THE CINCINNATI REDS
1975 WORLD SERIES
COLLECTOR'S EDITION





















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DVD STATS:


Number of DVDs -- 7 (Single-Sided).

Video -- Full Frame 1.33:1. (A few of the bonus interviews are presented in Widescreen, approx. 1.78:1.)

Audio -- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Re-Mixed From Original Mono Source).

Color or B&W -- Color.

Subtitles -- None.

Packaging -- 7 Slim Cases With Outer Slipcase.

Any Separate Paper Enclosures Included? -- No.

List Price (MSRP) -- $69.95 (USD).

DVD Marketer(s)/Distributor(s) -- MLB Properties Inc.; A&E Home Video; New Video Group Inc.

DVD Release Date -- June 13, 2006.


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It's hard for me to imagine owning a better collectible keepsake of the stellar 1975 World Series than what A&E Home Video and Major League Baseball Properties have put together for baseball fans here -- a 7-Disc DVD compilation featuring all seven games from the original NBC-TV network telecasts (with Tony Kubek, Curt Gowdy, Joe Garagiola, and Reds' play-by-play man Marty Brennaman, among others, at the microphones calling the action).

All of these games are presented complete and uncut, with two exceptions -- a half-inning of Game 2 (top of the 2nd) and 1-and-a-half innings (plus one additional batter) of Game 3 are missing on these DVDs. Evidently that video footage could not be obtained by A&E/MLB for this collector's set.

The missing moments of Games 2 and 3, however, do not involve either team's scoring. So no big home runs, RBIs, or crucial plays are part of the AWOL footage.


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THE 1975 WORLD SERIES:


The Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox battled each other over the course of seven memorable baseball games during the fall of 1975. The Reds, managed by 41-year-old South Dakota native George "Sparky" Anderson, barely squeezed by the A.L.-champion Sox, 4 games to 3, to capture Cincy's first world-championship title since 1940.

This '75 Fall Classic is regarded by many fans as the very best and most exciting World Series ever played. Five of the seven games were decided by just a lone run (including each of the last two thrilling contests played at cozy Fenway Park in Boston).

The "Big Red Machine" of Cincinnati steamrolled its way to the National League pennant in '75, winning 108 regular-season games and then sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS in three straight. The Reds won the N.L. Western Division by an amazingly-decisive 20 games over their nearest rivals (the second-place Dodgers).

Cincinnati's imposing "starting eight" in 1975 was one of the best and most potent lineups ever put on a baseball diamond. Here's a glance at the impressive lineup that National League pitchers (and Boston's hurlers in the WS) had the difficult task of facing in '75 -- with some 1975 regular-season numbers also listed (B.A./HR/RBI):

C -- Johnny Bench (.283/28/110)

1B -- Tony Perez (.282/20/109)

2B -- Joe Morgan (.327/17/94) -- Morgan was named NL MVP in '75.

SS -- Dave Concepcion (.274/5/49)

3B -- Pete Rose (.317/7/74)

LF -- George Foster (.300/23/78)

CF -- Cesar Geronimo (.257/6/53)

RF -- Ken Griffey Sr. (.305/4/46)


The 1975 Red Sox, piloted by 47-year-old Darrell Johnson, proved to be worthy opponents for Sparky's Red Machine in the post-season (to say the least). The Bosox won 95 games during their A.L. regular campaign in '75, and they breezed past the Oakland A's in three straight playoff games (ending Oakland's chance at winning its fourth World Series title in a row following the A's "three-peat" in 1972-73-74).

Boston, like the N.L. Reds on the other side of the diamond, had their league's MVP -- 23-year-old Fred Lynn, who also doubled as the American League Rookie-of-the-Year in 1975 as well. Lynn's sparkling first-year stats in '75 included a .331 average, with 21 home runs, and 105 RBIs (plus an impressive .566 slugging percentage).

Lynn gave an indication of his productive seasons to come by way of his brief 'cup of coffee' with the Red Sox at the end of the 1974 season, when he batted .419 in 15 games (with a .698 slugging mark). But Freddie still qualified as a "rookie" in '75.

The Sox roster also featured the likes of Carl Yastrzemski, Dwight Evans, Bill Lee, Rick Burleson, Carlton Fisk, Luis Tiant, Rico Petrocelli, Rick Wise, and Jim Rice. Rice (.309/22 HR/102 RBI in '75), fortunately for the Reds, was injured and could not play in a single game of the World Series.

By the way, Boston skipper Darrell Johnson, ironically, was a back-up catcher for the Reds for parts of two seasons (1961 and 1962), which included a career-high .315 batting average for the pennant-winning '61 Reds' squad (albeit in just 20 games; 54 AB; 1 HR).

The '75 World Series, numbers-wise, was about as evenly-matched as you could get -- with the Reds batting a collective .242 (59 base hits), while the Red Sox swung the lumber at a combined .251 clip, with 60 hits.

Other tightly-knit WS stats:

Runs Scored -- Reds 29; Sox 30.

Team ERA -- Reds 3.88; Sox 3.86.

Cincinnati third baseman Pete Rose was named the MVP for this '75 World Series. Pete batted .370 during the seven games (10-for-27), with 3 runs scored, 2 RBIs, and 5 walks.

I can vividly recall watching these games on television in October of 1975, plus one game that I saw in person, which was Game #4 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Sadly, for me (being a Reds' rooter), that one turned out to be a Reds' loss, as Luis Tiant picked up his second complete-game win in the Series, defeating Cincy 5-4. A standing-room-only crowd of 55,667 crammed into Riverfront that Wednesday night (10/15/75).

Via this nice DVD set, I can now watch that fourth Series game in my living room, instead of from the seat that I occupied in Peanut Heaven (aka: the "Nosebleed Section") in left-center field at Riverfront back in '75 (Upper Deck; Aisle #339; Row 10; Seat 102). Even though that was hardly the best seat in the house, it's still a great childhood baseball memory....to have attended a game during one of the most famous World Series in baseball history.

I still have the ticket stub from that game too (the ticket cost just $10.00, which must be a drop in the bucket compared to WS ticket prices in the 21st century...even for seats up in Peanut Heaven).

For those who can remember watching all seven of these classic Reds/Red Sox battles back in 1975, this DVD Collector's Edition will easily rekindle every single memory without much prodding at all.

Memories such as:

>>> Luis Tiant's gyrations on the mound. (Was Tiant "balking"? Sparky Anderson and the Reds thought so.)

>>>The "Fisk/Armbrister" rhubarb in Game 3 at Riverfront Stadium. (Was it really interference? You decide. You'll see the replay a dozen times thanks to the Game-Three DVD provided in this collection.)

>>> The persistent New England rain that resulted in a three-day delay prior to Game Six.

>>> The two pinch-hit homers by former Red Bernie Carbo (one in Game 3 and an incredible three-run, game-tying monster shot in Game 6, that sent the Fenway Park crowd into a frenzy).

>>> Joe Morgan's game-winning RBI blooper in Game 7.

>>> The Dwight Evans "catch" of Joe Morgan's smash.

>>> Tony Perez "connecting" on a super-duper Bill Lee blooper pitch in Game 7. (Lee, IMO, should have been run out of Boston town on a rail for daring to throw that ridiculous circus-like pitch in Game #7 of a World Series to ANY member of the "Big Red Machine". It was a bomb ready to explode in Lee's face. And it did.)

>>> George Foster's throw from left field to Johnny Bench in Game 6 to nail Denny Doyle at the plate.

>>> Cesar Geronimo squeezing Carl Yastrzemski's lofty fly ball to center field for the final out in Game 7.

>>> And, of course, The "Please Stay Fair" Home Run .... i.e., Carlton Fisk's Game-Six walk-off clout off the foul pole to knot the Series at 3-3.





And it's all here in this comprehensive DVD set from A&E/MLB. Every game. Every clutch hit. Every home run. (Sans the TV commercials; those have not been included here.)


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THE DVDs AND THE PACKAGING:


The packaging, the look, and the overall presentation for this 7-Disc DVD Collector's Edition is first-class all the way down the line. It couldn't possibly be any better, IMO.



Each of the seven World Series games gets its own separate single-sided disc, with attractive bright-red disc art.

The video quality for all of these games looks fairly decent in most places to me, being limited, of course, by the age of the decades-old original (taped) source material. Close-up shots are definitely more pleasing and clear than the longer, more-distant camerawork (which does look quite fuzzy and blurry at times, with a lot of "ghosting" of the image); and all of these games will no doubt look better on a smaller TV screen. The bigger your monitor, the more digital annoyances you're likely to see. But, overall, I'm pleased with the PQ here.

Some DVD screen captures:










Unlike baseball telecasts nowadays, you're not going to find all of the flashy graphics or the constant barrage of detailed stats on your screen in these '75 games. Baseball broadcasts in 1975 were much "quieter" and less frenetic, with less moving around of the camera and far fewer instant replays (and no "Fox Box" telling you the score up in the corner all the time).

The screen ratio for these games is the original Full-Frame television ratio of 1.33:1, as it should be. Audio is supplied by more-than-adequate-sounding Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. (Evidently, per the packaging, the audio is in "2.0 Stereo"; but it sounds about the same as 2.0 Mono for the actual game coverage.)

An audio glitch exists, however, during Game 1. For 1.5 innings late in that first game, the audio is totally out-of-sync with the video, with the picture running ahead of the sound by about 10 seconds. It's a bit of an odd glitch, in that the audio and video aren't even close to being in-sync. Strange how that would sneak through to the finished DVD. But it did. A few other inexplicable glitches pop up on some of these discs as well, indicating that a tad bit more quality control could have been utilized by the people who put this DVD set together.

Another negative factor to these DVDs, IMO, is the ever-present "MLB" watermark that has been placed in the upper right-hand corner of the screen throughout this entire DVD set. I can't say I really like that logo being stuck up there 100% of the time. However, at least it's not too intrusive, and it blends fairly well into the background (because the watermark used here is a transparent one).

But even with a few things to gripe about, this World Series DVD set is, without a doubt IMHO, still a mandatory purchase for long-time Reds' fans.

The Packaging:

Click here for a close-up look (then click on the picture for a huge photo of the DVD box).

Each disc/(game) gets its own slim (clear) plastic case. The covers for the seven cases are jam-packed with all kinds of fun facts, trivia, and '75 Series statistics. These "SleeveStats" also provide the complete box score for each Series game, printed right on the back of each game's case.

Plus, on the inside of each case, the play-by-play for each and every inning of that game is printed out. So, at a glance, you can see what every batter did in each of these WS games.

A tremendous amount of work and detail and research has obviously gone into creating the "SleeveStats" for these DVD covers. There's so much text, data, and fun stuff on these cases, just reading all of the info on them takes an hour or more.

And the box scores on these DVD covers put my homemade, handwritten-in-pencil box scores of the same games to shame. It's kind of fun, however, to go through my own handmade scorecards for these games (that I created when the World Series was playing out on live TV in '75) and compare them to the DVD's stats and to the real-time action when watching the games on these discs.

All seven slim cases fit comfortably into a very nice outer slipcase box (which is also brimming with additional statistics and trivia). And this outer carton is not any flimsy, tissue-paper-thin throwaway box either. It's constructed way better than that. It's very durable, heavy, and sturdy. "New Video" (which distributed this set for A&E Home Video in the USA), in fact, has been very good about supplying well-constructed boxes for its multi-disc (or multi-VHS tape) sets. And this one is just perfect, and is certainly one DVD box that should be able to stand the test of time.

I appreciate the effort that went into producing this collectible boxed set. It has the look and feel of a genuine "keepsake". Plus, the accuracy and attention to small details that can be found on these DVD cases is also impressive, right down to listing the "Game Time Temperature" for each of the seven Series contests.

The perfection of this DVD set, for me, even extends to the type of slim cases used to hold the discs. I'm kind of a persnickety fusspot when it comes to packaging and case types, and the slim cases utilized here are (IMO) the best brand out there. They hold the discs firmly, but not like a vise. The DVDs are very easily removed from their holders/hubs. I'm not sure of the exact brand name of this case type, but the ones in the set I received are by far my favorite brand. (I'm assuming all other copies of this product have the same type of inner cases included; but that might not always be true, given the vast number of DVD case manufacturers in existence.)

I haven't been able to spot any errors of any major substance when reading these info-packed DVD covers. I have noted a couple of very minor errors, however, including an incorrect date shown for the no-hitter that Rick Wise threw against the Reds. The DVD case indicates that Wise tossed that no-no in 1972. It actually occurred in 1971 (06/23/71).

And what makes that particular no-hit game so extra-special is the fact that Wise also hit TWO home runs in the contest -- which made that game one of THE most spectacular "one-man shows" in baseball history (a fact that I think is often overlooked by historians). Rick Wise was a one-player wrecking crew that night at Riverfront Stadium.

Luckily for the Reds, Mr. Wise (a member of the Red Sox in 1975) wasn't able to repeat his no-hit performance during his one '75 WS start. The Reds tagged him for 5 runs in 4.1 innings in Game 3. Wise, however, did pick up the win in the infamous Game #6 at Fenway Park.

Another small mistake on the packaging (and on the DVD Menus) involves the spelling of Cincinnati radio announcer Marty Brennaman's last name. Marty's name is misspelled more than one time on the boxes and the Menus. I'm guessing, though, that Marty is probably accustomed to that type of error concerning his name. I can relate to that type of thing myself.




Still more info on this DVD set:

Amazon.com: The Cincinnati Reds 1975 World Series (Collector's Edition)

DVD Back Cover



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BONUS MATERIALS:


A few nice bonus items are part of this exquisite boxed set too. All of these extras are located on the "Game 7" disc. There are 30 individual "Bonus Clips", mainly consisting of short 1-to-2-minute interview segments with the players that were recorded in the last few years.

But in addition to the newer, contemporary interviews, there are a few vintage 1975 pre-game and post-game interview snippets on tap here as well -- including an interview with Carlton Fisk just after he smacked his never-to-be-forgotten home run in Game 6.

There's no "Play All" option for these thirty Bonus Clips, which would have been useful here I think. But, instead, returning to the "Bonus" Sub-Menu is required to view the clips individually.

There are two other short bonus items on Disc 7 that I very much enjoyed seeing -- "Downtown Rally" (1:07 in length) and "Introducing 'The Big Red Machine'" (1:48).

The "Rally" bonus was filmed in downtown Cincinnati in late October 1975. The victory celebration clip features Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's presentation of the World Series trophy and a few comments made by Reds' players.

The "Introducing" bonus consists of Reds' player introductions before one of the three games played at Riverfront Stadium. Long-time Cincinnati P.A. announcer Paul Sommerkamp is the voice heard here.

In addition to the above-mentioned bonus items, the Reds' post-game clubhouse celebration (with NBC-TV interviews) is also included on Disc 7. That clubhouse footage isn't found in the "Bonus" area of the disc, but instead can be located at the end of the regular Game-Seven telecast on Disc Seven. And I'm very glad that was included in this package, because it puts the proper "We're #1" cap on the Reds' great 115-win 1975 season.

The clubhouse footage features some classic Reds' interviews too....especially Marty Brennaman's fine interviews with Series MVP Pete Rose and the super-excited and voice-cracking Johnny Bench. Rose's comment about how he felt like he was about to "have a coronary" due to the intense excitement of Game 7 always cracks me up.


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OTHER DVD INFO:


Total Running Time (All Discs) -- Approx. 17.25 hours (not counting the extra bonus features).

Menus
-- The Interactive Menus are very well-designed. A brief intro/montage of "Reds Baseball Action" has been integrated into the Main Menu (upon initial disc load-up only). No music. Menu choices: "Play Ball!" (to start watching that disc's game) and "Inning Selection". An additional option for "Bonus Clips" is present for Disc 7 only.

The "Inning Selection" area is very cool, exhibiting a nifty "baseball-flavored" design. When going to the "Inning" Sub-Menu, the full inning-by-inning line score for that game is visible (including the final "Runs-Hits-Errors" totals). A "baseball" icon enables the user to navigate within the line score, with any half-inning being selectable.

The Main Menu screens for all discs are colorful and look great on a big 50-inch screen....especially the bright and cheerful Cincinnati Reds "wishbone C" logo (circa 1970s), which features good ol' #27 running inside the logo. (#27 being the then-Reds' mascot, known as "Mister Red". Interestingly, during the years when this cool-looking team logo was being used, the Reds never assigned a real player the number "27". It was reserved exclusively for "Mister Red".)





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A FINAL GLOWING RECOMMENDATION:


A "Big Red Machine"-era Cincinnati Reds fan (or anyone who appreciates darn good baseball) can't help but be excited about this excellent DVD set of virtually uncut games, highlighting one of the greatest World Series of all time.

"The Cincinnati Reds 1975 World Series Collector's Edition"
is destined to be one of my most treasured DVDs ever purchased.

David Von Pein
June 2006
February 2015


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THE LAST TWO GAMES
OF THE '75 SERIES:



GAME 6:




GAME 7:



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HIGHLIGHTS FILM:





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CINCINNATI REDS
RADIO HIGHLIGHTS:



video


video


video








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SOME REDS-RELATED REVIEWS
(AND A FEW OTHER THINGS):



1975 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR'S EDITION (DVD)(AMAZON VERSION OF REVIEW)

1970 WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHTS FILM (VHS)

1972 WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHTS FILM (VHS)

1975 WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHTS FILM (VHS)

1976 WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHTS FILM (VHS)

"THE RELENTLESS REDS" (BOOK)

"FROM BEHIND THE PLATE" BY JOHNNY BENCH (BOOK)

"DAY BY DAY IN CINCINNATI REDS HISTORY" (BOOK)

"RIVERFRONT STADIUM: HOME OF THE BIG RED MACHINE" (BOOK)

"HOME RUN DERBY: VOLUME ONE" (DVD)

"HOME RUN DERBY: VOLUME TWO" (DVD)

BASEBALL ALMANAC: THE 1975 WORLD SERIES

CINCINNATI REDS AUTOGRAPHS

JohnnyBench.com



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MORE RELATED LINKS:




















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