July 2006

Living History: Nuxhall and Franco

Sixty-two years ago, a 15-year-old youngster from Hamilton, Ohio, became the youngest participant in a modern Major League game.  For all of Joe Nuxhall’s incredible contributions to the game of baseball, and for all he’s meant to the Reds and their fans, 100 years from now, Joe’s youthful debut will be the thing that keeps him in the history books (if they’re still using books then…LOL).  He will forever be the youngest player in big-league history.

Thirty-eight years after Joe’s debut, Julio Franco, born far from Hamilton in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic, made his Major League debut.  But it isn’t Franco’s debut that is historic — it’s what he did earlier this season.  The Mets first baseman, pinch hitter and ageless role model, hit a home run on April 20, 2006, at the age of 47 years and 240 days to become the oldest player to homer in a Major League game.  He’ll turn 48 on Aug. 23. Amazingly, he signed a TWO-year contract with the Mets before this season, so he’ll be a Met until he’s at least 49.  He hopes to play until he’s 50.

When the Mets were recently at Great American Ball Park, I thought it would be neat, and somewhat historic, to photograph the youngest player in history with the oldest man to hit a home run.  The irony, of course, is the younger man in the photo is the oldest to homer.  The older man in the photo is the youngest player ever, but you get the idea.

So here are a few shots, including a head-to-toe shot that can be downloaded for you to keep as an 8-by-10 piece of history.  Julio Franco and Joe Nuxhall.  Yet another piece of history in the birthplace of professional baseball:

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Franco would like to play till he’s 50. One of his teammates said he could probably play till he’s 55 (and still look like he’s 35). Here he is taking batting practice (for probably the 40,000th time…)

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Franco says he likes the NL, and enjoys playing defense.  He even feels he could still play in the field every day.

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TO SEE A LARGER VERSION
Click on the image to the left, which will open a new window.

TO DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE VERSION:
– Right click on this link
– Choose "Save Target As"
– Save the file to a location of your choice
– You now have a high-resolution 8×10 digital copy of this photograph. Feel free to print on your personal photo printer, or take it to your favorite photo center to have a copy made.

Mother of All Blog Entries: Part 2

After the All-Star break and a very busy weekend that included a luncheon honoring 700WLW V.P. of Sports Marketing Tom Horan, the Rosie Reds? luncheon/fashion show and the wonderful Reds Hall of Fame induction weekend, it’s time for another MOTHER OF ALL BLOG ENTRIES (part 2):

First of all, it was great working with Joe over the weekend, and great to have Marty back "tanned, rested and ready."  What follows is a collection of photos from the Reds Hall of Fame pregame induction ceremonies (courtesy of Dann Stupp and team photographer Greg Rust). We?ll have photos of Sunday?s formal induction banquet later this week.

I?ve also included photos from Turner Field and Miller Park (like Hank Aaron and the Braves, we made the trek from Milwaukee to Atlanta last week, both enjoyable cities and ballparks).

Tom Horan, by the way, is the man who Marty’s talking to when you occasionally hear him say on the air "Hey Daddy."  As the sales guru and the longest-tenured employee at 700WLW, he is, indeed, "Daddy," and a huge Reds fan, who?s at Great American Ball Park schmoozing with clients in the WLW Founders Suite almost every night.

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Reds HOF Director Greg Rhodes kicked off the pregame ceremonies on Sunday.

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Marty served as emcee for the festivities.

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(L to R) Tom Seaver, Lee May and Tom Browning are the 69th, 70th and 71st members of the Reds HOF. (Browning claimed to be the best-dressed.)

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"The Big Bopper" Lee May led the Reds in homers three times and hit 147 for the club (and 354 for his career).

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"Mr. Perfect" Tom Browning, the owner of Cincinnati’s only perfect game, went 123-88 for the Reds and won 20 games as a rookie in 1985.

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"Tom Terrific" Tom Seaver, a National Baseball Hall of Famer, went 75-46 for the Reds and pitched his only no-hitter while he was with Cincinnati.

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The trio’s plaques are now on display in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

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Dozens of other Reds Hall of Famers (including Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion and George Foster) were in town for the weekend.

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Jerry Narron meets Eleanor Kluszewski (representing Ted Kluszewski) and Joyce Bell Dolle (representing Gus Bell).

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Ken Griffey Jr. meets with Griffey Sr. and Lee May.

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Now onto pictures from Miller Park during our road trip July 3-5. Here’s one from our booth.

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Looking left.

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Looking right.

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Marty with our main man WTMJ’s (and Cincinnati’s own) Bill Michaels. The Elder H.S. alum is also known as "Mr. Free Golf."

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Ben Sheets (working to come off the DL), pitching in a simulated game before the Reds played the Brewers.

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A shot of the massive roof at Miller Park.

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Here’s a shot of our booth (with Marty). As usual, we have the best seats in the house.

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Marty with former Reds employee Mike Vassallo, now the Brewers’ P.R. Czar.

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The Sausage Race is just underway.

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And down the stretch they come!!

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"The Godfather" Marc Lancaster joins Mikey V’s campaign to get Chris Capuano voted onto the NL All-Star team.

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Hall of Famer, Brewers broadcaster and actor Bob Uecker with partner Jim Powell.

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Among the Brewers retired numbers: Yount, Molitor and Uecker (50 years in baseball).

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Exterior of Miller Park.

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Hank Aaron statue in front of Miller Park.

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The plaque below the statue (click on the photo to read it).

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It’s Packers Country, and, yes, fans even tailgate before baseball games.

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Next to Miller Park, in the exact spot where County Stadium was, sits Helfair Field, a Little League jewel, as well as a kids play area.

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Three construction workers were killed during the building of Miller Park. They are honored in front of the facility.

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Bernie Brewer takes a dive down the famous Miller Park slide.

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And now onto Turner Field.

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Looking left.

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Looking right.

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How did this get in here?!?

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(Braves announcers) Skip (Caray) and Pete’s (Van Weiren) Hall of Fame BBQ at the entrance to Turner Field.

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"Tooner Field," a kids play area courtesy of corporate cousin Cartoon Network.

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Inside "Tooner Field" kids playing ball.

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Fans can watch the game from the Budweiser Pavillion (top) or the Chop House restaurant (bottom).

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Remembering "The Launching Pad," Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Braves’ home from 1966-1996.

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The most famous Brave.

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Quite a collection of pennants the Braves display in left field.

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Chris Welsh interviews "Everyday" Eddie Guardado in Atlanta before the game.

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Chipper Jones taking BP, on display on MLB’s most incredible video board (eight stories tall!).

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Turner Field from our broadcast booth.

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"Tom Horan (aka "Daddy") with his wife, Sheila, at a luncheon honoring his 35 years at WLW.

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Arroyo an All-Star

060703arroyo_1Congratulations to Bronson Arroyo on his first All-Star selection. Check out the story on reds.com to read about it.

From Mark Sheldon’s column…

"Since I’ve been in this uniform, everything has played out nicely," said Arroyo, who named to the team in a players’ vote. "Starting off as hot as I have and us being in contention like we are as a team no one expected to be here, for me to make the All-Star team was something I never expected."