Hello Reds Nation and thank you for logging into BOR – hands down my favorite blog in all of MLB!  My name is Ryan Rizzo, Premium Sales Manager for the Cincinnati Reds, or guest blogger number 3.  I have some huge shoes to fill as I’ve been asked to sit in for the tremendously talented Jamie Ramsey who is currently rumored to be taking voice lessons with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in hopes of being selected to perform our National Anthem at Great American Ball Park later this fall.

I wish him the best of luck in chasing his dream.  In the meantime I’ll do my best Mr. Ramsey impression in an effort to keep BOR sailing smooth until his triumphant return.  First, a bit about myself…

As I mentioned before I’m a sales manager and work in the ticketing offices of the Cincinnati Reds where I’ve currently been happily employed for more than 10 years.  During that time I’ve had all kinds of opportunities to participate in a number of really fun and exciting projects such as the Reds Winter Caravan, Season Ticket Holder Luncheons, Spring Training trips, and filling in as Mr. Redlegs for an episode of Extreme Home Makeover (they cut out all of my scenes).  This however is my first time writing for a blog.  I can only hope that my rookie appearance rivals those of Mr. Mike Leake or Mr. Travis Wood!  Before we continue, a few other notable facts about myself.  I’m a Libra, my eyes turn a piercing red color in every photo I ever take, I enjoy watching reruns of Fantasy Island, and I once tried to whittle a life size statue of Yogi Bear from the wood of a Giant Sequoia Tree.  Moving on…

So far, this season has been without a doubt the most enjoyable of my career at the Reds.  I feel that our current Reds team is oozing with talent, full of energy, and hungry to win.  Yes, I believe they have the eye of the tiger!  In addition to the great play by the boys on the field, the fans have been tremendous in their support this season. On a number of evenings, the ballpark has been filled with an electricity in the air.  Huge crowds decked out in their Reds gear screaming and yelling as they cheer our team to victory give our team a true home field advantage.  It’s been kind of like the phenomenon of the west side known as “The Pit” at Elder High School – when the crowd is behind you and supporting you, it makes it tougher for the opponent to come in and win in your house.

elder.JPGfans.jpg In talking with a few of the guys on the team, playing in front of a packed house makes a world of difference so keep coming down to the ballpark and continue to cheer on our beloved Redlegs as we round third and head down the home stretch.  This weekend the Reds will be returning home to take on the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.  Tickets are still available but moving quickly, so get yours today and come be part of the excitement!

Next, I have to take a moment to wish a very Happy 34th Birthday to BOR founder and CEO Jamie Ramsey! 

ramsey-riz.JPGWhat can I say about my good friend for his big day other than he is absolutely crazy for allowing a bunch of hacks run his blog while he is out of town at the Justin Bieber concert.  I’ll tell you a little bit about the man behind BOR.  I had the pleasure of working directly with Jamie in the Merchandise Department during the 2000 season as we began our careers in the front offices of the Cincinnati Reds.  While it was a short stint before we both moved into different roles within the organization, Jamie and I became good friends.  Nowadays we have the good fortune of being reunited as a team in the office as we travel with the Rock Star Leg of the Reds Winter Caravan.  Our tour of the caravan has been referred to in many circles as the greatest show on the planet.  The major league tour (as we’re sometimes referred to) is anchored by high power stars such as Mercury Marty Brennaman, Brandon “get your swag on” Phillips, Chris “El Gato” Welsh, Bob “The Thriller” Miller, and a gang of others such as Lee May, Chris Sabo, Glenn Braggs, Homer Bailey and Zack Cozart.   You can easily see how this band of brothers is the premier traveling show.

caravan.jpgtoby.JPGcaravan2.jpgmarty-may.JPG  On occasion when we get a rare break in all of the action of work, Jamie often times pulls strings and gets us tickets to great shows like Toby Keith, he sometimes organizes fishing trips, and hosts all kinds of Holiday Parties (most notably – Halloween, see pics).  Yeppers,  Jamie is an all around good guy, hard worker, great friend, talented writer and more, so be sure to send him all of your birthday wishes.  Cheers to you pal!

halloween2.jpgGetting back to business, Kansas you are officially on the clock for the Reds Fan State Challenge.  Side note fun fact:  I have a hair stylist named Kansas, and she does great work on my dome from time to time.  So far we have ZERO entries from the Sunflower State, so we need to get a move on it!  Let’s assemble an all out assault on this contest and move into first place.  Topeka, Dodge City, Wichita I’m looking at you.  Fire up the old laptop, throw on your Reds cap and let us know you’re out there.

On one last note before we wrap up, congratulations to the Cincinnati Junior RBI team on winning the East Regional Tournament yesterday at Great American Ball Park, and good luck in the World Series.

Cinci-Jr-RBI-east-champs.jpgWell folks I’ve had a great time and I hope you enjoyed logging in.  I want to leave you with a quote from baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller that I thought you all may enjoy.   “Every day is a new opportunity.  You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again.  That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”

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