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Stealing Hits

Gabe Paul and Bill Dewitt took pride in their part of building the Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine.”  This club dominated the 1970’s in the National League.  They won six Western Division Titles, four National League pennants, and back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.  Meanwhile, Reds’ Head Coach “Sparky” Anderson’s club won 102 games and the pennant in his first year as skipper, and lost the 1970 World Series to the Baltimore Orioles in five games.  “Any college kid could have managed this club,” said Sparky.  After robbing Cincinnati players, Lee May, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, and Tommy Helms of sure base hits in the 1970 World Series, Orioles’ third baseman, Brooks Robinson, was awarded the Series MVP Award.  Reds’ skipper Sparky Anderson was asked by a reporter if he had ever witnessed anything like Robinson’s defensive play at third base.  Sparky answered, “I haven’t been around all that long, and it’s been said that Brooks was even better five years ago.  Hell, if Brooks Robinson was any better, the Orioles wouldn’t need a shortstop.” 
My favorite sportswriter, Jim Murray, of the Los Angeles Times summed it up well when he wrote, “When Brooks Robinson retires, he’s going to take third base with him.” 
                                                         Andy Purvis


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