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My 9 Greatest Memories As A Cincinnati Reds Fan

The oldest and best team.

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1. Hearing the legendary tales from the '70s.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

I was born in 1982. My earliest memories of baseball were dominated by stories of an unstoppable force called "The Big Red Machine., a baseball team overflowing with talent — Rose. Pérez. Bench. Griffey. Morgan. Concepción. Foster. Gerónimo. Two World Series wins and an entire decade of greatness.

2. Watching Pete Rose break the hit record. Hit #4,192.

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WCPO.com / Via youtube.com

You can see the hit at 0:50.

Pete Rose broke the hit record when I was just 3 years old, but this particular moment would be replayed for the rest of my life. I may have been too young to remember it happening, but the number and that day still stand as a kind of monument for all of us who cheer for the Reds and for Charlie Hustle.

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3. Sitting in cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When I finally saw Riverfront Stadium in person, I remember vividly sitting in the shadows and peering up through the circle of sunlight above. It was an amazing place — where so much baseball history had happened, and as a little kid, it felt like the largest structure I could ever imagine.

4. Watching the Reds win Game 4 of the 1990 World Series.

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MLBClassics / Via youtube.com

All Reds fans remember where they were when Jose Rijo completely mastered the defending champs, the vaunted, favored Oakland A's in the final game of the 1990 World Series. I was sitting on the floor in the living room at my home in Kettering, Ohio, an 8-year-old boy who had no clue just how large this memory would loom all my life.

YOU CAN WATCH IT ALL ON YOUTUBE! (MLBCLASSICS)

18:35 — Eric Davis gives his all, injured in the process.

THROUGHOUT: Jose Rijo shuts down the A's.

1:53:04 — Herm Winningham bunts (with two strikes!)

2:16:00 — Randy Myers shuts the door. This one belongs to the Reds.

5. Listening to Marty and Joe call the game.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

I wouldn't say this is one specific moment. So many nights I fell asleep to the sound of the radio in my dad's study — the familiar, immortal Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. I loved it every time Marty announced the attendance of "tonight's titanic struggle," and of course nothing beats hearing Marty cry, "...and this one belongs to the Reds!" Still today hearing the games on the radio soothes my soul, though we are sadly without the Ol' Left Hander.

Just for fun: the Kroger commercial.

6. Experiencing my first sports heartbreak thanks to the Atlanta Braves.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

The 1995 NLCS loss to the Braves stands out in my mind as one of the first times I realized some stories end sadly. This time their fans brought brooms to the game, their fans jumped up and down excitedly. My dad taught me not to overreact to sports heartbreak, but as a 13-year-old kid, this was a tough lesson to learn.

7. Hearing the news that Junior had signed with the Reds.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Ken Griffey Jr. joined the Reds and made me think that I also looked cool with my hat turned backward (I did not.) But Junior coming on to his dad's team felt like the start of something magical. The Reds had sniffed the playoffs in 1999 (but lost to the Mets.) But now, with Junior? Maybe he could bring back the magic of his father's years - The Big Red Machine. It never quite happened, but still Junior left us so many brilliant moments.

8. Seeing my first Reds walkoff homer live. (David Ross, vs. Cards, 2006)

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Brandon Massie / Via youtube.com

NOTE: This is not my video — thanks to Brandon Massie for posting this! The home run comes at 0:59.

Seeing the end of Riverfront/Cinergy was a sad thing for me but even more so for fans who had witnessed all the greatness that occurred there. But the Reds began to create new, wonderful memories in a new ballpark — Great American Ballpark — and my aunt Kathy and I were actually there in the stands to see this particular win over the Cardinals.

9. Attending my first live playoff game in Cincinnati (and seeing a new generation of Reds fans.)

Becky Millard Reno / Via galaxyreno.com

In 2010, Jay Bruce's home run clinched the division. A week later my family and I walked into the electric atmosphere at Great American Ball Park to see the Reds take on the Phillies. The crowd was wild. This was my first time seeing the Reds in the playoffs live.

But the bigger story? The saga of one person's fandom started all over again that night — this time for my little second-cousin, a 3-year-old named Wyatt. (That's Wyatt in the photo, kissing his dad.)

The Reds lost that night and were eliminated by the unhittable Phillies. But what we introduced Wyatt to was a world full of unpredictable joy and sorrow — cheering for a baseball team, your baseball team.

May 2015 be their year.

The oldest and best team, the Cincinnati Reds.