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Cincinnati Red and Dodger Blue

Baseball's Greatest Forgotten Rivalry

Tom Van Riper

Call it the forgotten rivalry. The Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers may not share geographical boundaries, and today they don’t even play in the same division, but for a period of time in the 1970s Dodgers vs. Reds was the best rivalry in Major League Baseball. They boasted the biggest names of the game—Johnny Bench, Steve Garvey, Pete Rose, Don Sutton, and Ron Cey, to name a few—and appeared in the World Series seven out of nine years.

Cincinnati Red and Dodger Blue: Baseball's Greatest Forgotten Rivalry, Tom Van Riper provides a fresh look at these two powerhouse teams and the circumstances that made them so pivotal. Van Riper delves into the players, managers, executives, and broadcasters from the rivalry whose impact on baseball continued beyond the 1970s—including the first recipient of Tommy John surgery (Tommy John himself), the all-time hit king turned gambling pariah (Pete Rose), and two young announcers who would soon go on to national prominence (Al Michaels and Vin Scully). In addition, Van Riper recounts in detail the 1973 season when both teams were at or near their peak form, particularly the extra-inning nail-biter between the Reds and Dodgers that took place on September 21 and effectively decided the divisional race.

Cincinnati Red and Dodger Blue includes never-before-published interviews with former players from the rivalry, providing a personal and in-depth look at this decade in baseball full of upheaval and change. Baseball’s realignment in 1994 may have rendered this great rivalry nearly forgotten, but its story is one that will be enjoyed by baseball fans and historians of all generations.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 228Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-7538-6 • Hardback • April 2017 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-7539-3 • eBook • April 2017 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
Tom Van Riper wrote about the business of sports for Forbes from 2005 to 2015. His body of work includes two cover stories for Forbes magazine which featured Major League Baseball player Matt Kemp and NFL coach Bill Parcells. Prior to Forbes, Tom covered the business beat for New York’s Daily News.

Chapter 1: The Right Matchup at the Right Time
Chapter 2: The Pariah
Chapter 3: Making Draft History and Medical History
Chapter 4: Building the Machine
Chapter 5: It Begins
Chapter 6: The Three Kings
Chapter 7: Greatness Recognized and Greatness Snubbed
Chapter 8: Monsters of the Mound
Chapter 9: Packing Them In
Chapter 10: Four Infielders and a Scapegoat
Chapter 11: Showdown
Chapter 12: How Great Were They?
Chapter 13: Sparking an Evolution
Chapter 14: Late Bloomer
Chapter 15: They Shall Be Free
Chapter 16: A Giant Loss
Chapter 17: Grinding toward the Wire
Chapter 18: The Winners
Chapter 19: Frustration
Chapter 20: Onward . . .