I was recently given the opportunity to review a new DVD titled "Reds Memories: The Greatest Moments in Cincinnati Reds History" from MLB Productions and Shout! Factory. Being that the Reds are my favorite team, I figured this would be right in my wheelhouse. Let me tell you this: It doesn't disappoint.
First of all, the image quality is beautiful. Obviously not everything is crystal clear since they are using film from way back when throughout, but they've done an excellent job of using the best footage and making it as clear as they could. Never once did video or pictures feel out of place.
Marty Brennaman, who recently wrote the foreword for a book you may have heard about, lends his voice to the narration of the film, and as he usually does, he knocked this out of the park. When Marty's talking about the good old days, or at least talking about something other than a miserable, losing team, there's none better. It was an excellent move to get him to narrate this DVD.
As for the DVD content, it is very well done. The main portion of the DVD is a 70-minute history of all of the main points of Reds history. It covers all the way back to 1869 even, though technically that is Cincinnati baseball history and not the history of the Reds franchise. There are pictures and videos of all of the Reds greats from Bid McPhee to Brandon Phillips. Mixed in between the video and Marty's narration are comments and stories from former Reds greats like Eric Davis, Jack Billingham, and Barry Larkin. The stories are augmented by knowledgeable Reds historians like Greg Rhodes, Lonnie Wheeler, John Erardi, and Reds Hall of Fame Curator Chris Eckes. I thought I'd heard every major story about the Reds, but I have to admit that there were two or three stories in there that I don't remember hearing before.
Also included in the DVD bonus features are:
* Tom Browning Perfect Game 9/88 – Final AB
* 1990 Reds Player Billy Bates Races Cheetah
* Ken Griffey Jr. – 500th HR AB/600th HR AB
* Johnny Bench Night HR (Final Of Career)
* Tom Seaver No-Hitter – Final AB
* Johnny Bench Hall of Fame Speech
* Johnny Vander Meer Highlights
Many of these are highlights that we frequently see on FSO broadcasts, but the one of Billy Bates racing the Cheetah at Riverfront is a rarity, and is definitely worth checking out. These little snippets of highlights are a nice addition to the DVD, though I wish there was something honoring Joe Nuxhall. That's probably the only thing missing from a single-DVD set like this.
So, if you haven't blown all of your Reds money buying books and tickets, I suggest you pick up this excellent DVD. It is available at Amazon and other fine retailers. Pair this with Wire-to-Wire Reds, and I'm pretty sure you have the makings of a fantastic Father's Day gift for your papa!
Seriously though, even if you don't buy my book, you should consider adding this DVD to your collection. It is very well done and is easily worth the $13.99 price on Amazon.