Big Red Machine alum Joe Morgan poses with his sculpture that was unveiled outside Great American Ball Park on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI - The Tri-State is home to many fascinating facts, offbeat oddities, and "I did not know that," moments. With that in mind, WCPO asks "Who Knew?"
It's almost painful to think about: What if the Reds of the early 1970s had thrown in the towel? What if any single one of the "Great Eight" had packed it in?
WATCH Baseball's Best Moments: The Big Red Machine
Remember the "Great Eight?
Ken Griffey, Sr.
Become a WCPO Insider to hear how the team almost didn't play ball.
With baseball season in full swing, Cincinnatians--dare we say it--of a certain age can’t help but reminisce about the heyday of the Reds during the 1970s.
That's when a series of games made history. Still few know our beloved Big Red Machine of iconic players almost broke up before it became a legend.
Q&A with Chris Eckes of the RHOF?
1. When did the Big Red Machine first consider dismantling and why?
The Big Red Machine might have been dismantled as early as 1974. After losing the World Series in 1970 and 1972, being eliminated by the Mets in the ’73 playoffs and failing to make the postseason in 1974, there was quite a bit of grumbling inside and outside of the organization about the Reds being a team that simply couldn’t win the big one.
2. What was the turning point?
The stakes in the ’75 Series could not have been higher. If the Reds had lost that Series, there is a very good chance that the team so revered today would have been broken up.
3. How did the team pull together?
Tony Perez’s two-run home run in Game 7, a shot that pulled the Reds to within a run of tying the game, arguably the most important hit in Reds history. Of course, the Reds completed the comeback, won the Series and their repeat victory in ’76, cementing the legacy of the Big Red Machine. Without Perez’s home run, the greatest chapter in Reds history likely would not have happened.
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Connect with WCPO Contributor Paige E. Malott on Twitter: @Paigetastic01 , and check out her blog CincyWhimsy.com .
Check back next Tuesday for another edition of "Who Knew?" If you have an tip, idea or question email: firstname.lastname@example.org