It's Raining Books Sale

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing

On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The High Divide

    Lin Enger 9781616203757

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
2 Remote Warehouse Sports and Fitness- Baseball General

Before the Machine: The Story of the 1961 Pennant-Winning Cincinnati Reds


Before the Machine: The Story of the 1961 Pennant-Winning Cincinnati Reds Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Big Red Machine dominated major league baseball in the 1970s, but the Cincinnati franchise began its climb to that pinnacle in 1961, when an unlikely collection of cast-offs and wannabes stunned the baseball world by winning the National League pennant. Led by revered manager Fred Hutchinson, the team featured rising stars like Frank Robinson, Jim OToole, and Vada Pinson, fading stars like Gus Bell and Wally Post, and a few castoffs who suddenly came into their own, like Gene Freese and 20-game-winner Joey Jay.

In time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their pennant-winning season, the amazing story of the “Ragamuffin Reds” is told from start to finish in Before the Machine. Written by long-time Reds Report editor Mark J. Schmetzer and featuring dozens of photos by award-winning photographer Jerry Klumpe of the Cincinnati Post and Times Star, this book surely will be a winner with every fan in Reds country and coincides with an anniversary exhibit at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

Through interviews and research, Before the Machine captures the excitement of a pennant race for a team that had suffered losing seasons in 14 of the past 16 years. Schmetzer also beautifully evokes the time and place—a muggy Midwestern summer during which, as the new song of the season boasts, “the whole towns batty for that team in Cincinnati.” Led by regional talk-show star Ruth Lyons (the Midwests “Oprah”) fans rallied around the Reds as never before.

The year didnt begin well for the team. Budding superstar Frank Robinson was arrested right before spring training for carrying a concealed weapon, and long-time owner Powel Crosley Jr., died suddenly just days before the start of the season. Few experts—or fans—gave the Reds much of a chance at first place anyway. With powerhouse teams in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Milwaukee, the National League pennant was unlikely to fly over Cincinnatis Crosley Field.

But manager Hutchinson somehow galvanized his motley crew and led them to victory after victory. Joey Jay, who had languished with the Braves, mowed down hitters while his rotation mates OToole and knuckleballer Bob Purkey did the same. The team also featured a dynamic duo in the bullpen in Bill Henry and Jim Brosnan, whose book about the season, Pennant Race, became a national bestseller the following year. As the rest of the league kept waiting for the Reds to fade, Hutchs boys kept winning—and finally grabbed the pennant.

Though they couldnt continue their magic in the World Series against the Yankees, the previously moribund Reds franchise did continue to their success throughout the decade, winning 98 games in 1962 and falling just short of another pennant in 1964. They established a recipe for success that would lead, a few years later, to the emergence of the Big Red Machine.

Product Details

Schmetzer, Mark J.
Clerisy Press
Rhodes, Greg
Baseball - History
Sports and Fitness-Baseball General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
BandW photos throughout
8.5 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. Byzantium (Harper Fiction) Used Mass Market $3.95
  2. Idolized: Music, Media, and Identity... Used Trade Paper $18.00

Related Subjects

Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Baseball » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General

Before the Machine: The Story of the 1961 Pennant-Winning Cincinnati Reds New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Clerisy Press - English 9781578604630 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at