It was neat to say that we were one of the 42,234 in attendance for the first regular season Civil Rights Game in the history of baseball. Immediately upon showing up, our friend observed that there was a playoff atmosphere in the air.
It was a packed house and although the Reds built a 5-0 lead with their ace Johnny Cueto on the hill and let it slip away; it was still a night to be remembered in the history of this blog, being a fan in general, and in terms of baseball it gives one a perspective of how far we’ve came as a nation.
A fan in front of us paging through the complimentary program given out at the gates. We thought this was one of the better shots we’ve ever taken at a game. A ‘picture says a thousand words silently’ type of deal.
In attendance for the game was Muhammad Ali, Bill Cosby, and Frank Robinson (who threw out the first pitch).
Even after downing about 8 draft beers and the Reds squandering what looked to be a really nice lead and an opportunity to take the first two games of this series (that they’d end up losing 2 games to 1) our mood couldn’t be soured because of the great atmosphere.
The Reds were dressed in their Civil Rights Uniforms, with the names below the numbering. A lot of fans remarked that they’d like to see these become the full time home uniforms. I wouldn’t, but it was nice to see something different. The Chicago White Sox were dressed in a very deep blue solid colored uniform. It was a cool throwback night at the ballpark.
As for Mr. Bruce, we remarked before we left for the game that we hoped he’d feel the Diamond Hoggers presence and do something special. While he didn’t have the greatest game of his career, he did provide us with some flashes of his brilliance.
Bruce had four at bats against tough lefties. He doubled in one of them and then with two outs in the ninth inning, he took a Bobby Jenks fastball into the right field stands for a no-doubt home run. There’s nothing like seeing your favorite player murder a fastball that’s right down the middle of the plate deep into the night.
It was a beautiful and muggy evening in Cincinnati. Here’s a shot from the riverboat deck behind the right center field stands. You can see over into Kentucky across that Ohio River.
And we of course have to give some props to Coco Cordero, who threw us a baseball as the game ended from the bullpen. In the end it was a 10-8 loss that the Reds let slip away, but another beautiful night at the ballyard in which we will never forget.