There’s the 1964 Rookie of the Year photo of Pete Rose, along with photos of some of his more unusual haircuts. Toward the end of the book, double-page photo spreads reveal the genuine affection shared by members of the Big Red Machine.
“What we’re really trying to show through the photographs is how Cincinnatians relate to the team,” says Grace, who researches the social history of baseball. “We emphasize the 60s – the middle of Jack Klumpe’s career – when the Reds were still playing at Crosley Field and Pete Rose and Johnny Bench are starting for the first time.”
|Johnny Bench could hold seven baseballs in one hand.|
“We talk about the Frank Robinson trade – probably the worst trade ever in the history of baseball, second only to Babe Ruth being sold to the Yankees,” Grace says. “In part, Frank Robinson was a victim of racism in Cincinnati. He was an outspoken individual and it rubbed Cincinnatians the wrong way.”
Klumpe’s camera carried Fred Hutchinson’s emotional farewell to the fans, after lung cancer forced Hutchinson’s resignation in 1964 and then took his life at age 45.
Klumpe graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1942 with a bachelor’s of science degree in education. He began his career as a copyboy at The Kentucky Post in the summer of 1942, then taught at Holmes High School in Covington in 1942-1943, went back to work full-time at The Kentucky Post and eventually moved to The Cincinnati Post.
He was clicking his speed-graphic camera during the heyday of print journalism, when television cameras and their live vans and satellite trucks were virtually nonexistent at the ballparks. “The last professional picture that I took was on Sept. 11, 1985, and if you’re a baseball fan, you know what that is,” Klumpe says, chuckling. “I had retired the month before and United Press International asked me to come back to Riverfront (to get Pete Rose breaking the all-time hit record of Ty Cobb). I was in the centerfield camera position, and it was one of the first pictures to move on the network.”
The photo pioneer says his last professional camera was a Nikon, which he called “the workhorse of all photographers.” But as technology has evolved, he says he “has the yen to go into digital photography. I’m just so busy now, being retired!”
|Pete Rose experiments with a new look.|
Published by Arcadia’s “Images of Baseball” series ($19.99), The Cincinnati Reds – 1950-1985 went on sale Aug. 23 at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Joseph-Beth Booksellers and the UC Bookstore. A book-signing will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in West Chester.
Grace, meanwhile, isn’t finished with taking a swing at the history of the Reds. He’s planning to release a history from 1900-1950 in the spring, just in time for Opening Day.