by: Dan Howard
OCTOBER 21, 1976 – The Cincinnati Reds, behind Johnny Bench’s two home runs, finish off the New York Yankees for their second straight World Championship. During the post-game celebration, Reds President and GM Bob Howsam made a profound statement to the media. With the advent of free agency he did not know how he would have the ability to keep the Big Red Machine intact. Through my happiness I had no idea what he was talking about. I soon found out.
DECEMBER 16, 1976 – I had returned home from school, with Christmas Break days away and was looking forward to the weekend’s NFL playoff games. My beloved Minnesota Vikings were set to play Washington in the Divisional Round that Saturday. I was watching the 6 o’clock news when WSAZ sportscaster Bob Bowen broke the news that broke my heart. The Reds traded first baseman Tony Perez along with reliever Will McEnaney for pitchers Woody Fryman and Dale Murray. WHAT! HUH! WHO? I was stunned, to the poin...