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Reds vs Pirates Notes

September 27, 2013

It is virtually certain that the Cincinnati Reds will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one game “play in ” game on Tuesday October 1st.

The site of the game will be determined this weekend as the winner of a 3 game series between the two clubs in Cincinnati, will host the playoff game.

The Pirates lead the Reds by one game but Cincinnati holds the tiebreaker. Hence if they win 2 or more games this weekend, the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati clash will be in “The Queen City” of Cincinnati.

These two teams have staged some memorable games, particularly in the 1970’s, when they met four times in the NLCS.

Those series determined a berth in the World Series. The winner was to be one of two teams left. This year the winner will be one of eight teams still competing for the title. That is quite a difference.

The Reds won 3 of the 4 NLCS battles and three of the four series resulted in three game sweeps. The Reds swept in 1970 and 1975 while the Pirates swept the Reds in 1979.

The most memorable series was in 1972 when the Reds rallied in the fifth and deciding game to win the series and the pennant.

The great Reds’ catcher, John Bench hit a game tying, leadoff home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game.

The home run sailed over the head of the great Pirates’ outfielder, Roberto Clemente. Essentially, it was the last time the public saw Mr. Clemente, who died tragically on the last day of that year on his way to aiding earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Oh do I recall the great hitters on both teams during the glorious 1960’s and 1970’s!

There was a great game between the two teams in 1966 that I read about yesterday in an old Sporting News Baseball Guide, sadly the only one I still possess.

The game was won by the Pirates by a score of (14-11) in 13 innings despite the exploits of future, 1969 World’s Champion New York Mets player, Art Shamsky, then with the Reds.

He entered the game played on August 12,1966, in Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, as a defensive maneuver in the top of the eighth inning. His two run homer in the bottom of the frame put Cincinnati up (8-7) going to the top of the 9th inning.

However, the Pirates tied the game and twice took leads in extra innings only to see Shamsky tie the game both times, first with a solo homer in the 10th and then with a two run shot in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Maybe there will be a great game this Tuesday. Surely these two clubs in the ’60’s and ’70’s provided some great thrills, each with a roster that featured some incredible talent.

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