Heard But Not Seen
by Denny Dressman
ComServ Books, 2015
In the Cincinnati area, it is one of the most talked about plays in Reds history: Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star Game to secure an extra-inning victory for the National League. The exhibition contest was hosted by the Reds in their brand new Riverfront Stadium just two weeks after the team played their first game there. President Richard M. Nixon was in attendance, throwing out the first pitch and causing extra security measures which caused some members of the media, including Denny Dressman, to miss seeing the final innings.
Award winning author Dressman’s Heard But Not Seen: Richard Nixon, Frank Robinson and The All-Star Game’s most debated play is an excellent look back at that night from a different point of view. Dressman and other members of the media who were assigned to interview players in the locker rooms had to leave the press box in order to use the elevator, which was going to be shut down by the Secret Service for the President’s use.
When they arrived underneath the stadium, however, there was a technical glitch allowing only audio of the game to reach the reporters. Many of the stories filed in the papers the next day were not eyewitness accounts, but crafted from interviews with the players after the game. Dressman followed Baltimore outfielder Frank Robinson around the clubhouse, listening to him talk to other players, including Fosse, bringing together divergent opinions to write his story for The Cincinnati Enquirer headlined “Robby Raps Pete.”
While the original article is not reprinted in this book, there is plenty to entertain and educate the reader. Dressman gives a history of All-Star Games in Cincinnati prior to 1970, the transition from Crosley Field to Riverfront Stadium, the intensity of Rose, the baseball fandom of President Nixon, and other famous plays at the plate. Heard But Not Seen is a unique look back at one of the most famous baseball plays ever, short and sweet and highly entertaining.