Even though Major League Baseball including the Cincinnati Reds is yet to begin the 2020 campaign, Fox Sports Ohio is helping fill the void with memorable Reds telecasts from 2019 along with special games and moments from the past half century. Last Saturday I watched and thoroughly enjoyed Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s only career no-hitter from June 16, 1978. I was seeing that full game against the Cardinals for the first time.
Back in summertime 1978 I rarely missed a Friday Reds home game and I would have been there that night except for my brother’s wedding back in Sidney. I was informed of Seaver’s gem later during the reception. I had always wanted to see a no-hitter but had to wait until 1996 and a Rockies-Marlins game in Florida. That remains the only in-person no-no of my career as a major league baseball fan.
This replay was very well produced, and matched the video with Reds radio announcers Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall including Nuxhall’s legendary “Star of the Game” show which captured Seaver’s calm postgame demeanor. A few pertinent interviews from later years were sprinkled into the overall presentation along with many informative graphics. I got to hear how Seaver and his family enjoyed his Cincinnati years living near King’s Island, and learned that he had become the third pitcher from Fresno, California to toss a no-hitter for the Reds.
It was an interesting game which saw no hits by either side until the home fifth inning which included a two-run double by Pete Rose to give him a two game hitting streak. That’s worth mentioning since he would add 42 more to it.
“Tom Terrific” at his best was a dominating strikeout hurler with fine control but on this night struck out only three and walked that same number while inducing 15 ground ball outs, several of which resulted in close calls by umpire Paul Pryor at first base. The top plays of those 15 in the 4-0 victory were turned in by second baseman Joe Morgan and third base defensive replacement Ray Knight.
Don Werner was behind the plate for the highlight of his brief career. Werner was catching his 19th straight game while Johnny Bench nursed an ailing back.
I watched every pitch and actually got excited in the ninth inning even though it was 42 years later.
This Saturday evening I’ll record Johnny Bench’s final game as a catcher from 1983 when a sold-out Riverfront throng saluted his Hall of Fame career. I was there for Johnny Bench Night and am anxious to do it all over again.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross attended his first Reds game in 1958.