As is tradition on the Reds Carvan, “Mercury” Marty Brennaman recaps each day of his time on the road.
Here’s day two:
Yesterday marked the second day of the Rock Star group’s tour of the Reds Caravan; and as I extinguished my lights at the Ohio University Hotel room last night, my cup overflowed with a lot of positive emotions but none bigger than pride. I’m prideful of a lot of things involving this Rock Star Group but one aspect overwhelms all the others and that is the pride I have for for the three rookies: Dmitri Young, Nick Krall and Amir Garrett. Individually and collectively they have carried themselves with style, with class, with dignity and above all else a sense of giving to the many of hundreds of thousands of people that we have touched in the last 48-plus hours. And believe you me, we’re not done yet.
A quick synopsis of day two as it relates to the rock star group: we woke up yesterday in Athens, Ohio to a full blown blizzard that would cause other people to pause…not this group. They charged out of the hotel’s entrance to the bus all the while trying to stay upright and not go down due to the ice and snow separating themselves from the hotel and the bus. Were they concerned about life and limb? No one gave it a second thought. The main concern was boarding the bus and heading toward Grayson, Kentucky and our network affiliate WUGO Radio. One of the big expectations of the Grayson stop is seeing the man-eating Rottweiler that wanted to take a bite out of everybody but sadly, he’s long passed. The food spread that the folks at WUGO provide is unmatched, especially the catfish. Another highlight was our introduction to Miss Kitty, a beautiful black and white cat that lives at the station.
From Grayson it was on to Pikeville where they were swinging from the rafters. And as usual, we did not disappoint – we gave it back to the city! Shortly thereafter, we boarded the bus for our third stop of the day: Logan, Ohio. As always, no matter what stop we make, the folks here told us that the crowd for this stop was the biggest in recent memory for the Reds Caravan (quite honestly, we are certainly not surprised).
Our last stop of the day was clearly the biggest. They were seventeen deep on both decks waiting for us at the Charleston Town Center. Rumors are swirling that there may be a bigger mall by the time WE come back. It’s truly hard to separate one stop from the other and the reason is simple…we love the people and the people love us (and to those of you wannabes in any of the other three legs – they don’t love you nearly as much).
Until next time,
As is tradition on the Reds Carvan, “Mercury” Marty Brennaman recaps each day of his time on the road.
Here’s day one:
Back in the 1920s the late great legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice penned these memorable words: “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, he writes not whether you won or lost but how you played the game.” Little did Mr. Rice realize, that when he penned those words, as memorable as they’ve become, that he was writing in truth about the Rock Star Group. Why you ask? When the scorer writes about this group, he concerns himself with honor, integrity, honesty, certainly compassion, and the inherent feeling that everything we do is right. We would grade out extremely high because first and foremost – the people, Reds fans are of the utmost importance to us. Because of our ongoing and consistent popularity, there couldn’t be any other way.
On day one of this Reds caravan our travels have taken us to Maysville, KY, Portsmouth Oh, Rio Grande OH (Where we provided nourishment to the masses in the form of roasted chicken at the original Bob Evans restaurant), and then on in to Middleport OH and concluding a very remarkable day with the citizenry and students of Ohio University in Athens, OH. Groups that liken themselves (erroneously I might add) to the Rock Star Group would readily single out one stop as being the one that they can hang their proverbial caps on. Well I’m here to tell you, there is no hat rack. EVERY stop we make stands out as a stark reminder of how successful we are at filling the void of the lives of the people we touch. It’s hard to imagine as we, individually and collectively, lay our heads on a pillow tonight and go to sleep (after we say our prayers, of course) we feel very fortunate to be walking, talking members of this rather august group.
Until next time,
CINCINNATI (Jan. 21, 2016) — The Cincinnati Reds Caravan will end its multi-state tour of four buses with a final stop at the Florence Mall in Florence, Ky. on Sunday, Jan. 31. In attendance will be five Major League players and four minor league players along with Reds manager Bryan Price. Joining them will be Reds President and CEO Bob Castellini, President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty, five Reds alumni, broadcasters, mascots and front office personnel.
The doors to the Florence Mall will open at 9 a.m. and a question and answer session will begin at 11 a.m. in the Center Court area. From Noon to 2 p.m., current Reds players and manager Bryan Price will sign autographs (while time allows) and the minor leaguers and Reds alumni will pose for photos with fans.
“We are excited to stage this year’s Caravan’s finale in Florence for the first time,” said Phil Castellini, Reds COO. “After three days on the road traversing Reds Country, it’s befitting we host our biggest event close to Great American Ball Park so our hometown fans can be part of the fun.”
The 2016 Reds Caravan, presented by Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network, consists of four separate tours traveling over 3,300 miles making stops in five states over four days.
Reds Caravan at Florence Mall on Sunday, Jan. 31
– 2028 Florence Mall, Florence, KY 41042
• 9 a.m.: Mall doors open to the public
• 11 a.m. to Noon: Q&A hosted by Marty Brennaman & Jeff Piecoro
• Noon to 2 p.m.: Autographs with current players and photos with Reds alumni and minor leaguers
– Mall parking info: http://www.florencemall.com/en/parking.html
Current Reds attending:
– Bryan Price – manager
– Devin Mesoraco – catcher
– Billy Hamilton – outfielder
– Tucker Barnhart – catcher
– Ivan De Jesus Jr. – infielder
– Keyvius Sampson – pitcher
Reds minor leaguers attending:
– Alex Blandino – infielder
– Amir Garrett – pitcher
– Cody Reed – pitcher
– Jesse Winker – outfielder
Reds alumni attending:
– Tom Browning
– Chris Welsh
– Jeff Brantley
– Corky Miller
– Dmitri Young
Reds front office personnel attending:
– Bob Castellini – President & CEO
– Walt Jocketty – President of Baseball Operations
– Each fan is limited to one autograph per player and there are no posed photos with the group.
– There will be two photo booth opportunities for fans to take part, one with the minor leaguers and the other with alumni.
– Fans will receive a complimentary 4”x6” photo keepsake and are welcome to use their personal cameras as well.
– Autographs are not permitted at the photo stations.
The entire event is open to the public and free-of-charge. Appearances and schedules subject to change.
Visit reds.com/caravan for up-to-date information on the 2016 Reds Caravan.
Rose’s No. 14 jersey to be retired and ’76 World Series Champions honored during 2016 Reds HOF Induction Weekend, June 24-26
CINCINNATI (Jan. 19, 2016) — Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and his number 14 jersey retired during 2016 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, June 24-26, 2016.
Rose was selected as the sole inductee for the class of 2016 by the Reds Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
“Inducting Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame and retiring his iconic number 14 will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise,” said Bob Castellini, Reds President and CEO. “He is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform and it will be an unforgettable experience watching him being honored as such.”
“Pete Rose’s on-field achievements and impact on the Reds and its fan base are unquestionable and worthy of induction into the Reds Hall of Fame,” said Rick Walls, executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. “We look forward to this summer where, in front of his fans and with his teammates, ‘Charlie Hustle’ will be recognized for his contributions to the rich and distinguished history of the Reds.”
2016 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend – schedule of events (subject to change)
– Friday, June 24: Reds vs. San Diego Padres (7:10 p.m.)
• Pregame ceremonies celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 World Series Champion Reds
• Reds players and coaches will wear 1976 throwback uniforms
• All fans receive a commemorative 1976 Reds team photo
• 1976 World Series replica ring ticket package (details to be released soon)
• Fireworks Friday presented by Cooper Tire
– Saturday, June 25: Reds vs. San Diego Padres (4:10 p.m.)
• Pregame Hall of Fame Induction ceremony presented by PNC Bank
• As part of Super Saturdays, all fans receive a Pete Rose poster
– Sunday, June 26: Reds vs. San Diego Padres (1:10 p.m.)
• Pregame Pete Rose Number 14 Retirement Ceremony
• All fans receive Pete Rose commemorative print
• Hall of Fame Induction Gala presented by Clark Schaefer Hackett at the Duke Energy Conv. Center (starts at 6 p.m.)
Visit reds.com/Pete for updates and additional details for 2016 Induction Weekend.
The best way for fans to guarantee tickets to all three Hall of Fame Induction Weekend games is with the Pick-6 Plan:
• Pick any six regular season home games (excluding Opening Day) and receive a Joey Votto 30-inch Louisville Slugger® bat and six free McDonald’s® Extra Value Meals® with the 2016 Reds Pick-6 Plan presented by McDonald’s®. Save up to 25%!
• Order online at reds.com/Pick6 or call (513) 765-7500.
Tickets to the 2016 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Gala presented by Clark Schaefer Hackett on Sunday, June 26 at the Duke Energy Convention Center will go on sale February 14.
Peter Edward “Pete” Rose, Sr.
The most prolific hitter in baseball history, Cincinnati native Pete Rose wore the uniform of his hometown Reds from 1963-1978 and again from 1984-1986. He ranks at the top of the Reds’ all-time franchise list in games played (2722), plate appearances (12,344), runs scored (1741), hits (3358), singles (2490), doubles (601), total bases (4645) and bases on balls (1210). Only three players in Reds history have driven in more career runs than Rose’s 1036 and only three players hit more triples in their Reds careers than Rose’s 115. Rose’s Reds career was marked by virtually every honor that can be bestowed on a Major League Player. His 13 All-Star selections as a Red are the second-most in Reds history and include selections at an All-Star -record five different positions. In 1963, Rose was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the National League in 1973. A three-time NL batting champion, Rose was also a two-time winner of Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence. In 1975 and 1976, Rose captained the Big Red Machine to consecutive World Series titles and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1975 Fall Classic. In 1978, Rose authored a 44-game hitting streak which stands as the third-longest in Major League history. Rose played for the Phillies and Expos from 1979 – August 16, 1984 when he returned to the Reds in a trade. On September 11, 1985, Rose singled in the bottom of the first inning of the Reds game against the Padres for the 4192nd hit of his Major League career which broke the all-time career hit record held by Ty Cobb. Rose finished his career with 4256 hits.
About the Reds Hall of Fame:
The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is the oldest continually operating team Hall of Fame in all of baseball. Since its inception in 1958, 85 players, managers and executives have been honored with induction. The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park features 15,000 square feet of historical, interactive and educational exhibits, highlighting the rich and storied tradition of the Reds and baseball in the Queen City. The mission of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is to celebrate greatness, preserve history and provide inspiration. Plan your visit at RedsMuseum.org.
CINCINNATI (January 14, 2016) — The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is currently recruiting for winter 2016 baseball, softball and T-ball clinics.
The Urban Youth Academy in Roselawn is operated by the Reds Community Fund and offers free, year-round baseball and softball instruction, plus educational and vocational opportunities for boys and girls ages 5-18 residing primarily in urban neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
T-ball Clinics – Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (through Feb. 28)
• One hour indoor T-ball games for boys and girls ages 5-7 teaching the basics.
Baseball Clinics featuring Reds HOF’er Dave Parker – Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (through Feb. 23)
• For boys ages 8-13 whose skills range from intermediate to advanced, teaching fundamental skills and a complete understanding of the game of baseball.
• Baseball clinics include instruction from Cincinnati native and Reds Hall of Famer Dave Parker.
Softball Clinics – Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (through Feb. 24)
• For girls ages 8-18 whose skills range from beginner to intermediate, teaching the basics of hitting, throwing, fielding and pitching.
“The Urban Youth Academy is focused on baseball and softball instruction for boys and girls who typically wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or have access to this type of programming,” said Cameron Satterwhite, Assistant Director of the Urban Youth Academy. “The Academy’s staff offers high level coaching and training to young people of all skill levels.”
“We help our Academy members succeed off the field as well by offering homework assistance and tutoring through our partners at the University of Cincinnati and health awareness seminars from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center,” said Colleen Cheek, Outreach Manager for the Reds Community Fund.
To register for clinics and information on all Urban Youth Academy programming, please visit reds.com/academy or call (513) 765-5000.
P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy
2026 E. Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45237
Academy hours: 3 to 9 p.m. (closed Friday)
Office hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 p.m. (closed Friday)
The Urban Youth Academy is also available for daytime rental (until 3 p.m.) to host corporate or private events. Please contact Charley Frank at (513) 765-7231 for rental information.
CINCINNATI (Jan. 12, 2016) — The 2016 Cincinnati Reds Caravan kicks off Thursday, Jan. 28 from the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum and will travel over 3,300 miles making stops in five states over three days.
The Caravan is presented by the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network.
The four Caravan tours travel through Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee providing fans with the opportunity to interact with current and former players, top minor leaguers, broadcasters and members of the Reds front office staff. At each of the 16 fan stops, the groups will field questions and sign autographs while time allows.
“The Caravan is our official kick-off to the new season and our players, coaches, broadcasters and front office personnel are excited to meet with loyal fans in every corner of Reds Country,” said Phil Castellini, Reds Chief Operating Officer.
All Caravan fan stops are free and open to the public, and at each fan stop listed below the Reds will raffle two tickets to the 2016 Opening Day game on Monday, April 4 (4:10 pm) vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Reds Caravan will also visit over 20 of the Reds on Radio affiliates throughout Reds Country during the tours.
Additional Caravan participants may be added to select tours. Times are subject to change.
Reds sales representatives will be at each stop to answer ticketing questions and discuss 2016 ticket plans, while the Reds Hall of Fame, the Reds Community Fund and Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network will attend select stops.
Memberships to the Reds Heads Kids Club, Reds Rookies Baby Club, Club Red and Reds Hall of Fame & Museum will be for sale at select stops.
Seating is limited at all Caravan stops. Autographs will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while time allows. No posed photographs. There may be restrictions on items celebrities can sign.
Visit reds.com/caravan for up-to-date information, maps and photos.
In this episode of the Better Off Red podcast, we return to Redsfest 2015 to visit with six of our favorite dudes – John Lamb & Kyle Waldrop, Dmitri Young & Corky Miller and Doug Flynn & Tucker Barnhart.
Music provided for this episode is provided courtesy of Ramsay Midwood. Check out his music – especially Shoot Out at the OK Chinese Restaurant on iTunes!
To listen to this edition of the BOR Podcast – CLICK HERE.
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW WITH PICK-6 PLAN
CINCINNATI (Jan. 11, 2016) — The Cincinnati Reds promotional schedule for the 2016 season features 13 premium Super Saturdays giveaways, 14 fireworks shows and an expanded Opening Week that includes a new Kids Opening Day on Sunday, April 10.
Fans can pick any six individual games (excluding Opening Day) and save up to 25% with the Pick-6 Plan on sale now.
Opening Night – Wednesday, April 6 – Reds vs. Phillies (7:10 p.m.)
• Reds players and coaches walk the red carpet in the Kroger Fan Zone to meet and greet with fans
• 2016 Reds Team Calendar giveaway
• Post-game Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks show
Kids Opening Day **New** – Sunday, April 10 – Reds vs. Pirates (1:10 p.m.)
• First Family Sunday of the season replicates the excitement of Opening Day “kids style” with special activities planned for kids and families
• Kids Opening Day Baseball Cap giveaway to kids 14 and younger
14 Fireworks Fridays
• Every Friday night features a post-game fireworks show from Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks
Super Saturdays – premium giveaway every Saturday
• April 9 vs. Pirates: Reds Fleece Blanket
• April 23 vs. Cubs: Joey Votto Super Hero Bobblehead
• May 7 vs. Brewers: STAR WARS™ X-Wing Fighter Mr. Redlegs Bobblehead
• May 21 vs. Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. Dual Bobblehead (in both Reds and Mariners uniforms)
• June 4 vs. Nationals: Reds Tote Bag
• June 11 vs. Athletics Reds Garden Gnome
• June 25 vs. Padres: Super Saturday giveaway TBA (Reds Hall of Fame Induction Night)
• July 16 vs. Brewers: Zack Cozart Bobblehead
• July 23 vs. Diamondbacks: Reds Baseball Cap
• Aug. 20 vs. Dodgers: USA Reds T-shirt
• Sept. 3 vs. Cardinals: Super Saturday Bobblehead TBA
• Sept. 17 vs. Pirates: Reds Stein (Redstoberfest)
• Oct. 1 vs. Cubs: Reds T-shirt
• Live mascot races, face painters and more as part of Family Sundays at the ballpark
• Giveaways for kids every Sunday including a series of nine Reds Fathead® wall graphics
• Run the Bases Days for fans of all ages on April 24, June 26 and Oct. 2
STAR WARS Weekend – May 6-8
• Post-game fireworks on Friday night featuring a STAR WARS-themed soundtrack
• Free STAR WARS and Reds-themed poster to the first 20,000 fans on Friday
• Free STAR WARS X-Wing Fighter Mr. Redlegs bobblehead to the first 25,000 fans on Saturday
• Free STAR WARS Fathead® Wall Decal to kids 14 and younger on Sunday
• Appearances by STAR WARS characters throughout the weekend
Pick-6 Plan on sale now!
• Pick any six regular season home games (excluding Opening Day) and receive a Joey Votto 30-inch Louisville Slugger® bat and six free McDonald’s®Extra Value Meals® with the 2016 Reds Pick-6 Plan presented by McDonald’s®.
• Order online at reds.com/Pick6 or call (513) 765-7500
The full promotional schedule can be found at reds.com/Promotions.
On a personal note…
It hit me yesterday as to how lucky I’ve been to be a card carrying member of the Reds organization from the day Ken Griffey Jr. was acquired from Seattle to the moment last night when he was selected as the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I remember being one of the many front office folks in the cramped Crosley Room at Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field at the time) where Junior’s press conference was held to announce he had become a Red.
I traveled on Reds road trips when Junior was part of the team. I was in Miami when he hit his 600th home run (Paul Bako hit two homers in that game and was jokingly incredulous as to why he wasn’t getting the most media attention that night).
While Griffey was a Red, I saw him at his best and at his worst – which made it even more surreal to me; knowing your childhood hero is as human as you are (to a degree, somewhat). That’s what I most admire about Junior – his mortality and that although he had out-of-this-world ability, he still had (and has) to deal with the some of the same trivial things you and I do.
There’s an old adage that says “I’d rather be lucky than good.” In Junior’s case he was really good but a lot of his luck wasn’t. Either way, he’s a much-deserved hall of famer and I’m the lucky one who got to watch the show.
If I had to choose my favorite memory of Ken Griffey Jr as a Cincinnati Red, it would probably be this one…
Statement From President and Chief Executive Officer Robert H. Castellini
Regarding Ken Griffey Jr.’s Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame
“The Cincinnati Reds organization and our entire city congratulate Ken on his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Over a wonderful career that began right here at Moeller High School, Junior built his legacy while playing for the Mariners and continued that remarkable career in Cincinnati and then with the Chicago White Sox. He represented himself, his family and those cities with the class and professionalism consistent with the ideals of Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and he continues to serve all over the world as one of our game’s greatest ambassadors. We are very proud that Ken’s accomplishments have been validated at the highest level by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Reds fans are thrilled to see our hometown son earn a permanent place in Cooperstown alongside the other 43 players, managers and executives who spent all or parts of their careers in Cincinnati.”
Robert D. Manfred Jr., Commissioner, Major League Baseball
“Ken Griffey Jr.’s swing, smile and immense talent in all facets of the game made him one of the most popular and respected players of all-time, a stature clearly evident in the results released today. His election to Cooperstown surely marks a great occasion not only in the Pacific Northwest and his hometown of Cincinnati, but also for an entire generation of fans. Major League Baseball is proud to congratulate Ken and his family on this well-deserved honor.”
Johnny Bench, Cooperstown and Reds Hall of Famer
“It is such a well-deserved honor, for a young boy who hung around the locker room to become one of the most exciting players I ever saw. His grace and power were unmatched. He loved and respected the game. I don’t think he ever wanted to be noticed. He just played the game, and maybe the Big Red Machine gave him a great education in how to play the game. He was blessed with a father who each day gave everything he had on the field. You learn and you learn. His mom, Birdie, was always smiling and supporting. We are proud to have Ken Griffey Jr. join us in the Hall of Fame.”
Barry Larkin, Cooperstown and Reds Hall of Famer, teammate from 2000-2004
“Ken Griffey Jr. had the prettiest swing I have ever seen. Not only was the swing pretty but it was effective. He hit for average, for power, and he hit in situations. He played the game the right way offensively, he impacted the game defensively. Junior had great range, tremendous athleticism and a canon of an arm. And he played with a smile on his face. It was an honor to play alongside one of the greatest players in the history of the game.”
Aaron Boone, teammate from 2000-2003
“His talent made him a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but what I appreciate most about Ken is how much he wanted to just be one of the guys. I’m proud to call him a friend.”
Sean Casey, Reds Hall of Famer and teammate from 2000-2005
“There are only certain times in your career where you can say you had the privilege of playing with a Hall of Famer. As I played next to Junior for 6 seasons, I knew we all were watching one of the greatest to ever play the game. I’m proud to say that while he was a great player, he is an even better friend.”
Juan Castro, teammate from 2000-2004, 2006-2008
“Junior was one of those athletes born every 30 or 40 years with that special talent. Playing with and being around him was such a privilege because I got to know not only a great baseball player but a good teammate who was always so secure about what he was doing.”
Adam Dunn, teammate from 2001-2008
“Ken made things that were not supposed to be easy, look easy. There are very few players who had more fun playing the game. He loved playing, and we loved watching him play. Ken is one of my favorite people, both as a professional and on a personal level. He not only is a hall of famer on the field, but he also is one off it.”
Danny Graves, teammate from 2000-2005
“Junior was one of my favorite teammates. He had a great clubhouse presence and made the game look so easy. Watching his routes and the jumps on balls hit to him, it was like he knew where the batters were going to hit it before it was hit. He had the most accurate arm from any center fielder I’ve ever seen, always on the money. And, of course, he had the sweetest swing ever.”
Scott Hatteberg, teammate from 2006-2008
“Junior was the single most gifted all-around talent I played with or against over the course of my career. The guy was a comet. That he did what he did with the grace of a ballerina and the enthusiasm of a backyard rugrat makes him even more of an anomaly. It was a true gift getting to play alongside him.”
Austin Kearns, teammate from 2002-2006
“I’ll always remember how much fun he had, whether it was on the field or in the clubhouse. There were plenty of times I would be in tears, in the middle of an inning, from laughing so hard. I remember him saying one time, ‘If ya can’t laugh on a baseball field, then where can ya?'”
Corky Miller, teammate from 2001-2004
“Ken was a special player who could do unreal things on and off the field. There was never a doubt watching him play that he was great, from when I was a kid watching him in A ball or playing on the same team in the Major Leagues. Ken was my brother’s favorite player, and we always wondered if he was the same in person as he was on TV. After playing with him, I knew that was true. Junior was a good teammate and a great person.”
David Weathers, teammate from 2005-2008
“Being a teammate of Junior, three things really stick out in my mind. First, he was a great teammate, always good to be around. He loved the game and played it like a kid. Two, he was a clean player from day one and had a Hall of Fame career with his natural talent. Third, he was tough. I saw him take bloody bandages off his leg from where he had torn a muscle three years earlier, and all of his teammates were amazed he played and never said a word. He also was unreal with my kid, rolling around wrestling on the floor. My son still remembers that.”
Jim Bowden, Reds General Manager from 1992-2003
“In my 15 years as a Major League Baseball general manager, my favorite moment was the day we traded for Ken Griffey Jr. and I was blessed to have the opportunity to walk to the podium to declare ‘baseball is back in Cincinnati.’ To be able to bring a future Hall of Famer, MVP, Gold Glove Silver Slugger superstar to the children of the greater Cincinnati area was an epic moment for me. Griffey’s signature smile and his backwards hat were as special as his swing and bat speed. I used to make my sons watch batting practice with me, always reminding them this was the Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays of their generation. I told them they would never see another swing as special as his. The best part about Griffey was always what a special human being he was. I referred to him as the Eddie Murphy of baseball clubhouses, there was no one funnier. His heart and soul has always been about family, and he always treated my children like his own. On the field, if Griffey had been able to stay healthy and never had the problems with injuries to his knees, calves, ankles and feet, there is no doubt in my mind he would have been the only player to hit 800 home runs in the big leagues. Congratulations to a special player and more importantly a special person.”
Mike Cameron, baseball coach at Moeller High School
“Ken Griffey Jr. is the most naturally gifted baseball player I have ever seen on the high school level. There was never a question he had professional skills.”
Hal McCoy, long-time Reds beat writer and 2002 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner
“Due to injuries, we in Cincinnati did not get to see the real Junior, but we saw enough. He was still one of the best players of all time. We were privileged to see home run numbers 400, 500 and 600 in a Reds uniform. More importantly to me, Junior was a good friend and a Hall of Fame person.”