Aug 04, 1969: "Big Red Machine"
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sat, 08/04/2012 - 4:50am
Reds get a nickname
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA • The powerhouse Cincinnati Reds of the 1970’s were known as the “Big Red Machine,” but who coined the phrase and exactly when are up for discussion.
Tim Crothers, the author of Greatest Teams, published by Sports Illustrated in 1998, claims “Big Red Machine” first appeared in print August 4, 1969 after the Reds and Philadelphia Phillies slugged it out the night before.
The Reds survived 19-17. Pete Rose was quoted in the August 4th papers saying, “We scored so many runs and it was still a close game, but the Big Red Machine did it again and we're in first place.” Crothers said Rose was inspired by a 1934 Ford he once had which he called “Little Red Machine.” The story the Associated Press told on August 14, 1969 was that Big Red Machine was coined by Reds Manager Dave Bristol.
Regardless of its origin “Big Red Machine” remains the moniker of Reds teams that performed with business-like precision from 1970 to 1976.
With manager Sparky Anderson now at the helm, the Reds went 502-300 during that span. They won four division titles, three National League Pennants and two World Series. They did it with the talents of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Pete Rose, George Foster, Dave Concepcion, and others.
Some may argue that the Big Red Machine was the best team of the 1970’s. The rambunctious, rebellious Oakland A’s – the antithesis of the buttoned up Cincinnati Reds – won three World Series in a row (’72, ’73, ’74). One of the teams they beat was the Big Red Machine (’72).
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