I recently saw a 1973 photo of Cincinnati Red Pete Rose in a new AMC Pacer, an infamous model of that era and not exactly an appropriate reward for being named Sport Magazine National League MVP. Baseball’s all-time “hit king” was known for driving fancy and expensive cars, and this one did not qualify on either count.

I shared that photo and story with 1965 Sidney grad Nancy Olson who was a longtime employee of the Florida Marlins. She then shared with former Marlins (1993-2001) and Reds (1972-92) trainer Larry Starr who had his own Rose-car story. Olson and Starr later worked together at Nova Southeastern University in the Miami area, cementing a strong friendship.

Near the end of the 1985 season, the Reds honored Rose for breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time major league hit total. One of his gifts was a new Chevrolet from one of the dealerships owned by Reds matriarch Marge Schott. The car was driven onto the field and Pete was given the keys.

When he returned to the dugout after the ceremony, Rose tossed the keys to the longtime Reds trainer. “Here ‘Pee Wee,’ it’s all yours,” said the Cincinnati player-manager. Larry Starr had a new car. “See the USA in a Chevrolet…”

1978 road trip

One January Wednesday night in 1978, I set out to see a basketball game at Urbana College. I planned to spend the night, then return to Sidney the following morning. I actually got home on Sunday due to the fabled blizzard of 1978.

While this mega-event caused much inconvenience and misfortune, we had it pretty good in a dormitory that never lost power and had food service. Luckily, I had plenty of clean clothes with me. Playing cards and watching TV with good friends filled the time. TV stations that normally went off the air by 1:00 a.m. stayed on all night. So did we.

Elmore WLW

2013 Sidney High grad Austin Elmore is getting more and more exposure on 700 WLW and its sister operations in Cincinnati. A former summer intern for this newspaper while studying at Northern Kentucky, he’s a sports announcer/host and producer who logs much weekend radio time. As I’ve said here before, the former Sidney footballer and high school employee of Menards and Perkins sounds good.

Good then bad

The Cincinnati Reds looked solid in winning their opening game last month…..The 1992 Cincinnati Bengals won the first two outings of the David Shula era as head coach. Both were false omens.

Doc Staley

1934 Sidney HS grad Huber “Doc” Staley was well known for generations as an OHSAA football, basketball, and baseball official. He often cast himself as the ultimate supreme judge and jury of the games he worked. Doc once ejected a player who then continued to complain. Staley quickly announced that the player was “barred from organized sports for the rest of his life.”


Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross joined the local sports media in 1975, is a Past President of the Ohio Sportscasters Association, and remains the senior member of the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee.