The way I remember it, the Cincinnati Reds have always been a part of my life. Growing up in Northern Kentucky, the summers annually revolved around being a Reds fan. Whether it be listening to Marty and Joe, squabbling with my Dad and brothers over what moves should or shouldn’t have been made by the manager or spending a night at the ballpark, the Reds were a constant throughout my childhood and teenage years.
The team would become even more of a presence in my life during my early adult years. While in college I secured a part-time job working as a member of the grounds crew for the Reds, a position I held for nine seasons. For nearly a decade, I was fortunate to be at field level for some great games and at sometimes fingertips-length with some of my idols. I’ve witnessed Ken Griffey Jr. chasing history, going after his 500th and 600th career home runs. I’ve been able to meet seven of the great eight from the Big Red Machine, minus Cesar Geronimo. I even made sure I was the last person to lay down the chalk lines at Cinergy/Riverfront Stadium and the first to do so at Great American Ballpark. I’ve seen the debuts of Homer Bailey, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Adam Dunn. I’ve also gotten to see the curtain calls for Barry Larkin, Sean Casey and Riverfront Stadium.
Two years ago, I moved away from the Cincinnati area for the first time in my life, but I’ve held strong to my Reds fandom (as my fiancée can attest), following each and every game through MLB.TV and making as many trips back home to GABP as possible. As frustrating as it is sometimes, I still love being a Reds fan.
The sport of baseball requires a certain patience. A season plays out over 162 games, nearly seven months of what can at times be painstaking aggravation For all of the nights of going 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position, there are those days where being a Reds fan is just….Wow! These are the little moments that drive us to loyalty. It might be a game you attended as a child, the debut of a promising prospect you’ve heard about for years or even just the memory of sitting in the moondeck on a warm August night. Below, in no particular order, are my top-10 “Just….Wow” moments of being a Cincinnati Reds fan. Feel free to discuss yours in the comments section below.
-Adam Dunn Walk-Off Grand Slam -June 30, 2006
For some reason I remember this game like it was yesterday. Well, I remember the last inning like it was yesterday. The Reds were putting together one of their patented seasons of starting out hot, before floundering late and entered the game seven games over .500 in first place at the end of June. After putting up zeros for the first seven innings, the Reds trailed 7-0 going into the bottom of the eighth. The offense put up a four-spot that inning, but after giving up another run in the top of the ninth, trailed 8-4 entering the final frame. The Reds pushed across a run to make it 8-5, but the game still seemed out of reach with one-man on (Brandon Phillips) and two outs. Then, Bob Wickman couldn’t find the zone, walking the fearsome offensive duo of Ryan Freel and Felipe Lopez to load the bases. Dunn ripped the next pitch over the right field wall capping an improbable comeback.
Continue reading The Life of a Reds Fan: Just…Wow.