Date of this Version
© 2014 by the Society for American Baseball Research Chapter 1, now substantially revised, originally appeared as “Bob Howsam” in Drama and Pride in the Gateway City: The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals, edited by John Harry Stahl and Bill Nowlin (University of Nebraska Press, 2013).
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 Pérez, Ken Griffey Sr., and Dave Concepción. 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.