By now, if you are a regular visitor, you know that the OSG now has a satellite
office in the cradle of baseball...Cincinnati. It was
only fitting that in honor of the day, we went and checked out the most Cincinnati of baseball traditions, the Opening Day parade.
((The crowd on Vine Street//Courtesy: Me))
Yes, it really is a big deal here. Even though the Reds haven't been very good in a very long time, it's still a big deal. The traffic...chaotic and crowds lined the entire parade route which by the way runs about oh...say 15 blocks or so downtown.
There were the traditional parade highlights, bands, floats, shriners, clowns...
everything you would expect. The Grand Marshall...none other than the legendary Johnny Bench. No, there weren't many current Reds there, the parade started at 10:30am, 1st pitch at the Great American Ballpark...1:10pm, there really wasn't enough time. Though we did see Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo there...he's not the opening day starter so I guess he was the rep for the day.
Opening day for so many is a special, special day. Really, I think these days it is more so for the older crowd then the 20-30 year olders. Not a whole lot of them in the crowd, at least the part I could see. It brings back a lot of really good memories from a long, long time ago. Yes, I know that "technically" the season started last night with the ESPN game which quite honestly, just isn't right...but why let tradition stand in the way of a 4-letter dollar.
For me...as someone now at an older stage in my life, probably the opening day I remember the most was back in I want to say 1992 or 1993, I can't totally remem
ber for a reason. No, I didn't go to a game, I was living in Jacksonville, Florida at the time and wasn't working on Opening Day Monday. The weekend Sports Anchor at the time Curt Menefee (yes, that Curt Menefee of Fox) and I decided we were going to start our day at a Sports Bar for the 1st pitch of the 1st game, which of course was a Reds game. We were sup
posed to meet up with a group of guys later that night to watch the NCAA Finals. Lets just say we were very thirsty that particular warm spring day, but we had a blast, watched baseball all day and basketball all night. I suspect if someone tracked Curt down he'd laugh about that day too. I've never done anything like that since then either.
((Bronson Arroyo in a car//Courtesy: Me))
Sorry I couldn't tell a story about the opening day at a ballpark when I was a kid, because when I grew up in Florida, there were no Major League baseball teams yet (I'm old). Still, I always watched. It was the one time of year that kicked off the 2nd half of the year. Football was over, basketball was winding down it was baseball that took over that time. I hope, particularly today after seeing the enthusiasm of the entire city of Cincinnati, that it will always keep that special place for generations to come.