Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Reds

Source: Wikimedia Commons

As I made clear in my Bengals post, Cincinnatians don't have much to cheer for when it comes to professional sports. Sadly, our baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, is nearly as incompetent as our hapless Bengals.

It wasn't always that way. I grew up during the 1970s and the era of the Big Red Machine, when the Reds won back-to-back World Series Championships and dominated the National League. The Big Red Machine is considered one of the best baseball teams of all time, and it was a lot of fun to be a Reds' fan when I was a kid. But, with the exception of one World Series title in 1990, the pickings have been very lean ever since.

I'm not a huge baseball fan, but I always cheer for the Reds, and I love all of the history behind the team. First known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the Reds have been around since 1869, and they were baseball's first all-professional team.

My mom is a life-long Reds fan and first went to games with her aunt at Crosley Field, which was the Reds' home field from 1912 through 1970. Crosley Field hosted the first night game in baseball history in 1935, and saw many historic events throughout its long history. My mom remembers going to see Jackie Robinson play when he came to Crosley with the Dodgers in 1947.

One of the reasons I love sports is the sense of family and connection that is passed down through generations of rooting for the same team. Decades after my mom went to Crosley with her aunt, my sister, brother-in-law, and I went to a game with her last year at the Reds' current home, Great American Ball Park.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

My sister managed to secure seats in the front row right behind home plate, and we had a great time in spite of the fact that the temperature was 100+ degrees on the day we attended the game. The Reds won, which made the heat more tolerable. It was fun to have seats so close to the field, and I was able to get some pictures of my mom's favorite player, first baseman Joey Votto.


Votto was the National League MVP in 2010, when the Reds won the Central Division. We were all very excited and gathered together to watch the playoffs, only to have the Reds go three and out against the Philadelphia Phillies. It wasn't enough for them to just lose, they had to enter the record books doing it by coming out on the losing end of Roy Halliday's no-hitter, which was only the second no-hitter in postseason history. Like the Bengals, the Reds really know how to lose in style. 

But every year is another chance, and the city was buzzing with excitement for Opening Day back on April 5. The Reds won that game, but have only managed to win four games since, giving them a 5-8 record to start the season. Last week, the Reds scored a whopping total of 10 runs while losing five out of six games. But yesterday's win against the St. Louis Cardinals was a bright spot, so maybe things will start to look up.

It's obviously much too early to give up on the season, but it's always difficult to be optimistic about sports in this city. We know way too much about losing around here and, for decades now, we've simply come to expect it.

27 comments:

  1. I remember the Big Red Machine and I've been to Crosley Field. There is always next season. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  2. I'm a Red Sox fan and (until 2004 anyway) I know exactly you're talking about. We've gotten off to a terrible start this season so I'm going with the idea that things can only get better.

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  3. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but my dad was. And although he was a big Astros fan, he also liked the Reds.

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  4. @Jules, that is definitely our motto around here LOL.

    @MJ, oh, my dad is from Connecticut and my grandpa was a diehard Red Sox fan. He passed away in the 90s and I remember thinking I wished he had lived to see that 2004 World Series! That was amazing.

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  5. @Carol, my dad is a big fan as well, of both the Reds and the Red Sox.

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  6. I have hope for the Reds this year! I got a pretty cool bracelet made out of a baseball for Christmas with the Reds logo on it. Anyway, I also love sports because of the feeling of community you get when you go to a game. Baseball is the best for that, in my opinion. Everyone is just in a good mood and there is just something about a ballpark that is so cool!

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  7. When they finally start winning big again, everyone will be so excited.
    And front row behind home plate? Those are some awesome seats!

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  8. I'm not a fan of baseball in general (it's too slow) but understand your passion for the home team. Don't give up! That's what my sports fanatic hub always says. Last year his beloved RedSox were in a soup sandwich early in the season but managed to get on dry land.

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  9. I agree. Even though I'm not a big baseball fan going to Yankees games are some of my fondest memories.

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  10. It's hard being a baseball fan. Lots of heartache in it. I try and get to a Rockies game at least once a year. It really is exciting to walk up the stairs and see the field through the bleachers for the first time. Gotta go early though, before those 100 degree temps hit.

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  11. Great R post.
    I don't know much about baseball,being English am a soccer fan. My youngest son played pro when younger,

    Enjoyed the read,
    Yvonne.

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  12. @ej, yeah, it's fun to be down at the stadium when the weather is nice and everyone is in a good mood. I will try to have hope this year as well! :D

    @Alex, oh, the seats were amazing. I doubt I'll ever have seats like that again LOL.

    @Kittie, I cracked up about the soup sandwich, the Reds seem to spend most of their time there LOL.

    @Johanna, I can imagine it was fun to go to Yankee Stadium.

    @LG, yeah, spring is definitely the best time to go! Are the Rockies supposed to be good this year?

    @Yvonne, that's so cool your son played soccer professionally, he must have been a real talent to get that far. Thanks!

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  13. i didnt know you were from cinci! me too!
    watching the reds & cubs right now, on tv =)

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  14. I'm a couple hours northeast of you. Ohio sports fans are the best. We never give up. ;)

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  15. As a native Buffalonian, we didn't have much to cheer over either. We didn't even have a baseball team. We had to go to Toronto. True.

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  16. Once my boss and some of my co-workers ditched work to see a game at the new field - I was wearing a short skirt and got sunburnt on my legs, face, and neck. Very difficult to explain when we got back to work. The new park needs some shade.

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  17. What a wonderful memory that your mom got to see Jackie Robinson play! I'm not much of a baseball fan either, but I grew up in a home with diehard fans. Now my husband and boys are also huge fans of a team of lovable losers, the Cubs! You really hit this one out of the ballpark Julie!

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  18. That's cool. I get the traditional family bonding kind of thing. My bros are huge fanatics, but me, well I just don't see the appeal to teams whose players come from all over the country thru draft and trade instead of being from the city they play for. It just ruins the whole effect of cheering for the home team for me. Now, high school sports I can root for cuz they're really locals.
    But I still get what you mean. ;)

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  19. Ahem! Baseball? Like all sports for me it has a high yawn factor! In the UK, cricket has the highest yawn factor of them all lol

    PS Did I miss H for Harry's Law? ;)

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  20. Take solace the Bengals are putting something good together. They will be a good team for years to come.

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  21. @Tara, oh, I didn't know you were from Cinci, how cool. I was so glad the Reds actually managed to win yesterday LOL.

    @Carrie, hi, great to meet you. It's so true, Ohio sports fans can't give up, we are always having to wait and wait LOL.

    @Mary, I'm surprised Buffalo doesn't have an MLB team. I know you have suffered with the Bills LOL.

    @Tonja, that's too funny. And I got a terrible sunburn there too, sitting on the stands over by the river.

    @Julie, thanks!! LOL, the Reds managed to win yesterday against your lovable losers, I know Cubs fans have to have strong stomachs LOL.

    @Pk, yeah, my family has always been big sports fans so it's definitely a bonding thing for us. But I know what you mean about players coming and going so much now.

    @Carolyn, LOL, I've never really understood cricket when I've seen it played, but I love the name! As for H, I had to go with the beer hall for that one, Hofbrauhaus LOL.

    @Stephen, I hope you're right but I've thought that many times before about the Bengals LOL.

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  22. I've never been a big sport's fan until I moved to Texas about a year ago. I think it's a requirement when you live here. (Although, I doubt I'll ever get to see a Cowboy game because the tickets are too darn expensive.) The Rangers have had two amazing seasons, but they've lost both times in the World Series. Bummer. I haven't seen a game yet this year, but I'm itching to go. They play NY this week and I would love to see that game.

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  23. @deathwriter, I was rooting for the Rangers last year, too bad they lost. I hope you get to see a game soon!

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  24. Wow, I'd love to have seats behind home plate of the Red Sox. Maybe someday...

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  25. @Theresa, it really was a fun experience, usually I am so far up in the stands the players look like little toy figures LOL.

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  26. I love baseball. It is always fun and even though there are 160 games I still feel like every game is important. Looks like a nice stadium.

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  27. @Carrie, it is a really nice place. I am hoping to go to a game again next month, I'd love to go before the heat gets to be awful again!

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Thank you for your comments!