© St. Petersburg Times, published December 30, 2002
The ballpark that was home to Pete Rose's Big Red Machine and the site of Hank Aaron's 714th home run was reduced to rubble in less than a minute Sunday.
With the push of a button, 1,275 pounds of dynamite and nitroglycerine went off in a counterclockwise sequence of blasts around Cinergy Field -- formerly Riverfront Stadium -- collapsing the 32-year-old arena inward onto its former playing surface. It took all of 37 seconds.
The demolition of the stadium, built for $44-million and opened in 1970, eliminated what had been a prominent feature of Cincinnati's skyline along the Ohio River.
The $280-million Great American Ball Park next door and the nearby John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, which spans the Ohio River to Covington, Ky., were not damaged by Cinergy's collapse.
Riverfront Stadium opened with Aaron hitting a home run in the first game. That fall, the stadium hosted the World Series in which the Reds lost to the Orioles.
In the winter, the stadium was home to the Bengals, who reached two Super Bowls while playing there. They left the stadium in 1999, opening play in 2000 at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Reds open their new ballpark March 28 with an exhibition game against Cleveland.
MORE BASEBALL: Free-agent reliever Ramiro Mendoza, a key member of the Yankees' pitching staff, agreed to a two-year deal with the Red Sox. The right-hander was 8-4 with four saves and a 3.44 ERA in a career-high 62 appearances last season. ... Six-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens agreed to a one-year contract with the Yankees, Madison Square Garden Network reported. MSG said the contract is worth around $8-million and possibly will be announced today. ... George Steinbrenner wants Derek Jeter more focused. In an interview with the Daily News, the Yankees' owner blamed Jeter's declining production on the shortstop's numerous off-field activities and said he is not quite ready to be the team's first captain since Don Mattingly. Steinbrenner also said he holds manager Joe Torre and staff accountable for the team's first-round playoff exit, and they must do better this season.
TENNIS: Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik won their singles matches to lead Australia to a 3-0 victory over Italy at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. Top-ranked Hewitt beat Davide Sanguinetti 6-3, 6-1, and Molik defeated Silvia Farina Elia 6-3, 6-4. The Australians were awarded the point for mixed doubles when Sanguinetti could not play (ankle). ... Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, Britain's top players, withdrew from January's Australian Open because of injuries. Rusedski, Thomas Johansson and Nicolas Kiefer pulled out of today's ATP Tour season-opening Qatar Open in Doha.
WINTER SPORTS: American Daron Rahlves (2 minutes, 1.42 seconds) won the men's World Cup downhill race at Bormio, Italy. ... Germany's Sven Hannawald won the opening leg of the Four-Hill Tour at Oberstdorf, Germany, his record-tying fifth straight win in the ski jump competition. He matched the 1959 record of former East German Helmut Recknagel. ... Croatia's Janica Kostelic (1:38.67) won a World Cup slalom in Semmering, Austria.
GOLF: The Verizon Classic is offering 2-for-1 season clubhouse badges through Tuesday for $60. Beginning Wednesday, badges will be sold for $60 each. The Champions Tour (formerly Senior PGA Tour) event is Feb. 21-23 at the TPC of Tampa Bay. Daily tickets are $25 for Friday-Sunday rounds. The tournament offers a $75 Shula's Charter Club badge, which include's one day's admission and parking, admission to the hospitality venue, including food and beverage, and a cart fee round of golf at the TPC of Tampa Bay. For information, call (813) 265-4653.
HORSES: Multiple Choice won Aqueduct's $100,000 Gravesend Handicap, returning $11.40, $5.40 and $3.20. ... Grammarian won the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita, paying $21.40, $11.20 and $4.40.
COLLEGES: Texas women's track and field coach Bev Kearney was in fair condition in a Florida hospital as she continued to recover from a Thursday traffic accident that killed two friends on Interstate 10 near Sanderson.
PREPS: LeBron James scored 27 to lead Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to a 67-62 overtime victory over Columbus Brookhaven on Saturday night. Almost 18,000 attended the basketball game at Value City Arena, about 3,000 more than watched Ohio State play Tennessee State in the afternoon.