Built on the banks of the Ohio River Great American Ball Park offers views of Kentucky and riverboats rolling by. The Reds were the first professional baseball team, this is honored with a mosaic as you enter the main gate entitled “The First Nine”. The Reds Big Red Machine era is also honored with a mosaic as well as a rose garden containing 4,192 roses and two smokestacks with seven baseball bats on each, hat tips to Pete Rose’s hit total and jersey number.
As much as I hope to keep Ballpark Nerd current, sometimes life gets in the way. My second day in Cincinnati was far better than my first, minus the 9 hour drive home.
It usually takes me a day in a new city to get my bearings. After a quite Saturday night in Mt. Adams I woke up early Sunday ready to roll. With a long day ahead I had the start the day off right with a quality breakfast. Ballpark Nerd research discovered Cheapside Cafe and its’ outstanding French Toast. I don’t know what the secret ingredients were, but next time I am in Cincinnati I’ll be making a return visit.
Cincinnati is also home to Xavier University, the college basketball powerhouse and Jesuit institution that was founded downtown on Sycamore Street in 1831. The University is no longer there, but the St. Xavier Church remains. I have a soft spot for the Jesuits since my time at Fordham University, I have found their message of personal growth through service and reflection helpful throughout my life. It was worth waking up early to attend the 9a service.
Having crossed Breakfast and Mass off my Ballpark Nerd To Do List it was time to head down to Great American Ball Park for the game. The Reds were looking to avoid a three game sweep from the Mariners, but with Alfredo Simon and his 10+ ERA it would be a tough task. The Reds started the game off right, scoring 3 runs the the first inning however the Mariners came back by the 5th, taking a 5-4 lead. The Reds could only muster 3 singles, after Adam Duvall’s solo home run led off the 4th, never threatening the Mariners improved bullpen in the late innings. Final Score Mariners 5 Reds 4.
September 16, 2004: Cincinnati, Ohio
I have been following the Cincinnati Reds since I dominated the PlayStation 2 world in 2002 with EA Sports’ Triple Play Baseball. Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns were young star outfielders coming into their own, but what drew me to the Reds was the presence of Ken Griffey, Jr. In his prime, Junior made the most difficult game in the world look easy. His return to his hometown was great for the game of baseball. He signed a long-term contract that would defer money, paying him far after his retirement. Junior’s signing was yet another great moment in Cincinnati baseball history. The Cincinnati Reds’ history dates back to 1869 when they were called the Cincinnati Red Stockings, making Cincinnati home to the first professional baseball team. Junior’s return to Cincinnati revitalized baseball in the Queen City; interest in the team grew as fans began to see the nucleus of a winning team. This excitement was only amplified when the Reds opened Great American Ballpark in 2003. Great American Ball Park provided Cincinnati with a first-rate ballpark to call its own, drawing fans from far off places like Brooklyn, New York. [Read more…]