Ohio had a good year for professional sports all star games, the NHL had theirs in Columbus in January, where we had the chance to check out the NHL Fan Fair, and Cincinnati was hosting the Major League Baseball All Star Game.
While I passed on the MLB All Star Fan Fest, since it too was geared to kids, I did manage to get tickets to the All Star Sunday. This event is not one of the premier events but it did give us the chance to go experience the atmosphere.
On the way to Cincinnati we stopped off briefly to check out the Miamisburg Mound, one of the best known but least understood major prehistoric Indian feature in Ohio. It is the largest conical shaped earthwork of its kind in the United States and possible the world, measuring 65 feet high with a circumference is 877 feet. It is the largest conical burial Mound east of the Mississippi River.
Because of its conical shape, the type of burial found within it, and the absence of associated earthworks, the Miamisburg mound is believed by archaeologists to have been the work of the Adena prehistoric culture.
Continuing on to downtown Cincinnati, we parked on a wharf along the Ohio River and started our day of baseball.
One of the icons of this All Star game were mustaches. Major League Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds sponsored 20 Cincinnati baseball-inspired statues will be placed around the Queen City. Each statue is an oversized mustache emblazoned with unique All-Star or Reds-centric imagery and text. The mustache resembles the handlebar style sported by Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs. Each statue measures 8 feet wide, 2.5 feet high and weighs approximately 850 pounds.
Fountain Square, the center of Cincinnati, was festooned for the event as well, with numerous all star themed art works. One of the items was a ‘picture frame’ that you could get your photo taken in, which we did. Surprisingly nobody had a problem with me wearing my Pittsburgh Pirates hat.
The All Star logos were everywhere, on the large windows of a downtown hotel, a mustache in all the store fronts, on the streets and sidewalks, and even across a walkway overtop a street.
We walked across the river to Covington where they were having a baseball memorabilia sale at a convention center. Also at this sale former Reds players were selling their autographs, including of course Pete Rose. Also at this sale was a Sketchers booth where Kim picked up a nice new pair of sneakers and posed next to, of course, a poster of Pete Rose hawking shoes too.
Finally, we entered the stadium for the games. It was a really cool atmosphere as there were fans there from all over the country, wearing jerseys or T shirts of their favorite team. Before the game started the always impressive Budweiser Clydesdales made a lap of the field.
The first game was the Future All Stars. This game features the best of the minor league players, usually really young ones. The format is the United States versus the World, and in holding to that theme, and the Red emphasis, the managers were Ken Griffey, Sr for the US and Tony Perez for the World team.
The game itself was uneventful so by the bottom of the 7th inning we went out to an area where the ‘celebrity all stars’ were being introduced for their warm ups. As with all of these games ½ of the celebrities are former players, and the others are entertainers. This year included Snoop Dogg, Eric Davis, someone named Macklemore, Jenny Finch, and Urban Meyer, the Ohio State coach who was booed. Not exactly an A list, but good enough for Cincinnati.
The game itself was fun, the players were skilled, but other than Snoop Dogg, it wasn’t overly entertaining.
Still it was a great day spent in Cincinnati.