Travelogue: The Great American Ballpark

Saturday night, my dad and I made a quick jaunt up I-71 to Cincinnati to watch the Reds play the Milwaukee Brewers. Here are my notes:

  • Watching two bottom-dwelling teams duke it out can almost be as exciting as watching two pennant contenders. In the case of the Reds and Brewers the absence of good pitching from either team made for a fun night with lots of runs scored. The Reds lost, but thankfully neither me nor my dad are die-hard Reds fans—although we did pull for them last night
  • If, for example, you were managing a baseball team with a struggling pitcher who has: 1.) already given up 4 runs, 2.) has loaded the bases, and 3.) has just walked in a run; it would be a good idea to call the bullpen before you let him pitch to the batter who already homered in the previous at bat. It might just save you a grand slam…
  • While it wasn’t exactly a sellout crowd, the homeless people were out in full force as you walked from the parking lot to the stadium. Most were just sitting on the sidewalk with their hand-scribbled cardboard signs labeled “homeless.” One man was a little more unconventional, holding up a sign that declared:


    Apparently, the “honest” approach didn’t fare too well, as he only had about $0.75 in his collection plate.

  • The Great American Ballpark is a nice venue for a baseball game, and makes the old (now demolished) Riverfront Stadium feel like a paisley couch on shag carpet. The presence of future hall-of-famer Ken Griffey, Jr. made the trip appealing, but last night Griffey did what he’s done since he’s been to Cincinnati, which is virtually nothing.
  • Concessions have always been expensive at major league baseball games, but Cincinnati’s prices almost rival movie theaters in their tourist-trappings. $9.25 bought me a Dr. Pepper and a hot dog called the Big Red Hot. Thankfully, the restrooms are still free.

That’s all for this edition of Travelogue. Play ball!

6 thoughts on “Travelogue: The Great American Ballpark”

  1. I enjoyed the game also. I believe that the “honest” homeless person removed the money from his collection plate (as the money was dropped) to make the next pedestrians feel a little more sympathetic. The panhandlers are experts at their game.

    It was also nice to receive the free new “Sean Casey” collector figure. I assume that someday it would be worth a lot on ebay except for the fact that everyone who bought a ticket got one.

    One thing that we both noticed was the entertainment between innings. In the last 15-20 years, major league baseball owners must have decided that the fans cannot sit contentedly between innings without an interview or game shown to the crowd on the big screen. I personally like the game, even if two bottom dwellers are playing. I would go back.


  2. I am afraid to attend baseball games outside of DC, for fear that I might realize just how crappy RFK really is (my other MLB points of comparison are Wrigley and Shea, oh, and Camden Yards, but we don’t talk about that anymore). On the bright side, stadiums built in the 60’s have a lot more leg room.

    The best entertainment yet at RFK was when they brought in Tom Wopat (Luke Duke, for the unenlightened) to sing the national anthem and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.

  3. In response to point #2 concerning phoning the bullpen, one has to ask whether, over the course of a 162 game season and in the context of a team that is not going to make the pennant, does it really matter?

  4. Jared-

    I am amazed at how many things we have in common, having never met.

    Add trips to the Reds (you don’t mean communists, do you?) with a father to Fletch, UT football, becoming a father in 2004, interest in Russia and Christ, ad nauseum.

    You don’t like Juby’s, do you?

    I can’t remember how I stumbled across your blog, but I am glad I did.

  5. Hey Jared,
    Glad y’all had a good time. I just saw a game there the middle of June (Reds vs. Braves). Great American is a really nice stadium. My party was very happy with the all the aspects of the stadium and the game especially the part where Andruw Jones hit 2 home runs. I was very happy to see the quality of Major League Baseball outside of my limited experience of the Ted and the old Fulton County Stadiums in Atlanta.

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