The Reds family has seen a few within its “family” pass on during 2012. I’ve read and heard the following many a time: Once a Red, always a Red.
While we have the holidays to spend together as family, let’s not forget those that have served the Reds in some capacity. If I am leaving anyone out, please feel free to leave me a note in the comments and I will add to this.
Ryan Freel, 3B/OF
Freel is the most recent. His untimely death was certainly a shock to all Reds fans and the Reds family. He will be known as a guy who left it all out on the field, game in, game out. His constant hustle and scrappy nature led to Freel becoming a fan favorite. In some aspects, he sort of reminded me of Pete Rose.
Back in 2005, Freel authored a piece (along with Dennis Tuttle) on ESPN.com titled “I’ll Play Anywhere, Anytime”. All you had to do was read the first couple of lines from that article, and you became a Freel fan.
Guys like me, Scott Podsednik and David Eckstein never take one game for granted. We always feel like we have to do something extra to belong.
Freel would actual put that title to use. During his days in a Reds uniform, he would play five different positions: second base, third base and all three outfield spots.
With his death as well as those of other former athletes who take their own lives: Are sports teams and leagues doing enough in the way of studies on concussions?
Freel’s Reds career…
|CIN (6 yrs)||544||2147||1873||294||509||97||17||22||114||140||47||210||323||.272||.357||.377||.734|
Frank Pastore, P
Pastore was involved in a motorcycle crash which would lead to his life being taken. After his departure from baseball, Pastore would go back to school and earn a degree in theology and political science. He became an author and later, would join KKLA to became one of America’s most listened to Christian radio talk show hosts.
Kind of eerie listening to this, but Pastore hinted at something from this broadcast (via KKLA’s website)
Pastore’s numbers as a Red…
|CIN (7 yrs)||45||57||4.30||187||138||22||7||4||937.0||975||479||448||76||277||523||1.336|
Pedro Borbon, P
Cancer eventually took its toll on Borbon. He was known for three things: two he had everything to do with, the other, not so much. The first involved a scene at Shea Stadium, former home of the New York Mets. The game is more noted for the scuffle between Pete Rose and Bud Harrelson. Borbon would add a little to the fray as he and Buzz Capra would get into a fight. After he air had settled, Borbon places a cap on his head. IT wasn’t his and it was a Mets cap. When Borbon realized the error, he ripped the cap apart…with his teeth.
Another event with Borbon may be more lore. It has been said that upon hearing the Reds had traded him, he placed a voodoo curse upon the organization. Later, Borbon confessed it was all a tale and nothing more.
But those outside of Cincinnati hear “Pedro Borbon” and might think of this…
Here’s what Borbon posted in a Reds uni…
|CIN (10 yrs)||62||33||3.32||531||76||920.2||970||367||340||48||217||359||1.289|
Jerry Lynch, left fielder
Lynch played for the Reds for six-plus seasons. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in May of 1963. During his Reds career, Lynch finished 22nd in the 1961 MVP vote. In that season, he complied a triple slash of .315/.407/.624 with 13 HR and 50 RBI. Lynch was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1988.
|CIN (7 yrs)||640||1727||1583||220||457||79||17||70||282||8||9||121||215||.289||.339||.493||.832|
Champ Summers, outfielder and first baseman
Summers played for the Reds from 1977-1979. He came to the Reds in a trade from the Chicago Cubs. During his time in a Reds uniform, Summers played in 99 games.
Jimmy Stewart, utility
I mean no disrespect when I refer to Stewart as a utility player. During his days as a Red from 1969-1971, Stewart played every defensive position with the exception of pitcher. He even played catcher for two-thirds of an inning in 1970.
George Strike, owner
Strike was known as first and foremost, a fan, but he made his mark in Cincinnati as a local business titan (as stated by Cliff Peale of Cincinnati.com). Strike was a member of the group led by Carl Lindner which bought the Reds from Marge Schott. Strike was also a former UC Board Chair also served on the University Hospital board, the old Health Alliance board, and was the chairman of the board of UC Health. Less than three weeks before his passing, Strike was presented with President’s Award for Excellence from then-interim president of UC Santa Ono.
Mrs. Louise Nippert, owner
Nippert and her husband Louis were owners of the Reds during the days of the Big Red Machine. They purchased majority control of the team in 1973, but Nippert contributed so much more than merely being an owner. She was also highly involved within Cincinnati’s art scene and donated $85 million to maintain the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
The Nipperts sold their majority share in 1981, but still maintained at least a minority stake in the team until Mrs. Nippert left us at the age of 100.