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Huntington woman has been a Reds fan for more than 60 years

Jan. 04, 2010 @ 12:15 AM

HUNTINGTON -- People who know Eunice Shore know not to bother her when the Cincinnati Reds are playing.

Shore, 86, of Huntington, has been a Reds fan for more than 60 years. She and her husband, George Shore, took their kids to games in the 1960s and 1970s. They would bring home programs and a baseball signed by players like Willie Mays and Ernie Banks. Reds players Jim O'Toole and Vada Pinson also signed the ball.

"We started going up when they played at Crosley Field," she said. "I have a lot of memories from them. We'd go up three or four times a year. I listened to them all the time on the radio. I remember listening to Waite Hoyt, Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxall. I saw Joe Nuxall when he played with the Reds. Johnny Bench was my favorite player. I liked Pete Rose, too. I still think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame."

"I remember coming back from a game at Crosley Field one time and we had to stop for gas west of Portsmouth," she said. "That was back when they still pumped your gas and checked the oil. The guy raised the hood and a stray cat took off like his tail was on fire. He must have gotten in there in the parking lot in Cincinnati when he smelled our picnic lunch. It ran so fast, we hardly didn't know what it was."

Shore didn't like going to games as much at Riverfront Stadium. "It scared me," she said. "Those red seats were so steep. And you couldn't see a lot. I haven't gone to a game in 20 or 25 years."

"I grew up in an orphanage," she said. "We couldn't listen to them in the orphanage. I started listening to them in the 1940s. I don't think my husband likes (the Reds) or cared as much about them as I did. I'll be listening and watching them when they start playing again this year."

She was thinking about getting rid of the programs and the signed baseball when she saw a story in The Herald-Dispatch about John Carpenter, a sports memorabilia collector from Firebrick, Ky. Carpenter has more than 6,000 items in his collection that's billed as the largest, private sports memorabilia collection in the country.

"She was really nice," Carpenter said of Shore. "This is a way to add to the collection. I'm pretty proud of it. I like to talk sports with people."

A die-hard Yankees fan, Carpenter said that Babe Ruth and a group of barnstorming ball players played in Portsmouth and Ashland after the famous 1927 Yankees team went 110-44. One thing the two can't agree on though is which team was better, the 1927 Yankees or the 1975 Reds.