From my pal @Bongreatness…
Tonight is Police & Fire Appreciation Night at Great American Ball Park. Held annually for over 30 years, this event allows us to salute the men & women of our local Police, Fire & EMS Departments. Activities planned for tonight include:
• A simultaneous first pitch offered up by Cincinnati Police Officers Orlando Smith & Benjamin Schneider. Both of these officers were recently award with the CPD’s Medal of Valor for going above & beyond in the line of duty.
• A ceremonial first pitch by Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard A. Braun. Braun is the 16th Fire Chief in the 160 year history of the CFD.
• Honor Guards for tonight’s game will be provided by the Covington Police Department & Greenwood (IN) Fire Department. The singing of our National Anthem tonight will be done by Hamilton County Sherriff’s Deputy James Whitacre. And prior to the singing of our National Anthem we will pause for a Moment of Silence in honor of all fallen members of the police, fire & EMS departments.
• Tonight’s official game ball will be delivered to the mound by Cincinnati Police Officer Ronald Hale, a member of S.W.A.T. who also served in the Army during the Persian Gulf War.
• Tonight’s Honorary Captains of the game will be Parker & Hunter Ellis, the children of Bardstown (KY) Police Officer James Ellis. Officer Ellis paid the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed in the line of duty on May 25th. Officer Ellis was a graduate of Glen Este High School & played for one season in the Reds minor league system with the Billings Mustangs. A member of the Ellis family TBD will also offer up our final ceremonial first pitch of the evening.
• Tonight’s Hometown Hero is Ludlow (KY) police officer James Seibert, a member of the Army National Guard who served in Afghanistan.
• During the middle of the 7th inning break tonight we will pause for a special singing of God Bless America, performed tonight by retired Cincinnati Firefighter Bennyce Hamilton.
From our friends at Elias Sports Bureau…
Reds score all four runs on solo homers
Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce hit home runs in the Reds’ 4-1 win over the Pirates. One other major-league team scored four (or more) runs in a game this season, with solo homers accounting for all of their runs: the Phillies, in a 4-3 win against the Red Sox on May 29.
I really like what Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said last night about Mike Leake…
“He’s been doing this for three months now and building up to this,” Hurdle said. “He’s a good pitcher. When you look at that young man, he’s drafted in the first round, the [eighth] pick in the nation [in 2009]. That’s not projecting a frame, that’s not getting a 6-4, 220-pound guy that’s going to be a horse. That’s a guy that can pitch, and that’s what he’s evolved into, and that’s what he does.
“He keeps the ball out of the middle of the plate, he changes speeds extremely well. And he actually, from his perspective with his skill, he controls the barrel. He gets you out front, he beats with you fastballs. He’s pitching as well as I’ve ever seen him.”
(courtesy of MLB.com)
More in a bit.