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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Classic's Good-Bye to Riverfront Stadium


Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati opened its doors in 1970 and closed as Cinergy Field Sept. 22 when the Reds lost to the Phillies, 4-3. ESPN Classic will celebrate 32 years of memorable events at the old Riverfront Stadium with a 10-hour tribute on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET.

Reds
Jose Rijo, right, and Barry Larkin take a curtain call during the Reds final game at Cinergy Field on Sunday.
Rose and Morgan, Bench and Perez, Seaver and Browning, the Nasty Boys and the Big Red Machine -- all among the greats who created a lasting legacy at Riverfront. Many were on hand for the last game.

Pete Rose, banned from baseball for life because of gambling, got the first hit at the stadium and played in a celebrity softball game for the last time at the field on Sept. 23. Rose also broke Ty Cobb's career hits record, one of the game's Classic will feature as part of the tribute. A red rose was left on the field behind home plate during the last game Sept. 22 in honor of Rose.

Here's the complete schedule:
All times eastern

Classic's Good-Bye to Riverfront Stadium
Saturday, Sept. 28
9 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET

9 a.m. - Classic Baseball
1975 World Series, Game 3
Boston Red Sox at Cincinnati Reds

Joe Morgan hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th to give the Reds a 6-5 victory and 2-1 lead in the series. Boston had tied the score with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth before Morgan's heroics. The game was a slugfest which featured three homers by each team. Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and Cesar Geronimo homered for the Reds; Carlton Fisk, Bernie Carbo and Evans went yard for Boston. Each squad used five pitchers.

Johnny Bench
Johnny Bench won 10 Gold Gloves in his first 10 full seasons.
11 a.m. - SportsCentury: Johnny Bench
Often cited as the best catcher in baseball history, Bench was a vital cog as the Reds won six division titles, four pennants and two World Series in the 1970s. Although more attention was paid to his power hitting, just as significant is that he won 10 Gold Gloves in his first 10 full seasons. Selected for 14 All-Star teams, Bench was a lifetime .267 hitter with 389 homers as he set a major league record for home runs by a catcher with 327. (Carlton Fisk later passed this mark.) He is the only catcher to ever lead his league in total bases, when he accumulated 315 in 1974.

Noon - Classic NFL Films: Chargers at Bengals (1982)

12:30 p.m. - 1981 Bengals Yearbook

1 p.m. - 1988 Bengals Yearbook

1:30 p.m. - Classic Baseball
1976 World Series, Game 2
New York Yankees at Cincinnati Reds

Tony Perez's line single to left scored Ken Griffey with the winning run as the Reds scored a 4-3 victory. With two outs in the ninth, a throwing error by SS Fred Stanley allowed Griffey to get to second, setting up the winning play. The Reds led 3-0 after two before New York tied it with a run in the fourth and two more in the seventh. Cincinnati would go on to sweep the series, powered by Bench's 8-for-15 performance with two homers.

3:30 p.m. - Classic Baseball
San Diego Padres at Cincinnati Reds (1985)

Fifty-seven years to the day after Ty Cobb played his last game, Pete Rose lobbed a line drive over the shortstop to left field and shattered Cobb's career record of 4,191 hits. Rose broke into tears as coaches and players streamed onto the field to congratulate the Reds player-manager following his tie-breaking single in the first inning. Rose also scored both of the Reds' runs in a 2-0 victory over the Padres. He added hit 4,193 in the seventh inning when he lined a triple to the left field corner and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

5 p.m. - Classic Baseball
1990 World Series, Game 2
Oakland Athletics at Cincinnati Reds

Joe Oliver's hard single down the third-base line off Dennis Eckersley scored Billy Bates with the winning run in the 10th as Cincinnati won 5-4 to take a 2-games-to-0 lead. Billy Hatcher set a World Series record by going 7-for-7 with four doubles and a triple in the first two games. Hatcher scored the tying run on Glenn Braggs' force play in the eighth. Rob Dibble pitched two shutout innings for the victory. The A's stranded 10 runners, making it 21 stranded in two games.

What They're Saying about Riverfront Stadium

Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who threw out a ceremonial first pitch:
"If you didn't play in Cincinnati, you didn't play in the major leagues. The people supported these players like you've never seen. There was excitement every night."

Reds pitcher Jose Rijo, on getting a curtain call with Barry Larkin:
"That was awesome. We're the only two players left from the 1990 World Series team."

Reds CF Ken Griffey, Jr.
On the last game:
"There was so much history and tradition here, you wanted to go out and win it. We just didn't do it. When you see all the guys who came before us walking around the stadium and doing all the fun things, that means something."

Phillies pitcher Brandon Duckworth:
"Any time you think of the Cincinnati Reds, you think of the Big Red Machine and all the history that's gone on here. It's unbelievable. It kind of holds you a little speechless."





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