Another rounds third and heads for home

TODAY, following my routine consisting of walking in the newsroom, grabbing a cup of coffee and today’s paper and sitting down ended with a jolt as I opened to the sports page.

It was Thursday, June 5 and I was sitting here working on one story or another, fielding every few telephone calls as the main line runs through my phone.

I will answer calls running through my phone at least once or twice a day before transferring them on to their intended recipient. This one morning the phone rang and for some ‘reason’ I picked up the phone.

On the other end was, as I was to find out, Betty Chambers. She inquired right off the bat for the sports department, to which I explained they did not come in until the afternoon, brushing her off as another ‘complaining’ customer, that are the majority of my fielded calls.

She questioned the Cincinnati Reds schedule as it was listed in the paper, as she thought they were to play in Florida that day, not in Philadelphia as it was listed.

I assured her, as I knew because of my own allegiance, that indeed the Reds did play the Phillies in the cap to a rare 4-game series.

She proceeded to tell me who she was and that she called every day asking if her beloved Reds were going to be on the radio, 1340 AM in Muncie. Her usual call recipient was Greg Fallon, sports editor, who she said, “didn’t even have to look at the phone to see who was calling and instead just answers: Yeah Betty what do you need?”

I talked to Betty about my own family and the importance of listening to the Reds on the radio. She told me of how she loved to hear Marty Brennaman on the radio, how she missed Joe Nuxhall and how she couldn’t wait to see Ken Griffey Jr. break into the 600 HR club.

“And when they win and Marty say’s: And this one belongs to the Reds, I always say it with him,” she told me.

Well, as you know where this is going, Betty died last night at Westminster Village in Muncie at the age of 81.

As I led with my daily routine the story that caught my attention was a tribute to Betty Chambers written by Greg Fallon, which can be read here.

The Reds lost again last night, as the Dodgers finished up a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park. And although Betty will go unnoticed by most, including the Reds, she deserves a hero’s honor for following the team she loved these many years.

And as perhaps one of the greatest Reds fans ‘rounded third and headed for home’ I now wonder whether that random answer of the telephone, that rings off the hook, was all that random.

Betty Chambers (1926-2008)

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Nathan , I read Greg's story about Betty. Tell him it was heart warming and a wonderful tribute to her . And so was your blog . love mom

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