Reds learn from Big Red Machine legends

All-time hits leader, 1976 champions being honored this weekend

Reds learn from Big Red Machine legends

CINCINNATI -- History has been the centerpiece all weekend at Great American Ball Park, as the Reds have honored the 40th anniversary of the 1976 World Series winner, inducted Pete Rose into the club's Hall of Fame and retired his No. 14. The sold-out crowds haven't been the only ones watching with interest.

Many members of the 2016 Reds have gathered on the top step of the dugout to take it in. It was not mandated by the team, rather something they simply wanted to do.

"In my years here, I've gotten to know the Reds Hall of Famers, to say hello to them," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I've got a couple of my favorites up there [on the wall in my office] -- Jack Billingham and Jim Maloney and Don Gullett. For me it's been fun to see some of these guys I really enjoy. They continue to follow the club and send little notes of support throughout the year. It's been pretty neat for me."

Price grew up in the Bay Area, able to watch the '76 Reds and Rose play. But no member of the current 25-man roster was born in 1976, and players like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart and Ross Ohlendorf were either toddlers or babies when Rose's playing career was in its final years.

"I never really watched him play, but if you've gotten 4,000 hits, you've got to be doing something right," Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton said of Rose, who collected 4,256 hits -- the most in Major League history. "I don't know too much about that situation, or that team. I apologize. I'm supposed to know. I just know he could hit. He could play the game. When they show stuff on the board, you can really learn about the team and the players."

After ceremonies on both Friday and Saturday concluded, current players took the time to visit with Reds greats. Big Red Machine shortstop Dave Concepcion could be seen talking with Eugenio Suarez, Jose Peraza and Ramon Cabrera. Leo Cardenas, a shortstop from the 1960s, talked with Zack Cozart.

"That's how you learn," Price said. "You learn from people that have been in the game for a long time and have learned a lot either through experience or being in the game and then pass it on. That's why we love to coach, we like to pass on what we've learned from people like that."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.