Opening Day in Cincinnati is like nothing else unless there’s a championship trophy involved. Businesses and streets close, fans flock to downtown Cincinnati regardless of if they have a ticket for the game or not. Children see elephants walking along downtown streets and their parents don’t blame an active imagination.
We – as Reds fans – know that this is a special day for the city and the sport we love. The birthplace of professional baseball is rolling out the red carpet for another year of hopes, dreams and memories. The thing is… does anyone else notice? Should they?
As a Reds fan, I believe we have something magical and special every year on Opening Day. Former players seem to think that way also, as so many come back for the festivities after their playing day are finished. Why doesn’t our city-wide holiday get the national attention (we feel) it deserves? Why do the lowly Astros get to usher in the baseball season? Just because they switched leagues and now don’t let their pitchers bat?
The Reds and Angels are two of the best teams in baseball by many accounts. Some people who people supposedly listen to had called this game a potential World Series preview – and I don’t think they meant just because it was an interleague game (for Opening Day, mind you). Why didn’t I see makeshift stages from MLB Network on one end of the street and ESPN on the other? Why isn’t Opening Day in Cincinnati treated like baseball’s Opening Day as (we feel) it should be?
Do the Reds and the City of Cincinnati need to EXPAND the festivities even more? Should they? Is there a specialness to the day that needs to be seen across the country by fans of every team? Is our Opening Day something others fan bases should be jealous of as the networks broadcast live from the streets of Cincinnati or should Reds fans take comfort in knowing what we have and not care who else sees it?
Either way, yesterday was a fantastic day for my friends and I who have waited months for the start of baseball. We hung out with LITERALLY a zillion Reds fans before the game (ok, maybe not “literally”) and had a blast. We were there for all 13 innings and slowly snuck our way down to the third base side just in time to see the bad guys score the would-be winning runs. Today, our faces may still be a little red from the windburn and we may have lingering headaches from the “windburn”, but being a small part of the Reds Opening Day for the eight year in a row is something we have been looking forward to since that sad day against the Giants so many months ago.
There is a reason why other teams have “opening day” and the Reds have “Opening Day”. I wonder if they realize this…