#REDSCARAVAN SOUTH TOUR – JANUARY 27
The Reds Caravan Southern Tour (aka, the Rock Stars), were “east bound and down” Friday morning at the crack of dawn (8:45am), rip roarin’ through the heart of America.
In a 61-minute motor coach ride on a long and windy road up through the middle of Appalachia, our first stop of the day put us at the beautiful Chief Logan Convention Center in Logan, WV. Marty, Lee, Bob, Chris, Tucker, Brandon, Ryan and myself, along with the caravan trail team were treated to a delicious private lunch and a meet-n-greet with some of the Reds fans in Logan. Following the meal, the celebrities on the traveling party gave the crowd of 10,000 (give or take, 9,950) a special Q&A program. Larry “Speedy” Bevins was our host and helped facilitate our media coverage with WVOW Radio.
From Logan – we coasted down the big hill to Pikeville, KY where we took our dog and pony show to the East Kentucky Expo Center for a similar program to the one we conducted in Logan. During this bus ride, we learned that we were going to be recognized as the 2011 Courage and Camaraderie Award winners. We were nearly overcome with joy and disbelief. We entered the Expo Center with our head in the clouds and a pep in our step. Our coverage in Pikeville was streamed live on WDHR.com and on local ESPNPikeville.com. One of the higlights in Pikeville was when a fan was set up with a “staged” question for Lee May. She asked the Big Bopper for his impressions of former pitcher Al McBean. Al McBean, of course, is a popular topic of conversation among the traveling party. On 2011’s caravan, Lee told us some of the best pitchers in his career off whom he had homered. He mentioned Marichal, Koufax, Drysdale…and Al McBean. Needless to say, Marty was completely dumbfounded that Lee would mention Al McBean in the same breath with the aforementioned pitching immortals. One year later, Lee has yet to live it down.
Following our hilarity in Logan we went to London….Kentucky. There we met up with some old friends and put our traveling party over the WANV Radio airwaves. Once again, food was aplenty and I didn’t miss any. “What time are you going to the electric chair, Jamie?” – Marty. Also in London, our very own Nick St. Pierre (aka, Gapper) was the upcoming subject of a local newspaper story. He spent the majority of the time in London being interrogated by a reporter. Marty and I did our best to openly refute all of Nick’s answers and comments. Nick wasn’t amused.
Following our European Vacation, we hopped back on the bus for our final desination – Lexington, KY.
Before having dinner at the beautiful VUE Restaurant with Reds CEO Bob Castellini, Karen Forgus, Steve Bearance and the fine folks associated with our Lexington radio affiliate, we dropped our stuff off at our hotel. I had a plan.
While my partner Ryan Rizzo stalled the guys on the bus, I managed to get from Caravan Advance Team captain, Patrick McGrath, a key to Tucker Barnhart’s hotel room. I took the key and scurried up to Tucker’s room with my flip cam. My plan was to completely scare the “Rook” to pieces…it worked. I hid behind a door and patiently waited. As Tucker fumbled for his key and eventually entered, I jumped out and yelled at the top of my lungs. Poor Tucker nearly fainted. I’ll post the video once I have it edited (for language purposes). I’m still giggling thinking about it.
Well that’s all for now. I’ll have more later. We’re currently in the midst of a 4-hour bus ride from Cincinnati (Select-A-Seat event as recapped earlier by Marty) to Bowling Green, KY. We’ll be at the Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green today from 4:30-6:30. Looking forward to seeing radio man Tony Rose, the folks at ESPN 1450 and all of the fans who come out to see us. Coverage of this event will be streaming live on ESPN1450.com.
Enjoy the South Tour photos from Friday…