The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds

The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds

The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds

The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds


The 1975 Cincinnati Reds, also known as the "Big Red Machine," are not just one of the most memorable teams in baseball history--they are unforgettable. While the Reds dominated the National League from 1972 to 1976, it was the '75 team that surpassed them all, winning 108 games and beating the Boston Red Sox in a thrilling 7-game World Series. Led by Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, the team's roster included other legends such as Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey Sr., and Dave Concepcion. The 1975 Reds were notably disciplined and clean-cut, which distinguished them from the increasingly individualistic players of the day.
The Great Eight commemorates the people and events surrounding this outstanding baseball team with essays on team management and key aspects and highlights of the season, including Pete Rose's famous position change. This volume gives Reds fans complete biographies of all the team's players, relives the enthralling 1975 season, and celebrates a team that is consistently ranked as one of the best teams in baseball history.


Mark Armour

When sabr and the University of Nebraska Press agreed to create a Memorable Teams in Baseball History series, one of the first clubs I thought of was the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. Baseball historians have not neglected this team and season, but the stories of the people who made up or led this team have started to fade. Two of the most famous members of the club—Joe Morgan and Pete Rose—have been in the news regularly since they stopped playing, but usually for nothing related to their extraordinary playing careers.

The Reds were quite a team. Besides Morgan and Rose, they also featured Johnny Bench, perhaps the biggest star in the game at the time, behind the plate; Tony Pérez, the veteran leader and a star in his own right; young players like George Foster, Don Gullett, Ken Griffey, and Dave Concepción, excellent players destined to be overshadowed; and the peerless Sparky Anderson managing in the dugout. the Great Eight, the title of this book, comes from the wonderful starting-position players on this club: Bench, Pérez, Morgan, Concepción, Rose, Foster, César Gerónimo, and Griffey. This may have been history’s best starting lineup, but the team was even better than that.

Most of this team had been together for the previous few years, and the team had been a favorite to win the World Series more than once but had thus far come up short. This book is a celebration of that great Reds team and the men who played the game so well. Many readers will remember the big events described here, but the stories of how each of these men was prepared for this season, and what came after, will likely be new to all of you.

Putting together such a book took the efforts of many dedicated baseball researchers. I want to thank especially two people who read every word in the book: Russ Lake, our tireless fact-checker, and Len Levin, who reviewed and edited the manuscript from start to finish. the book is so much better for their efforts. the writers not only put together these interesting stories but also had to keep to a schedule and to respond to many queries as the book was nearing completion. I thank all of them for their professionalism.

Enjoy reliving 1975, the year the Big Red Machine finally took home the ultimate prize.

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