Arrived safely in Northern Kentucky this evening around 6:30 p.m. and grabbed a cab to my downtown Cincinnati hotel. As we were coming in on 2nd Street I noticed flocks of people headed in one general direction: Great American Ballpark. As luck would have it, the Reds are in town playing the Texas Rangers. My hotel is only 5 blocks away. I checked in as fast as possible, threw my suitcase in my room and headed out to the ballpark.
I haven't been to a Major League baseball game in a few years. The last time was in Atlanta (BOO!!) I haven't been to a Cincinnati Reds game since they played in Riverfront Stadium and I was about 7 years old. Of course I have very little memory of what the ballpark looked like then, but it was weird how the scents and the sounds were just the same. It reminded me of the good times with my dad. We would go to Riverfront Stadium for an afternoon game--my dad had Sunday afternoons off work back then. Grab a hot dog and enjoy the game! Although I rarely talk about my dad and if I do it's usually to gripe, I have to give him complete credit for my sports IQ and my love of the game.
I called my dad from the stands only to get his voicemail. Sometimes the nostalgia overcomes my anxiety...this was one of those times. It felt too wrong to be sitting in a place where he would KILL to be and not acknowledge him. Another one of those times was my first visit to Notre Dame Stadium. Those are his teams...those are the teams I grew up cheering for even though I had no idea what was going on! In a perfect world, my dad would be here (sober) and we'd be having the time of our lives.
I left in the bottom of the 6th inning because it was getting dark and I was warned not to patrol the streets of downtown Cincinnati alone and after dark. The Reds were down 7-6, but I have a good feeling. I hope they win this one for Dad...