REDS #1 FAN
Chuck D is at the gates of Great American Ball Park dressed in his trademark “#1 Fan” gear, pounding his batting gloved-hands together and cheering for the Reds as if they were smack-dab in the middle of an October playoff game. Only, it’s 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning in August and the team is nowhere to be found. Dusty and the boys are in Chicago sleeping off another Wrigley Field victory while Chuck and hundreds of fellow Reds season-ticket holders gather at GABP for a fan appreciation event.
If you don’t already know Chuck D, you might recognize him as the between-innings superstar of the GABP videoboard, loitering under the Power Stacks during most Reds games rooting on the Cincinnati Nine with air-drum solos, pom-pom hats, C-logoed pajama pants and the booming voice of a carnival barker. He’s fairly easy to find no matter where you sit in the seating bowl – just look and/or listen for him.
Through the kindness of his friends Amy and Andy Perry (whom he met at GABP), Chuck is an official Reds season ticket holder. He attends nearly every game and every Reds-related event at the ballpark and fashions himself as the club’s #1 Fan. He dresses the part and his loyalty never wavers. But what’s more interesting is the supernatural energy of positivity that he brings with him to Joe Nuxhall Way.
“I believe you can make things happen and set things into motion with positive energy,” says Chuck. “There is spiritual energy that you don’t see. If you bring that positive energy (to the ballpark), there’s an energy exchange. If enough people get together with that energy, you can set things into motion. We know there is a spiritual side of life that we don’t always see. I believe in energy.”
Your first impression of Chuck D might be a little off-putting. You might think he’s just a “crazy loud guy” whom you hope isn’t sitting in your section. But although he has an unusual amount of vigor and team spirit, you’d be wrong to turn your nose up at him. He’s a good man, a man of the people who appreciates the innate goodness of human beings, and a guy with an undying love for the Cincinnati Reds…and the cosmos.
Chuck has hit some tough times over the past couple of years, dealing with some personal stuff as well as an injury that not only required surgery but also compromised his livelihood. It’s no match, though for his spirit and positive attitude. “You’re not going to win every game, and there’s going be problems and you’re going to fall short sometimes but if you stay positive and always try to find the good things, your whole outlook on life is going to be better,” suggests Chuck.
Who knows, maybe Chuck is indeed the paranormal pilot of this season’s magical mystery tour. “Maybe I have some magic powers,” he wonders. “Some people have joked that I’m a wizard – but no, I just believe in energy and really backing your team. This is a great group of guys and a great team. And I don’t believe getting down on them.”