July 12th, 2015
I’m happy to be writing this today from Cincinnati, Ohio. And caps off to the folks of the Queen City, as they have done a wonderful job making guests feel comfortable and at home in this historic city.
The ambiance and welcoming began at the airport. Signs greetng fans to All Star Week were everywhere to be seen. What I really like is the mustache logo that is carried everywhere in the All Star environment.
As I write this sitting in the press box at Great American Ball Park, I’m looking at the logo carved in center field. The mustache is evident. Way cool.
Our MLB.com folks are staying at an all suites hotel that is very conveniently located. Right outside is a statue of President Garfield. And down the street about three blocks is one of the true classic watering holes in the country—Arnold’s. Arnold’s was built in 1861, and everything about it is mellow. Yes, it looks old. But yes, it has tremendous charm. There’s an outside area where two men from a Shakespeare group performed on stage. When they were introduced I kind of rolled my eyes. Shakespeare? But they did the famed Who’s On First Abbot and Costello routine and then Casey At The Bat. They were outstanding. My negative initial impression was way wrong.
I had an outstanding hamburger. Outstanding. With coffee. No fries. And no beer. I don’t drink much beer.
Walking back to the hotel I got the scent of horses. Of course, that meant there would be horse and buggy rides available. And man, were they busy. The buggy’s were all decked out in purple and/or red lights with flowers, peace signs, love birds and various and sundry ornaments. It made for a nice atmosphere on the very crowded streets. No, I didn’t take a buggy ride. I lived vicariously through the sensory gifts they provided.
Yes there are some vacant stores, but there are also some very vibrant and up to the minute shops and entertainment venues in the downtown area. The people could not be any more friendly.
Fountain Square was packed with food trucks, artists, musicians and people just having a good time.
No-I haven’t had Skyline Chili yet. I don’t think I can handle that today, if you know what I mean. I’ll leave the chili for others. But believe me, Skyline can be found all over the city. And at the ballpark. I have to pass for this trip. Everyone who tries Skyline says it’s outstanding. But I only eat chili and/or meatloaf made by my wife.
I was surprised to see old fashioned hat stores in downtown Cincinnati. Several. And they had every type of hat one can imagine. But no baseball caps. Looking in the windows I felt I had stepped back in time 50 years. I mean, really. We don’t have hat stores in Phoenix. Not that I know of. But who wears a hat in 110 degrees?
I walked to Great American Ball Park from the hotel. Exactly 3165 steps according to my fit bit. It was a great walk along the downtown streets.
It poured all night long in Cincinnati on Saturday. I’m not used to seeing rain, but it was great to experience. Of course, everyone hopes it will stay away for the Futures Game today. Right now it’s humid but not raining. I just saw the sun.
I’ll be filing stories on the Futures Game at MLBPipeline.com. I then leave Cincinnati on Monday for Omaha and the Triple-A All Star Game next week. So keep up with me from there as well.
It’s so great to see so many fans walking around in Reds gear. Shirts, hats, everything. It’s a sea of Reds. And that’s how it should be. But yes, there are folks supporting other teams wearing their own colors proudly. But make no mistake. This is Reds country.
So watch this space throughout the week as I chronicle my time in Cincinnati and Omaha. And enjoy the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game. It’s a great time to celebrate the great game of baseball.
That’s it. I’m done. And thanks for reading my work at MLBPipeline.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff.