Foster, Marty reflect on 1975 Series

For your own baseball loving sake, I hope you did not miss Game 6 of the World Series last night. Even though I was not there, it was certainly one of the most incredible and exciting games I’ve ever watched. Sure it was ugly at times and of course, sloppy with all the errors…but the back and forth of the late innings was so very compelling. That the Rangers twice had the Cardinals down to their last strike and couldn’t finish?? Wow.

The 2011 Rangers now must gather themselves to try and take Game 7 from the Cardinals, a situation not too unlike what the 1975 Reds went through. In a nearly mythical Game 6, the Red Sox scored three in the bottom of the 8th to tie it, then scored in bottom of 12th to win 7-6 on Carlton Fisk’s epic home run to force a Game 7. We know how that turned out.

I talked to Reds great George Foster for a couple of minutes on Friday about what it was like for the 1975 Reds after losing and going to Game 7.

“I wasn’t heartbroken,” Foster said. “We lost Game 6 but we still had confidence we would win Game 7, even though we were on the road. We had confidence. We weren’t down. In a sense, we wanted to get Game 6 over with because it felt like it would never end. There was another day for us but the Red Sox had to win. We had the confidence that we would come back.

“Bill Lee was pitching good that day (in Game 7). We kept it as close as we could, knowing that one hit or one play could dictate the outcome of the game.”

Foster said he’s watched all of the games during this year’s World Series.

“I will be watching tonight,” he noted. “I give the edge to the Cardinals. When they get momentum, it’s tough to stop.”

I also talked to Reds HOF radio voice Marty Brennaman, who was working for NBC in the 1975 World Series.

“Obviously, the clubhouse was a little on the somber side,” Brennaman said. “They had a three-run lead in the seventh and they almost never blew a lead with that bullpen. It was money in the bank. Then Carbo hit a three-run homer off Eastwick to tie it and Fisk won it.

“The players were very confident they would win Game 7 but Sparky was not. The Reds had the game’s first so-called “super scout” named Ray Shore. He was an advanced scout, he was the guy and larger than life. He filed reports on all of the World Series games the Reds played during the 70s. He and Sparky stayed up until 5 am talking and Sparky was convinced they would lose. He was scared to death after the way they lost Game 6.

“But the players were unflappable. You don’t hoot and holler that, especially with the way they lost, but they were sure they would win the seventh game.”

Marty remembered that no one thought the Red Sox would come back when they were trailing late in Game 6. 

“They had already taken the vote in the seventh for the series MVP among the media,” Brennaman said. “That’s how confident everyone was that it was over. Rawly Eastwick had already won it. Then Carbo hit the homer to tie the game up.”

“NBC had already sent me down in the seventh inning to go into the visitor’s clubhouse to get ready for the celebration. I watched on a small black and white TV sitting on a locker stool. I never went back upstairs. I saw it like everyone else on TV.

“One thing that was different between ’75 and the game last night was the defense. In ’75 it was superb, a lot of big plays in the game. Evans took a homer away from Morgan with a leaping catch in right field. Foster caught a foul ball up against the wall in left field that got Denny Doyle out. Last night looked like a couple of Little League teams were playing.”



Monday am: on a completely different topic – reports this morning have LaRusa retiring. Also, Mark, with free agency begun, are there players the Reds will (or should) be looking at?

@maxblue — check out my story on the Reds and free agents. I wrote it’s unlikely they will make any big splashes. It’s not in the budget. Trades on the other hand are possible.

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