Last night, the Reds Southern Tour caravan made its first public stop in Ashland, KY. Here is the report filed by Redleg Nation member Sarah Beckelheimer.
Cincinnati fans of every age filed into Fannin Automotives in Ashland Thursday to meet a few franchise favorites.
Present at the event were 2012 Rookie of the Year nominee Todd Frazier, pitcher Logan Ondrusek, 2012 Minor League Player of the Year Billy Hamilton, broadcaster Jim Kelch, former Reds pitcher Jeff Brantley, and former scout Gene Bennett.
The caravan began with a Q&A session with most questions aimed at Billy Hamilton, who broke Vince Coleman’s stolen base record last season.
One fan asked Hamilton about his first reaction to the stolen base.
“Relief,” Hamilton said. “People where nagging me, asking when I was going to do it. It’s not that easy.”
When asked if it was easier for him to pick up girls now, Hamilton answered with a simple “yep!”
Jeff Brantley was asked what the Reds should do to avoid another situation like Cueto’s injury dilemma in the post season last year. “Try to find as many high caliber pitchers as possible,” Brantley said. “Just like we have right now.” Brantley also assured fans that they shouldn’t be worried about lingering effects from Cueto’s post-season injury.
Following the Q&A session was a meet and greet with autographs. Todd Frazier took pictures with fans, which is unusual at most caravans due to time restraints.
When we were about to approach the players I asked man behind me if he would take a picture of Todd Frazier and me with my camera. When I got up to Frazier I handed him an article I had written for The Trail Blazer, the school newspaper Morehead State University. It was about why I believed Todd Frazier deserved to win the Rookie of the Year Award. He asked me a few questions about it and thanked me for giving it to him. He kept a copy and signed another, personalizing it for me.
I handed my camera to the man behind me and he took our picture… or so I thought. When the man handed the camera back to me, Mr. Frazier looked at me and said, “You might want to check. I don’t think it took.” I looked on the camera and it hadn’t. He said we’d try to take it again but one of the men with the caravan said we couldn’t because it was holding up the line. Frazier then looked at me and said, “I’ll stay after and take a picture with you.”
I went through the rest of the line and waited for Mr. Frazier to finish signing autographs. While I was waiting a man announced that no more pictures could be taken because they were running out of time. Frazier then looked over to me and assured me I would get a picture with him. When the autograph session was over, he called someone with the caravan over to take our picture.
I was a very happy woman to say the least! I had always heard Todd Frazier was a man of great character. Now I know firsthand.
— Sarah Beckelheimer
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.