no matter what the year, the team was always the Cincinnati Reds. I hope this book brings back many great baseball memories for you, just as it did for me.
This is a book of history and trivia that covers all eras of Reds baseball – however, to honor the legacy of Sparky Anderson and the Big Red Machine, we have chosen to introduce each chapter of questions with a profile of one of the players from that extraordinary era … but we’ll begin with the man who led them: Sparky Anderson.
Now sit back, challenge yourself, and enjoy.
PRAISE FOR CINCINNATI REDS IQ
“An energetic, and unique, romp through Reds history. More than anything, ‘Cincinnati Reds IQ’ is FUN. A must-read for all loyal citizens of Redleg Nation.”
– Chad Dotson, RedlegNation.com
“This book is a home run! It’s a must have for all Reds fans. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.”
– Lance McAlister, Host, 700 WLW/ESPN 1530, Cincinnati
“Cincinnati is one of baseball’s most beloved teams and this book is the definitive source of trivia from every era in franchise history – it is sure to be loved by fans of all ages.”
– Daniel J. Brush, award-winning author of the Sports by the Numbers Series
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