A history of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds baseball team by Joe Posnanski< read all 3 reviews
Fortunately for me and everyone else on Earth...this is an AWESOME book...and not only because it has the longest subtitle ever in the history of books!
The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series - The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds by Joe Posnanski is a wonderful look at that super famous 1975 season. All baseball fans are at least marginally aware of that season...and practically everyone knows what happened in Game Six of the World Series, even if only from watching Good Will Hunting. What most people don't know however, is pretty much everything else that happened in 1975.
Posnanski does a fantastic job of making you feel like you are experiencing that season while you read it (which is excellent for Reds fans right now...at least we can read about a Cincinnati team winning. Posnanski is a baseball writer (currently working for Sports Illustrated), so he certainly is able to describe the action very well. But I think this book was far more about the people involved...and what 1975 did to them
The Big Red Machine was a team put together of superstars. Having Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez on the same team was a miracle back then...and would be impossible now in the age of free agency. Reading about how those guys (and the other players...Griffey, Geronimo, Concepcion, and Foster) interacted with each other and all of the "inside" stories that I had not heard before was great. The contrast of personalities in that locker room must have been completely overwhelming to any newcomer.
Quick aside regarding Pete Rose - Being a Cincinnatian means a number of things. Near the top of that list is the requirement of your belief that Pete Rose never bet on baseball (even though he admitted it) and belongs in the Hall of Fame. It also requires that you ignore the fact that he is known as being pretty sleazy and spent time in prison for tax evasion. We let other cities worry about that stuff...here in Cincinnati he would get a standing ovation even if he got arrested for skinny dipping in the Tyler Davidson fountain. Which is probably not that far fetched now that I think about it.
Anyway - if you are a baseball fan, I DEMAND that you go to amazon.com and buy this book immediately. If you grew up in Cincinnati in the 1970's and remember this baseball team...I DEMAND that you buy this book. You will love the writing and will love the book. It certainly would make a great gift for any Reds fan. If you do not like baseball at all...then you probably wouldn't be very interested in this story. We also likely could not be friends.
By the way - SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! - The Reds win the World Series in 7 games!
Rating: 19.3 out of 5
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There are memorable teams in baseball—and then there are utterly unforgettable teams like the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. From 1972 to 1976, the franchise known as the Big Red Machine dominated the National League, winning four division crowns, three league pennants, and two World Series titles. But their 1975 season has become the stuff of sports legend.
In The Machine, award-winning sports columnist Joe Posnanski captures all of the passion and tension, drama and glory of this extraordinary team considered to be one of the greatest ever to take the field. Helmed by Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, the lineup for the '75 Reds is a Who's Who of baseball stars: Pete Rose, Ken Griffey, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster, Cesar Geronimo, and Dave Concepcion. Like a well-oiled engine, the '75 Reds ended the regular season with 108 wins and finished a whopping 20 games ahead of their closest division competitor, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But that remarkable year was not without controversy. Feuds, fights, insults, and run-ins with fans were as much a part of the season as hits, runs, steals, and strikeouts. Capturing this rollicking thrill-ride of a story, Posnanski brings to vivid life the excitement, hope, and high expectations that surrounded the players from the beginning of spring training through the long summer and into a nail-biting World Series, where, in the ninth inning of the seventh game, the Big Red Machine fulfilled its destiny, ...