by Ray Bergman
Game 9 - Reds vs Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium
August 12, 1996The drive from Atlanta to Cincinnati and the Queen City was beautiful although it rained most of the way. The northern part of Georgia and Tennessee were were green with rolling mountains. It took us seven-and-a-half hours and we passed through the Smokey Mountains and traveled 450 miles. Our hotel room overlooks Riverfront Stadium and the Ohio skyline. The stadium is a circular, four deck stadium with an artificial grass surface. Some great baseball games have been played here but it just dosen't look right with phony grass. Inside the park it was very pleasant, in fact, the game time temperature was 72 degrees with very little humidity. This game had the best temperature and humidity conditions so far.
The Reds (I remember them as the Redlegs) currently play their home games in Riverfront Stadium. They used to play at Crosley field, where Joe Nuxhall, the youngest player ever to play in the Majors, pitched in his first game. Joe was not quite 16 years old in his major league debut.
Meanwhile, back in my hometown of New York in my younger days, my schoolyard gave me a different kind of "playing field." It was concrete. It had a short left field with a handball court bisecting it. Center field had a garden with plants growing, but left field was wide open and quite expansive. My father played ball with us kids every once in a while. I remember him hitting a ball over the left field fence and right through the bedroom window of the adjacent house. It was a ground rule double, a broken window and the end of that game, as we all took off.
BATTER UP! TIME FOR GAME 9.
The Reds started John Smiley against Ramon Martinez of the Dodgers. It sure is odd not to see Tommy Lasorda in the Dodgers dugout. Of course, since his retirement last month, the club has been in the capable hands of new manager Bill Russell. Mike Piazza homered in the first and the Dodgers were on their way to winning a close ball game. They added two more runs in the fourth. The Reds got one run back in their half of the fifth and the score stood at 3-1 Dodgers after 5. The Dodgers knocked Smiley out in the sixth and scored 3 more runs to extend their lead to 6-1. The Reds finally started to roll in the seventh. Thomas Howard hit a home run and they trailed by the count of 6-2. Antonio Osuna replaced Martinez in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth the Reds chased Osuna and brought on their closer Todd Worrel to clean up. Worrel was ineffective as the Reds scored three run to make it close, in fact they had the tying and go ahead runs aboard when the Reds' Kevin Mitchell grounded out to end the game.
See you at the ballgame.
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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.
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