Even though the Cincinnati's baseball team has failed to produce a winning National League baseball team since 1990, the Cincinnati Reds' Opening Day celebration is a very big "to do" here in the Queen City. Today was the day when downtown Cincinnati filled to the hilt with Reds fans along with corporate movers and shakers who want nothing more than to capitalize on the Reds' frenzy. Among the crowd you may even find a confused United States President hob knobbing with his former business partner.
Yup, that's right, President Bush was knighted to throw the ceremonial "first pitch" at the Red's Opener this afternoon. He is the only sitting President of the United States to ever do this at a Cincinnati Reds Opening Day game. Do you think that the fact that the Reds' new owner, Bob Castellini, used to be co-owners of the Texas Rangers with the Prez?
The only other sitting President ever to attend a Reds Opening Day game was Cincinnati native William Howard Taft in 1912.
Opening Day festivities are not exclusively located at the Great American Ball Park. All over downtown people were celebrating the first day of the Reds 2006 season. One of the most popular and highly publicized of these events is Opening Day Parade. Sponsored by Findley Market, this is the eighty seventh year of the traditional parade. Due to a number of morning meetings, I was not able to attend, but with the magic or webcasting, that even Harry Potter would be impressed with, I was able to catch a few minutes of the parade in between my appoitments.
I was happy to see that Project Lily Pad was represented. Give Back Cincinnati and METRO have partnered to provide "wi-fi" access in and around their buildings. A former neighbor of mine, Jim Tarbell was in good spirits, specked out in a black tuxedo suit and top hat, commemorating the memory of Peanut Jim.
Congresswoman Jean Schmidt was also in attendance. When being interviews by the reporter as she passed, he was not able to get a question out because of her loud and shameless decree of "I can't wait to see the President!" (I was a bit frightening actually)
The excitement of Opening Day was not enough to carry the Reds to a victory today. They fell to the Chicago Cubs 16 to 7.
Maybe it would have helped if this guy was pitching.