First off allow me to apologize for not being more proactive with keeping HFS updated the last few days. I started back to work this week and its been somewhat busy since being out for a little over two weeks.
That being said, I was out for a reason that I’m sure most of you know. I had a baby. This is my first fathers day and with that it makes me want to reflect back on my father and fathers days past.
I am a Reds fan like my father before me
As you can probably guess I grew up Red. My father being from around here also grew up Red. Having grown up in Hamilton my dad grew up looking up to people like Joe Nuxhall a fondness that was passed down from generation to generation. My father though unlike me grew up in the heyday of the 50’s and 60’s Reds and hit adulthood during the Big Red Machine Era. Here he was able to see Reds players ranging from Frank Robinson and the Big Klu to Joe and then Pete and Johnny and Tony and well you know the Rest. He got to see them play in the world series when he was only 10 years old and got to see them play in it 4 more times before I was ever around.
Its interesting because he got to see the Reds play in a world series at the age of 10, while I got to see them win one at the age of 9. Trips to the ballpark with my dad when I was young were a treat. I don’t know how many times we’d go a year but we would go. Often he’d get tickets for free or as a gift and we’d go down to the stadium. We didn’t often go to batting practice or stay long after the game, but the time we did spend down there was always special. Often we’d arrive late for one reason or another, though we almost never left early. The seats? The seats didn’t matter. We would go down and sit all over the place, except for the yellow seats, we almost never sat in the yellow seats. More often than not though we would end up in the Red seats. We loved the Red seats, if for no other reason than the “FROSTY MAAAAAAAALT” guy. If you went down much in the early 90s you probably know who I’m talking about. This guy had a gravely voice and would yell out (think a higher pitched Christian bale batman) FROOOOOSSSTTTY MAAAALLLLLLT.
When we knew we were in for a real treat is when we would see my dad coming in with those tickets with the Blue tip on the end of them. Its one of the few things I miss about Riverfront/Cinergy field. You knew the second you saw your tickets how “Good” they were. My dad would get a couple of blue seats and for that night you knew you couldn’t be much closer to the action.
As we grew up and I got a little older and GABP opened we didn’t go nearly as often, it happens. I worked, my dad worked and often life would just get in the way. I can’t stress now how much I regret that. Thankfully for me that all changed, in the mid 2000’s my dad started getting opening day tickets, every year like clockwork if we went to no other game we’d go to opening day. Then in 2010 my mom realized how much opening day tickets cost and one of them suggested instead we buy Reds Power Pack tickets. This turned out to be an amazing idea. For not much more than our “after market” opening day tickets we were able to get 10 games! 10 games to see together like clockwork! Has it worked out every year? no. Sometimes I have to miss a game, sometimes he has to miss a game, but since 2010 I cannot think of a year that went to less than 6 games together which will probably include this year as well.
The Next Generation
My dad imparted many a great things to me, my fandom being one of my most cherished. I can only hope that I am able to impart that same feeling into my daughter. As you all know from reading here, she has her Reds outfits (search baby pictures if you haven’t seen em) and with all luck will be going to a game later this season.
I hope that one day my daughter looks back at her childhood with the fondness that I do. I hope that in the end I am at least half the father that my father has been. My father is someone who I will love until the last day on this earth. He has brought me up to be the man that I am today and where as often we talk about heroes like Joey Votto or Chris Sabo or Eric Davis my father is my hero. He is who I strive to be as I raise my daughter and an inspiration to my life.
What about you? Why not leave a story or some memories of growing up with baseball.
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I’ll leave you with some photos of my daughter in her various Reds Outfits.