We have a winner for the “What’s Your Reds Lifestyle” contest!
Before I announce the winner I would like to thank everyone that sent in their submissions. There were some heart felt stories, along with some funny, crazy stories. There were a lot of great photos of dedication and commitment to the Reds. I knew Reds fans were serious, but you guys are on a whole ‘nother level. I loved reading all of your stories and once again, thank you for submitting.
Now, on to the winner! Drum roll please…
Rachel Lutchin of Cincinnati, Ohio sent in a very funny submission. She actually used to broadcast her own Reds Radio Network. She sent in an actual recording of herself delivering the Reds News when she was little, just like Marty and the Cowboy would do. Here is her description of the broadcast:
“I am lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, thanks to my father. He is also a Reds fan, so were his parents. An earliest memory of my childhood is watching the Reds games with my father on TV. He would explain the rules of the game to me. When I was kid, I would pretend that I was a sports reporter. I recorded my voice, giving the Reds news on my Fisher-Price tape recorder. I still have the tape I used to record it. I attached a sound clip of me giving the Reds news when I was a kid.”
And for the actual recording, here ya go:
That was a very funny audio clip. The youngest Reds fans are sometimes the most committed. Congratulations to Rachel. She is the winner of a Ryan Hanigan signed baseball!
Thank You to everyone, and like I said before, Reds fans really are the best fans in the world.
Here are few pictures of some other submissions:
What a great Saturday…Another win at Wrigley and a second Better Off Red blog entry from Liz Romes (@RedsTixLiz)! Happy weekend. - Lisa
Hi my name is Liz Romes and I am a Client Service Representative for the Reds. I am born and bred Cincy, through and through. I love my Reds, Muskies, and Bungels. I absolutely love Skyline, and do not trust anyone who does not like it. I will argue anyone in the world that Graeter’s Ice Cream is the best ice cream on the planet. With that being said, when I was asked to guest write for this world prestigious blog, I was first honored but then I found myself dumbfounded at what to say or write. (And for anyone that knows me, they know that this does not happen too often). So, I thought about it for a while…
Reds baseball. What does it mean? Why are we so attached?
For some of you out there, Reds Baseball probably means summer is here and the boys are back on the field. It’s time to look at stats and standings, and compete with the Cards again to see who will come out on top in the Central. It means guessing how many walk-off home runs the Reds will have this year? Or how many toothpicks Dusty goes through during the season? (really though, how many?) And, of course, how far will we go in the playoffs?
But I feel like for me and for many people, it’s not always what happens on the field that makes us attached. Sure, we get attached to a specific team or love watching a specific player. However, it’s about the experiences at the ballpark, or growing up in this baseball town that makes Reds baseball a part of us.
So again, what does Reds baseball mean?
Summertime. I grew up in the small town of St. Bernard on Rose Hill Avenue. This street was one for the books. It was like straight out of the movie The Sandlot during the summer (except let’s add a few girls into the story). We would play whiffle ball and capture-the-flag all day, and at night we would catch lightening bugs and play hide and go seek all to the background sounds of Marty and Joe. There were two die hard Reds fans that lived next door to me growing up, Bonnie and Lynn. Every night they would get their cooler of Budweiser ready and listen to the game. They would scream and cheer while listening to those beloved radio voices. (These women had sets of lungs). And because we were so close to downtown, we would sometimes hear the fireworks after a home run. This is Reds baseball.
I was never fortunate enough to go to every Opening Day growing up. I had only been to one when I started working here. However, the Opening Day I was able to attend was the one I will never forget. I was about 7 years old and I was “sick” that day for school. We listened to “Centerfield” on an A-track player while getting ready to go downtown. The excitement in me was amazing. I couldn’t tell you who the Reds played that day or if we even won, but I cannot describe in words how incredible it was to be there holding my dad’s hand while walking into Riverfront Stadium. I will never forget at the same game, my dad’s friend (who is sometimes mistaken as Ron Woods from the Stones) “procured” a bag of cotton candy for me. We were sitting up in the “red” and the vendor holding the cotton candy tray over his head happened to be standing right in front of us. So “Ron Woods” simply just lifted one right out and handed it to me. This is Reds baseball.
In recent years, buying my dad a beer at a game when I finally turned 21 is one of the coolest memories. And, of course, I am going to add the two clinch nights in 2010 and 2012. Not just because of what happened on the field, but celebration and the togetherness of the fans. It was awesome to see how proud this city was of our Reds.
Looking at the big picture, we really do have an awesome city and a team that we are all loyal to. Reds baseball is something that is passed down through generations in Cincinnati. It is in our blood. It doesn’t matter what always happens on the field, because I believe it’s the experiences that we have with our family at the ballpark, or watching the games with friends… that makes us truly attached.
So… Reds baseball, what does it mean to you?
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read!
Liz Romes (@RedsTixLiz) in our Ticket Client Services Department gives us an update on Chris Herrell. #TeamHerrell
Chris Herrell, Season Ticket Manager in the Reds’ front office, recently underwent a bone barrow transplant. Chris is now finished with chemo and is now in a waiting period to see if his body accepts the cells after the transplant. The outpouring support from many of you has been amazing. I cannot tell you how many times, while talking to Season Ticket Holders, we stop the normal conversation to talk about our buddy, Herrell. We know that Chris appreciates the cards, gifts, and kind words during this tough time for him and his young family. Please keep thinking about him in your mind and heart. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see him walking around in those crazy Reds’ pants again!
If you are interested in a Team Herrell wristband, they can be purchased at the Reds main offices front desk for $5, while supplies last (9am-5p, Monday-Friday)
We close out the work week of stellar intern guest bloggers with Ellen Remley, another important part of our social media team. We’ll continue with guest bloggers this weekend, leading up to the return of the one and only, Jamie Ramsey. Now here’s Ellen… – Lisa
When I was maybe five or six, my family was driving to Reds game, and my dad (being my dad) was doing his best to get my older sister and me psyched up for the game.
Granted, it doesn’t take much to get two kids under the age of ten excited to go to a baseball game, but that’s not the point.
He was asking questions about baseball trivia and doing his best Marty Brennaman impression and spouting off quotes from former Reds players. (“Okay girls, who said, “Bench me or trade me!”?”) The closer we got to the ballpark, the more delirious we got with excitement, and the more he egged us on.
Finally, when we were just a few blocks away from Riverfront Stadium, my dad started calling out the names of the players as if he were announcing the starting lineup.
“And at shortstop, number eleven, BAAAAARRRRRYYYYYYYY–”
“MANILOW!” I yelled from the backseat.
This is one of those stories that my dad trots out regularly at family functions or late nights after work or whenever the mood strikes. And ever since I came to work for the Reds, it’s made more appearances than normal. We’ve rehashed this story so many times in my life, that I’m not sure if I actually remember it happening or if I’ve concocted a memory based on the anecdote that my dad has told so me so often.
In fact, there are a lot of Reds-related stories and incidents and trivia in my memory that I’m not sure if I actually remember or if my dad has inception-ed them into my brain. But that’s one of the best things about having grown up with a team that has a legacy like the Cincinnati Reds; there is always something new to learn or to teach or to celebrate.
And every Reds fan has a story to tell.
I know I have dozens; I could tell you about the stack of Reds hats we keep in the living for emergency rally-capping, or about the fact that we have two Reds flags flying outside of our house LITERALLY as I type this. I could tell you about the time I attended batting practice (and barely kept my inner-fangirl under control), or even about the time Ramon Hernandez gave me a baseball. And if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve already heard about the #MagicRallyShoe.
But I want to hear YOUR best Reds story. Or maybe your favorite bit of trivia; I’m always looking for something to stump my dad.
Feel free to send me your responses over at the Reds official Tumblr account, cincinnatireds.tumblr.com/ask .
(And for those of you who NEEDED to know [and I know you're out there], Chico Ruiz wanted to be benched or traded.)
This week on Better Off Red we are giving you the opportunity to meet some of the great interns at the Reds. We are truly a team on and off the field, and interns are such an important part of what we do. Yesterday Justin Marshall gave us a look at his Reds lifestyle. If you haven’t checked out his post yet, make sure you do so you can enter his contest to win a Ryan Hanigan autographed baseball.
Today we hand the baton to Zach Weber in our Media Relations. Rob Butcher, our Media Relations Director, and his department are a big part of our social media efforts to bring Reds fans interesting content via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+. If you aren’t following us on at least a few of those platforms, you just may be missing the opportunity to see the Reds in a whole new way. – Lisa
Having the opportunity to become a guest contributor for Better Off Red, even if only for a day, I jumped at the opportunity. Well, jumped is a bit much; I merely sent an email stating that I would love to write a post, but hey, jumped works.
It took me some time to figure out what I wanted to write for the site. I had a few good ideas, but nothing really concrete. I could go with a story about my first season with the Reds or perhaps something about the differences between working in minors for the last two years and working in “the show.” In the end I ultimately decided to share with you my pregame experiences.
One of the many benefits of working for the Reds, especially in the media relations department, is the opportunity to experience batting practice. Batting practice is more than just a time when players hit deep fly balls on 50-60mph pitches, or when pitchers shag fly balls in the outfield. It’s a time when players let their guard down just a bit. It becomes a valuable opportunity for writers and members of the media to interact with players, get quotes, interview players, amongst other things. It’s perhaps one of the best times for members of the media to view the entire team from the stars, to recently recalled players for the minors.
On top of all of that, it is a time when guests can come to the ballpark and experience the team firsthand. Sometimes, when a band or a celebrity is in town, they are invited to stop by and take in the action first hand. For example, one of Dusty Baker’s favorite bands, Rebelution stopped by last home stand. (See photos below)
In addition to taking in the action on the diamond, I have spent many a night walking around and experiencing all of the pregame festivities around Great American Ball Park. Having spent four years working in baseball, I am quite blown away with what Great American Ball Park has to offer before even the first pitch is thrown.
As a Real Time Coordinator for MLB.com & their Cut4 program, I am asked to send in pictures of fans and the ballpark, as well as of players. I am told essentially attempt to capture the mood of the ballpark. The beautiful thing about this role is that it lets me get creative. After you take a few shots of kids running the bases and fans eagerly awaiting autographs, you start to lust for more original photographs. I am not a professional photographer by any means, but I have a fancy camera that I don’t know how to use and I try my best Ansel Adams impression. Please judge for yourself. I hope you enjoy them.
Well without further ado, I give you my pregame photos from just the tip of the season. It may be early, but the Reds & their fans have already provided plenty of “Kodak Moments,” though the expression “Iphone Moments” is probably more reflective of the times. (No one said I was funny).
One last thing before I go. In my spare time around the office and at home I have been trying to come up with as many Shin-Soo Choo related puns as possible. A single photo that would display our centerfielders awesomeness in a picture. Here is my latest creation. As I work on my next meme, I am always looking for ideas. Feel free to tweet me your ideas @ZachMWeber. Thanks!
Greetings, Better Off Red readers. My name is Justin Marshall. I am the Social Media Intern here for the Cincinnati Reds. I may not have had the time on this earth that most other Reds fans have had, being only 24, however, that is no excuse for me to not adopt the Cincinnati Reds in every aspect of my life. The Cincinnati Reds are a lifestyle for me, and I am sure many others of you out there. Let me tell you why.
I’d like to think that I was put on this earth to talk about the Reds. I am from Cincinnati (that’s enough proof right there, right?) so I was fortunate enough to be a Reds fan by association. I think anyone from Cincinnati is automatically a Reds fan. Which is fine with me. Growing up, I of course played baseball. We modeled, with strong…STRONG input from me, our uniforms after the Cincinnati Reds. I wore that thing everywhere. Dinner, Reds games, family outings, fishing, and yes even to school picture days. As seen below.
My favorite players growing up were Barry Larkin whose position I played, and whose number I would have worn if it weren’t for that darn Dustin Wanager who picked his number first (yes, I am still bitter), and Johnny Bench whose number “5” I eventually ended up wearing for the rest of my baseball career.
As a child I always thought that listening to Reds games on 700 WLW was what everyone did. I was actually kind of freaked out one day when I spent the night at a friend’s house and they didn’t have the game on the radio. I had a mini panic attack and even wanted my mom to come pick me up, or at least let me sit in her car for three hours while I listened to Marty and Joe call the game. The moment the “And this one belongs to the Reds” line came pouring out of Marty’s mouth (and yes, I choose not to remember the games that resulted in losses) I was ok to go back to playing Cowboys and Indians, or in my case Cubs vs. Reds, with my friends.
I’ve owned tons of Reds hats in my lifetime. Red, black, white, pinstriped, you name it. Dirty, sweaty hats that have gone through way too much in their lifetime. Some of which I’ve had for far too long. I’ve picked many, many hats out of multiple garbage cans before when my girlfriend tries to throw them away. This is a no-no for me. Store them in the basement but do not throw them away. Rules to live by here guys!
The beginning of summer doesn’t start until Johnny Cueto, Aarong Haarang, Jose Rijo, or Tom Browning throw out that first pitch and don’t even try to convince me otherwise all of you meteorologists out there! Also, summer lasts 162 days. On the days there aren’t Reds games, it isn’t summer. Not only are there off days for the Reds, there are off days for summer, and they just so happen to fall on the same day. The Reds are one of the only topics that almost anyone can enjoy. You may not like baseball, but the Reds in general are something that warrants a moment of your time.
I get a high off of going to Reds games. The sights, sounds, smells (both good and bad) of a ballpark sends me through a pure blissful experience I can’t even begin to explain. As the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World would say. “I don’t always go to Reds games, but when I do, I like to sit as high up as possible.” So, he may not say that but I do enjoy watching the Reds games from a bird’s eye view and even, yes, keep score. Call me nerdy, call me obsessed, but just don’t talk to me during a Reds game, you may get a ball point pen to the face. One of my favorite scoreboard signs was from the Riverfront Stadium days when they used to play that “Walks Will Haunt” video. I love it so much that I have in fact started the process of buying this shirt. You should too.
I always dreamed of playing for the Reds. I played baseball in college but when I go back and think about it, if I were to ever make it to the pros I wouldn’t be able to watch the Reds on tv or listen to them on the radio anymore…and that would make me sad.
I like to think that being an intern for the Reds is one of the best things that could ever happen to me. I mean, Great American Ball Park looms right outside my door and I have the advantage of being able to work here and wander around the stadium. Something most people would dream of. Still to this day I watch as many Reds games as humanly possible. And of course I will listen to the broadcast on the radio if I am not around a television. A lot of people think the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. I disagree, I think Reds season is the most wonderful time of the year.
This brings me to my long-winded question. What is your Reds lifestyle? It could be anything from the moment you became a Reds fan, a tradition you participate in, a lucky piece of Reds gear, superstitions, memories as a child, or really ANYTHING that proves that the Reds are a lifestyle for you. Give me funny, cute, original, sad, joyful, examples. Make them as long (like mine) or as short stories as you’d like. Pictures, videos, songs, poems, haikus, ditties, are greatly encouraged. I’ve shared a small amount about me and why I choose the Reds as a personal lifestyle. Now is your turn to share. Let me have em.
To enter, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @jmarsh5 with your stories. We’ll pick the best submission and the winner will receive a Ryan Hanigan signed baseball. Have your entries in by Sunday May 5th at noon ET to be eligible to win.
Reds fans really are the best fans in baseball and it is because of the dedication of you guys to this team that makes it possible. Keep up the good work and Go Reds!
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It’s my pleasure to introduce you to our next guest blogger, Justin Long. In addition to being a valuable member of our Reds Media Relations Department, Justin is a huge asset to our social media content team. And because I like him, I won’t even comment on his comparing Chapman to Papelbon. - Lisa
Hey Reds fans,
I’m one of the newest members of the Reds Media Relations staff. Prior to moving here from Massachusetts in January, I had never been to Cincinnati. I knew basic facts about the Reds and I remember my dad loving the Nasty Boys when I was a kid, but that’s about it. I had never heard of Skyline, Kroger or LaRosa’s, and I didn’t know what a 102mph fastball looked like in person.
Since you folks are diehard Reds fans, and since many of you have probably spent a good chunk of your lives in the Cincinnati area (at least more than I have), I thought you might want to hear an out-of-towner’s first impressions of your team and city. So, here are a few random thoughts and observations as the first month of the season comes to a close:
First things first…
Nine times out of 10, when I meet someone from Cincinnati I get asked two questions: 1) If you’re from Massachusetts, why don’t you have an accent? 2) Have you had Skyline yet?
First, I like the accent question because people always seem so disappointed when I pronounce my R’s and don’t refer to it as Great American Ball Pahk. I grew up in a small farm town almost 100 miles outside the city, and us country folk don’t have accents. (But now that I think about it, to avoid further disappointment I should probably just fake the accent whenever I meet people.)
And yes, I’ve had Skyline a few times. I have to admit that I had MAJOR doubts when I first saw pictures of it, but we’ve actually gotten along just fine. However, if I had to pick a local favorite, I’d definitely go for the wings at Knockback Nat’s on 7th. Best wings I’ve ever had. Check ‘em out if you haven’t already.
Teddy and Todd
Todd Frazier hitting a home run for Teddy Kremer is one of my new favorite sports moments. It’s incredible for so many reasons, but the part of the video that gets me every time is when Ted forgets to grab Frazier’s bat because he’s so overwhelmed with excitement. It’s impossible to watch that video and not smile. VIDEO
Quick side note about Teddy: One of my friends who I worked with in Massachusetts (and who grew up in Cincinnati) knows Teddy from his high school days, and he describes him as one of his good friends. Prior to a football game, Teddy told my friend (who was on the team) that he would block a field goal. My friend didn’t think much of it at the time, but, sure enough, he ended up blocking one at a pivotal moment late in the game. Just like Teddy said he would.
The Cuban Missile
Just as I’m jealous of Nationals fans who get to watch Bryce Harper on a regular basis, I hope you folks realize what you have in Aroldis Chapman. He’s one of the most exciting athletes of today’s sports world. I had seen highlights of his pitching prior to the 2013 season, but watching him in person is 100 times better. The anticipation before he enters a game, the crowd’s reaction when the bullpen doors open, his ability to hit triple digits on the radar gun, that feeling of “Everything is going to be okay” when he takes the mound—it’s all great stuff. I remember having similar thoughts when Jonathan Papelbon entered a game at Fenway Park, but the Chapman Effect is on another level.
The Rock Star
The question I get most often from people back home is, “Who’s your favorite player to work with?” Rather than disappoint my friends and family members by explaining that the Reds players have no clue who I am, I just tell them everyone on the team is great. I really couldn’t pick a favorite—this is a special group. However, I’ve been rooting for Bronson Arroyo since I was a kid (plus, he played for the Sox), so a part of me will always consider him to be a “favorite” of mine. When he recorded his 1,000th strikeout as a Red, the ovation at GABP was more than everyone in the press box had expected. It was a special moment, and a well-deserved moment. I would love to see him get a similar ovation every time he takes the mound. Players like Arroyo don’t come around too often—enjoy him while he’s here in Cincinnati.
Bruce’s Home Run Slump
I think of myself as an extremely patient and optimistic person, so I love when the media blow storylines out of proportion. One of my favorites in 2013 is Jay Bruce’s home run drought, mainly because of how Bruce responds to questions about it: “History shows that I hit home runs.” In other words, he’s not worried. Simple enough! Plus, Bruce’s season HR total has increased every year (21, 22, 25, 32, 34), which puts him on pace to tie Barry Bonds’ record of 73 in 2024 and ultimately set the unbreakable record of 90 at the ripe age of 41. Never argue with math. And, while we’re at it…
…Never Doubt Joey Votto
I love the “Joey Votto’s HR and RBI numbers are down” discussion, because it’s very similar to the “New York Yankees are too old” discussion I heard for roughly 20 years in a row. As a Red Sox fan, I always got my hopes up when I heard the experts talking about how the Yankees didn’t stand a chance because they were too old. Well, every year I had to watch those old Yankees crush the hopes of the Sox (except in 2004 and 2007). This past off-season, the Yankees were DEFINITELY too old to compete…until, you know, they got off to a 15-10 start. Some things are just inevitable, and Joey Votto hitting the ball well is one of those things. So, yeah, I wouldn’t worry about Votto.
I love Great American Ball Park
I’ve been to other ballparks, but I’m obviously most familiar with Fenway. And even though Fenway is a classic, it doesn’t have the entertainment GABP has. I’m a sucker for everything that gets thrown up on that mammoth screen, from Kiss Cam to the mascot races—it’s all new to me, and I think Adam Lane and his team do an amazing job with all of it. Throw in the fireworks and the free pizza (I love how excited the crowd gets when the 11th strikeout is recorded), and being at any game is quite the treat. You Cincinnatians are lucky. If I had GABP as a kid, I would have been there for every home game.
Which brings me to my last observation:
The Reds Organization is Truly Amazing
It’s not easy packing up your life and moving to a new city, but the Reds couldn’t have made that transition easier. It’s cliché to say something is “like a family,” but that’s exactly how it feels here. Whether it’s been the support for Chris Herrell, the Twitter campaign to have Joey Votto named the Face of MLB, the Opening Day celebration, the legendary Marty Brennaman being in the radio booth, or the general friendliness and helpfulness of the front office staff, this has been a special place to work.
So, there you have it. Even though I still haven’t figured out your weather and I can’t get that “Cincinnati, O-hi-o” song out of my head, Cincinnati easily gets my approval. I’m looking forward to what the next few months have in store. I know my family is rooting for a Reds vs Red Sox World Series, but we’ll just have to wait until October. (Or, I guess I should say Octobah.)
As most of you know, our co-worker and good friend, Chris Herrell, recently had a bone marrow transplant. Many Reds fans have asked about purchasing the Team Herrell wristband that Mat Latos is modeling in the photo below. If you are in the Cincinnati area, the wristbands are for sale in our front office lobby from 9a-5pm, Monday-Friday, while supplies last (we ordered 100). They are $5 each. All proceeds go to the Herrell family expenses.
Thanks to Blake in Reds Season Ticketing for making these wristbands available.
And in case you missed these photos, several of the Reds front office staff are sporting new haircuts in honor of #TeamHerrell.
I work with some pretty awesome people.
More soon. Reds vs. Cards, 8:15pm. Have a great day. #VoteReds
*Our front office lobby is located at Great American Ball Park. The main doors are to the left of the box office windows as you head toward the main gates
Our next Better Off Red guest blogger brings us some sad news about a member of the Reds family. Stephanie Ben is our Baseball Operations Assistant and manages Reds Fantasy Camp.
Former Reds player, Brad Lesley, passed away on Saturday, April 27th from kidney failure. He was 54 years old (born 9/11/58). Lesley had been staying at an assisted living home for the past seven months where he was receiving dialysis.
Lesley was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 1978 amateur draft and made his debut for Cincinnati in 1982. Nicknamed “The Animal”, he was known for his aggressive style on the mound. He played for the Reds for two years before being traded to the Brewers. After his final year pitching for Milwaukee in 1985, Lesley traveled to Japan to continue playing ball. He learned the language and found a love for the culture as well as the entertainment business as a TV star on a comedy show. Brad went on to guest-star in several sports films in the ‘90s including “Mr. Baseball” (1992), “Little Big League” (1994), and “Space Jam” (1996), along with many others.
Lesley’s longest relationship with the Cincinnati Reds came from his participation at Reds Fantasy Camp. He was a coach at “Baseball Heaven” from 2003 through 2011, until he no longer could physically participate given his illness. He was known (especially to those involved in Reds Fantasy Camp) for his passion for the game on the field, but mostly his practical jokes off the field. Lesley treated each Fantasy Camp participant like one of his close friends, making him or her part of his world. This past Fantasy Camp in January we called Brad during our morning staff/coaches meeting. I remember him saying multiple times that he “sends his love” and that’s exactly how I’ll remember “The Animal” – as someone who gave out a lot of love to those around him near and far. The Reds Fantasy Camp “family” sends their love to our friend and coach, Brad “The Animal” Lesley.