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Jul 17

Summer is for Baseball

Warning. This blog post has nothing at all to do with genealogy. I try to be well-rounded and I do have a few other interests beside genealogy. Baseball happens to be one of them. Specifically, watching Cincinnati Reds baseball. I don’t play baseball. I have never been that athletic and I am too old at this point to try.

This has been a fun baseball week. It was the All Star break–a time-out from the regular season, which has been a somewhat less than mediocre season for the Reds.

This past Monday was the Home Run Derby and Tuesday was the All Star Game, both held this year at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

We helped put our favorite Reds’ player, Todd Frazier, on the All Star roster by voting for him numerous times. I guess it helped because he came from behind, trailing over 2 million votes a couple weeks ago, to win the starting 3rd baseman position in the 2015 All Star Game.

Frazier, aka ToddFather, aka King of Swing after Monday night’s performance, has been our favorite player since Cincinnati drafted him in 2011. We followed him back then and Joe recognized him walking on a sidewalk near the Great American Ball Park back in June of 2012. That was his rookie year and he may have been going to the ballpark for batting practice, but he was kind enough to stop and talk with two old folks for a couple minutes and even allowed Joe to snap a photo.

This gives me another opportunity to show off the photo below, just in case someone missed it before.

Todd Frazier, Reds' 3rd baseman, and Karen. (2012 photo)

Todd Frazier, Reds’ 3rd baseman, and Karen. (2012 photo)

I usually carry a hard copy of this photo wherever I go, showing it to anyone who shows a remote interest in baseball. At first, during Frazier’s rookie year, people did not always recognize him in the photo, but people recognize him now! Maybe someday I will get it autographed.

So this past week was pretty exciting, with Frazier participating in not only the All Star Game but in the Home Run Derby on Monday night.

Last year Frazier was the runner up in the derby and this year he started out as second seed since he is one of the leading home run hitters in MLB this year.

The whole format of the Home Run Derby was revamped this year and I must say it was the most exciting sporting event I have seen since the Buckeyes won the National Championship last January.

It was an exciting, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat event and, best of all, Frazier won. The crowd, made up mainly of Reds fans, was on its feet, cheering him on at every opportunity. How wonderful that a player from the host team won the Home Run Derby.

Ah, to have been there and to have been a part of the cheering crowd, the excitement, and the drama. Darn. We should have bought tickets for the event months ago. Oh well. We had good seats right here at home.

Meanwhile, we had our own drama going on here at the house. Immediately after Frazier hit the home run to beat his second opponent Josh Donaldson, a big thunderstorm came through here. We did not lose power but the storm blocked our TV satellite transmission and the TV went out. That storm needed to pass through quickly, not only so we could see the end of the home run competition, but because we really didn’t need any more rain here. Our lawn was already super-saturated, and then some.

A co-worker, who is also a fellow Reds fan, and I had been texting back and forth about t how well Frazier was doing and how exciting the whole event was. She still had TV reception but within five minutes the storm reached Rockford and her TV went out, too. We were both getting nervous, not wanting to miss a single minute of the show.

Our TV came on about ten minutes later and I was able to text her with the results of the next match-up, the winner of which would be up against Frazier in the final round.

Thankfully there were enough commercial breaks to stretch out the Home Run Derby and we both had TV reception by the time the final match between Frazier and Pederson came on. Frazier hit 15 home runs to beat Joc Pederson and he hit a total of 39 home runs Monday evening.

After Monday night’s power-hitting event the All Star Game was a little anticlimactic and unfortunately Frazier was all out of home runs by that time. Before the game they honored and introduced some of the legendary baseball greats. When I was a kid my favorite player was Sandy Koufax and he, along with Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, and Willie Mays, were honored in person, on the field, right there in Cincinnati. Koufax even threw out the first pitch to Johnny Bench. Wow!

That would have been awesome to see in person.

Below is proof positive that we have been Frazier fans since he started with the Reds. We special ordered our shirts during Frazier’s rookie year, before they ever made and sold a Reds shirt with his name on it. His name and number were ironed on our shirts.

P1020445I wonder when Cincinnati will host another All Star Game. Maybe we will go to that one…

 

4 comments

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  1. Miriam

    I was never much of a baseball fan, but I did attend several Reds games when I lived in Cincy in the mid-1960’s. I remember seeing Sandy Koufax pitch in one of them at Crosley Field. Don’t remember whether that was the time Bob and I took the excursion train or whether it was a couple of years before when my folks came down. I mostly remember that game because of a couple seated near us who apparently like their beer more than they liked baseball.

    1. Karen

      That would have been awesome. I am so jealous! I only got to see Koufax on TV. The earliest Reds game I can remember attending was a double header against the Braves in the late 60s. It rained in the afternoon. Imagine that! They used to have double headers often back then. And yes, I believe many fans like their beer.

      1. Ted E Bollenbacher

        Did you ever do a story on Bruno Betzel from Chattanooga played for the st Louis cards from 1914_1919 then became a manager in the international league where he is in there hall of fame and was one of the men responsible for getting Jackie Robinson into the the majors also had a fist fight with the Cobb.

        1. Karen

          Yes, I wrote about him several years ago in a Tombstone Tuesday. You can find the post by searching for “Betzel” in the search feature in the upper right portion of my web site. He was certainly an interesting man, and was from Chatt! There are several Betzel posts but if you scroll down you will find the one for Albert “Bruno” and May R. Betzel. Thanks for writing!

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