The year was 1936, a year that many who lived through it would like to forget.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, it was Spaniard against Spaniard as civil war erupted when Francisco Franco and his Fascists move to overthrow the democratically elected government.
Mussolini's Fascists continued to build a bigger war machine on the Italian peninsula after a decisive victory in Africa.
Adolph Hitler broke the treaty of Versailles, ordering Nazi troops to invade the demilitarized Rhineland. As the war clouds gathered over the European continent, the world's fastest human, Jesse Owens, showed the German dictator what he thinks of the master race, winning 4 gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.
On the home side of the Atlantic, thousands were still without jobs as the Great Depression continues.
The stagnant economy was dealt a one-two punch by stifling heat and 100 million acres of fertile soil blowing in the wind.
Black blizzards sweep the plains as hopes and dreams wither entombed in dust.
The unrelenting heat invaded the east and thousands perished in the greatest heat wave Americans had ever known.
Despite the heat, the dust, the depression, more than 8 million fans flocked to the ball park.
In 1936 the Cincinnati Reds played what may have been the hottest homestand in Major League Baseball history at Crosley Field.
Each day during the 7 day stretch from July 9 through the 15, the temperature topped out at 100 degrees or hotter. In that time the Reds played eight games.
"Most of the games back in that time period were day games. So not only do you have this brutal, brutal heat wave, but if you're trying to play or go out and watch a game as a fan you're doing it a 2 o'clock in absolutely the hottest part of the day," said Reds Historian Greg Rhoades.
Day after day as the heat accumulated the death toll climbed. In Greater Cincinnati alone 115 succumbed to the great heat wave of 1936.
At Crosley Field the boys of summer carried on.
Rhoades says the Reds wore flannel uniforms in 1936, a heavy material that absorbs sweat.
"By the end of the game you're probably carrying around an extra two or three pounds," Rhoades said.
A double-header during that week drew a crowd of over 15,000.
After struggling through 4 hours and 38 minutes of baseball with a heat index topping out at 109 degrees, next day's game was canceled.
During the great heat wave, the Reds won 7 and lost 11 which was not much different than their record for the season.
That was 1936.
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