Cincinnati Opening Day 2012: The Perfect Opening Day

[Box Score] Highlights |

From Jay Bruce’s bomb off Edward Mujica to dead center field to Johnny Cueto shutting down the Marlins offense all day long, to the pregame beers and the post-game euphoria; this was probably my favorite Opening Day in Cincinnati to date. Bob Castellini saying that the All-Star game would be coming to Cincinnati was like a cherry on top.

My 8th straight Opening Day in Cincinnati will be my favorite for a while I feel like.


We started the day off at the In Between Tavern. Nice view of the stadium there in the background. We could have and probably should have headed over to the newly developed area directly across from the ballpark (Holy Grail, Kenny Chesney’s Bar, etc.) but we went old school to the first place we could walk into. And I’ve been at In Between Tavern a few times before Reds games in my life. A few times too many.

We guzzled some beers, met some folks from Columbus, and started talking 2012 Reds, memorabilia, and then the day’s first odd omen happened.

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I really had no clue. I just guessed. And ’53’ did pop into my head.

It’s slightly different than when I was a little kid, but there’s still nothing like that first view of the year of the field from inside the stadium. There’s something magical about it.

Here’s a good look at our seats right on the right field foul pole. It was $110 a piece for these. Probably should have went the StubHub route, but at least we were in. You never forget where you sat on an Opening Day. A lot of other games might blend together, but you will always remember exactly where you sat on Opening Day.

Here’s a view of the F-15 flyover at the end of the National Anthem. We had the best seat in the house for that!

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I crushed a few more stadium beers. The peanuts tasted as fine as they ever have. But I need something a little more filling to tide me over.

Mmmmm Skyline Chilli. How I’ve missed you. To think my wife has been doing Weight Watchers so strictly, and I’m off at the Opening Day Reds game crushing beers and slamming chilli dogs. I’m going to have to do intense cardio every day for the next month to burn off all the junk I took down yesterday.

Another kind of cool shot you could probably do without but I had to get it on here somewhere.

Second great omen of the day. I NAILED the scoreboard stumper in about 5 seconds. The question was ‘Five different catchers have started for the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Opening Day. Name them.’

  1. David Ross
  2. Javier Valentin
  3. Ryan Hanigan
  4. Ramon Hernandez
  5. Jason LaRue

Sometimes I nail the stumper, but I’ve never gotten it that quickly before.

The game had ended with Sean Marshall slamming the door, after Bruce’s crushing homer to dead center and Aroldis Chapman dominating a couple of hitters that stood no chance.

I was buzzed, and I was riding high. There was an atmosphere that I had never seen before outside the stadium when we headed back to the In Between Tavern for a victory beer before heading back to our car and making the trip home.

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And though there was some beer muscles going on when I said it, I do believe it. I do think the Reds are about to embark upon something special this season. Cincinnati deserves it as a city. The time has finally arrived. It’s going to be a summer of love, people.

Opening day in Cincinnati 2012 is now just a memory.

Votto’s first game under the extension (of course, he got a knock). Cueto’s seven shutout innings. Bruce’s blast to center to put it away. Cozart had a couple hits. Ryan Ludwick’s debut. Chris Heisey got a double off the wall. Chapman and Marshall’s domination. The beers. My buddy. High-fiving stranger after stranger in the streets after the game.

To think we get to live such a life.