All summer I have written about this phenomenal Red’s story. I mean who in Cincinnati or the tri-state area hasn’t? We all wish that we were John Fay this year. The Cincinnati Enquirer Red’s Beat Writer has had so much great stuff to write about for the past 6 months. I guess the guy has paid his dues covering this team through a lost decade. Well tonight, I am going to continue that trend. And why not? It is the hot topic in the local area and something that Cincinnatians alike should be proud of. The Reds will be in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years! It has been far too long Nasty Nati. Well we are back, and though this team has not looked the same down the stretch, it has the look of a team that should be a playoff contender for years to come. An exciting young nucleus of big bats, solid arms, and some wily veterans mixed in the bunch. But enough with the acknowledgments. Lets talk about what transpired tonight as the home town team is currently “popping champagne like we won a championship game.” Enjoy it. Come next week, the real adventure starts. Playoff baseball on Joe Nuxhall Way.
Now I will admit, I did not get to watch a good portion of the game tonight. Due to prior obligations, I had to follow the gamecast for the majority of it. But what transpired in the 9th, sent chills down my spine. It made me want to yell with excitement at the top of my lungs. This was Great American Ball Park’s version of, “The Shot Heard Around the World.” Jay Bruce, who quietly has raised his batting average back up to a very respectable .275 not only just gave the Reds a big time walk off win. He not only granted the Reds a birth in the postseason. But he gave Great American Ball Park the “signature moment” it has been waiting for. I hope the song “One Shining Moment” was playing at the stadium during the fireworks.
Now really think back on the history of our hometown’s favorite baseball diamond. Great American Ballpark, though I think it should be called “Good” American Ballpark (discussion for another day), opened up in 2003. The Stadium construction cost 290 million dollars (chump change for the Yankees) and seats 42,271 people. Since that grand opening, this team has not had one winning season. This historic franchise, which boasts the bragging rights of being the first ever professional baseball team and an impressive 5 World Series Championships, has not won more than 80 games in a season since the move. Now those days are over. This October, GABP, as Cincinnati fans like to call it, will get its first taste of postseason baseball.
Now I am not trying to say by any means that this park has not had its fair share of excitement. I mean Major League baseball teams play 81 games there a year. There is bound to be some exciting finishes. But how many exciting endings have there been with actual postseason meaning? None until now. Up until now, the most historic moments of this park could be summarized by the original first pitch, tossed by our former President George W. Bush. Or maybe the first ever home run, which was hit by Ken Griffey Jr. in March of 2003. Well now we have the “Shot Heard Around the Banks.” The Ohio River and Downtown Cincinnati rumbled from the noise and fireworks of Jay Bruce’s colossal shot. If you are still downtown or by the water, you can probably hear echoes of the chant “BRUCE!!”
And this one belongs to the Reds. Lets get ready for some playoff baseball folks and pray that we can avoid the outstanding pitching of the Phillies in the divisional series.
We all just witnessed the “Shot Heard Around the Banks.”
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.