We’ve mentioned so many times leading up to this day; that the wait has been 15 years. It was October 14th, 1995 the last time the Reds played a game this big in the national eye. Pete Schourek started that night. It was in a stadium that’s no longer standing, and I watched that game at my grandparents house who are no longer living, in a house that is no longer obviously owned by them.
And all that remains through the test of time from my life in that era are the memories.
I remember the 1990 and 1995 Reds. I would fit 1999 in there ever so slightly; but the 1991-1994 Reds as well as the 1996 to 2009 Reds pretty much run together to me with a few sweet memories that I thought was big thrown in there from year to year.
Looking back, none of that meant anything. Not when you compare it to today. Now, this; this is big. Truly big. Ken Rosenthal is in our clubhouse to write about this series big. Guys are going to have to learn our names big. My girlfriend will forgive me if I break stuff and don’t talk to a lot to any guests coming over this weekend if-we-lose big.
I look back at all the years gone by and realize a few things. One, I made it. I’m big on the fact that even at age 27, life isn’t guaranteed to anyone. The fact that I’m alive today and the sun is shining and my boys are playing in the playoffs means a lot to me. I’m thankful, and I’m not foolish enough to think that it’s a promise that I’ll be around to see the next decade of playoff runs although some would say it’s likely. Life is fragile, and barring something unforeseen I’ve made it for now.
Another thing I think about is nothing remains the same in my life since the last time the Reds played in this big of a game. I believe that this is the best team since the 1990 Reds who were the cause of me falling in love with this sport. Family members have passed on, and the relationships with the living aren’t the same as they were. Friends have came and gone, relationships have came and gone; my own career began and ended. Dreams, goals, jobs, vehicles, illnesses, health, all runs that came and ended in the vast amount of time that have passed since we were last here. I think it’s in perspective. But somehow in all that time I never let my allegiance become a change that would be listed here.
While I piggy-backed off those mid-90’s Cleveland Indians, the Reds were who I was falling asleep to on 700WLW every night. Even when they were allowing “Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten” to slam four home runs in the same game off our pitching staff. I was listening to Marty that night, tucked in early. I listened to the whole thing.
The Reds were always a constant in my life, even if they weren’t that memorable to the outsider fan or to even me at times. They were there and important to me. That’s how being a fan goes. I can’t say the same thing about any other sport. But I never lost interest in the Reds.
This postseason is the chance for the Reds to become part of my ‘forever’. Something that I’ll never forget. Something I lived so long to see. When we started this blog, these were the times I could only dream about writing on. Now they’re here.
These Reds will already be remembered; but we’re talking about the kinds of things that become part of forever with the ripple effect echoing into your grandchildren’s years; for as long as you exist.
That’s how big this really is.