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A&E Home Video presents

The Cincinnati Reds 1975 World Series: Collector's Edition (2006)

"There it goes, a long drive! If it stays fair... homerun!"- Dick Stockton

Stars: Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn
Other Stars: Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Sparky Anderson, Ken Griffey, Sr., Don Gullett, Marty Brenneman, Bernie Carbo, Luis Tiant, Jack Billingham, Dick Stockton
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 17h:13m:00s
Release Date: 2006-06-13
Genre: sports

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A+ A+BC+ B+


DVD Review

I'm a die-hard Oakland Athletics fan, but I've spent my entire life surrounded by all things Reds. Living a mere 45-minutes from the Great American Ball Park, the local paper is full of Reds reports and it's easy to attend several per year. Avoiding at least some emotional involvement in a team that's so close can be difficult. However, aside from the 1990 World Series (when the Reds swept the A's), I pull for the rich tradition of the Queen City's team as they battle their National League foes night in and night out.

The Reds of the mid 1970s (let's not forget that my A's beat them in the 1972 World Series) were such an impressive team, they were given the moniker "The Big Red Machine." Stacked with a powerful lineup that included Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey Sr., Dave Concepcion, and George Foster, this mini-dynasty would go on to win the World Series in 1975 and 1976. However, it was the 1975 series that would prove to be one of the most memorable in baseball history.

In the 1975 postseason, the Boston Red Sox had no sooner finished off the three-time defending champion Oakland A's in the ALCS before they had to prepare for the National League Champion Reds. The Red Sox had a stellar lineup as well, with Fred Lynn, Carl Yastzremski, and Carlton Fisk among the nine that strode to the plate every game. What the Red Sox also had was the "curse" that surrounded their having not won a World Series since 1918; a stigma that was finally lifted in 2004.

The '75 World Series began at Fenway Park in Boston, with both teams failing to put a run on the board until Boston broke through in the 7th inning for all six of their tallies. Young pitcher Luis Tiant stymied the Reds, holding them to five hits and no runs, getting the Red Sox off to a great start. Game 2 saw the Sox get on the board in the opening frame against Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but the Big Red Machine finally get going in the 4th to tie it up. Then, after the Sox take the lead in the 6th, Concepcion and Griffey drive the Reds to a 3-2 victory with RBI hits in the top of the 9th.

When the scene shifted to Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Game 3 brought us another nail-biter, one-run game. The Reds took a 5-1 lead in the 5th, but the Sox tie it in the 9th, only to have the home team pull it out in the 10th. The teams continue to trade victories as Boston wins the third consecutive one-run game of the series, with a 5-4 win in Game 4. The series, knotted-up at two games a piece, headed into Game 5, and after going down a run early, it's all Cincinnati, as they prevail 6-2. In Game 6, back at Fenway, the over 4-hour affair saw numerous lead changes, but the one pitch that everyone remembers happens in the bottom of the 12th inning.

There's no arguing that the final pitch of Game 6 is a lasting baseball memory. Having only seen clips of Carlton Fisk willing his game-winning homerun fair, I didn't realize just how much more exciting and powerful this moment was within the context of the entire game and series. Being able to watch that moment and hear the original call by a young Dick Stockton (who today does primarily NBA telecasts), is something that generations of fans will surely cherish. However, what many people forget is that this amazing homerun only kept the Red Sox alive in the series. In the 7th and deciding game, Boston still had the momentum, and took a 3-0 lead in the 3rd. A Tony Perez homer in the 6th, followed by a Pete Rose 8th inning RBI single, brought the teams even. Joe Morgan wins it for the Reds in the top of the 9th, finally ending this epic battle.

Kudos to A&E Home Video for giving us another one of their complete MLB World Series box sets: The Cincinnati Reds 1975 World Series: Collector's Edition. Having each game at our disposal and in its entirety is a must for any baseball fan. You'll easily spend hours dissecting these seven games, five of which were decided by one run. Now that this classic is available, there's three other World Series from the '70s that A&E will hopefully be paying attention to in the near future, involving some team from Oakland that wears green and gold.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The full-frame presentations for all seven games couldn't be any better given the age of the source material. The clarity of the images is nothing compared to today's high sports broadcast standards, but having anything other than the original look for these games would have been a disappointment.

Image Transfer Grade: B

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: There are problems throughout with the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio mixes, but at least we are notified about these flaws before each game. There's often hissing, loss of audio, and other defects, but this is to be expected. Everything stays up front and there's no dynamic range, but most importantly, the play-by-play dialogue is crisp.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+ 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 132 cues and remote access
Packaging: Box Set
Picture Disc
7 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Championship Rally
  2. Pre-Game Introductions of the Reds
  3. Rare interviews
Extras Review: The extras are all on Disc 7 in the form of championship rally footage, Reds pre-game introductions, and 19 interview segments. The interviews feature Reds and Red Sox greats, but the best clip has legendary radio announcer Marty Brenneman reflecting on Game 6.

Extras Grade: B+

Final Comments

Forever enshrined as one of the greatest sports teams of all time, the "Big Red Machine" solidified their place in history in the unforgettable 1975 World Series. A&E Home Video gives us the opportunity to relive another example of the Red Sox curse with this new seven-disc set that devotes a separate DVD to each game. The audio and video quality is as good as can be expected, but the extras are a must-watch, especially for Reds fans.

Chuck Aliaga 2006-06-12