Remember when Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey pitched back-to-back complete game shutouts against the Pirates?
Remember when Joey Votto battled Jonathan Broxton in an epic 9th inning at-bat, eventually flaring a single to LF to seal a Reds victory?
Remember when Travis Wood threw 9 innings of one-hit ball in Philadelphia?
Remember when Chris Heisey and Orlando Cabrera teamed up to gun down Skip Schumaker at the plate?
Remember when Aroldis Chapman made his illustrious debut?
Remember how Joey Votto was the best player in the National League this year?
Remember Chris Heisey hitting all those pinch-hit home runs?
Remember when Brandon Phillips steamrolled Wil Nieves at the plate?
Remember when he called out the Cardinals as "whiny little bitches", only to get swept by them? Remember that crazy brawl?
Remember when Jay Bruce hit that big home run off Roy Halladay?
Remember when they lost that huge lead in the 9th to the Braves, only to come off the canvas and when 4 straight?
Remember how they could never seem to win a game without Scott Rolen?
Remember when Jay Bruce pulled that home run back over the wall to save the game?
Remember when Joey Votto got ejected the day after not making the All-Star team and Paul Janish played in his stead and went 4-4?
Remember when Jonny Gomes carried the team through May?
Remember when Arthur Rhodes didn't allow an earned run for almost two months?
Remember when Scott Rolen went 1st to 3rd in the All-Star Game and Brandon Phillips shouted "That's how we do it in Cincinnati!"
Remember when Aaron Harang got his final day on the mound on the last day of the season?
When I'm old and gray and I'm telling my grandchildren stories about baseball before it was played by intergalactic free agents and automaton rookies, one of my favorites will be this season. This was the season the Reds ended 10 years of losing. This was the season when we, the fans, bleary-eyed by those 10 long years, didn't realize exactly what we were watching right away. This was the season, the LAST season, we waited...and waited...for the team to collapse because we didn't want to get our hopes up too much. This was the season that erased all those pathological habits we Reds fans had nursed those many years. This was the season Joey Votto won his first MVP. This was the season we first bore witness to Aroldis Chapman. This was the season we watched Jay Bruce grow up. This was the season we started to believe again.
When I'm old and gray and I'm telling my grandchildren stories about baseball before the human players were allowed to wear Halo suits and swing bats made of adamantium, I won't tell them about the three game sweep or the playoff no-hitter or the 4-error embarrassment in game 2. I won't tell them any of that. My memories will be the sweet ones, because those are the indelible ones. We won the division for the first time in 15 years. This was the season we finally woke up after sleeping for so long. Rub your eyes and stretch, Reds fans. It's morning.