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Today we celebrate a local holiday! Happy Opening Day, Cincinnati fans!  As the Reds take on the Pirates, we thought we’d reflect on some fun baseball facts that show how far we’ve come.

This year marks the 100th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade in Cincinnati.  The parade has more than 180 entries.  Several local celebrities are taking part in this year’s parade – Bootsy Collins, Marty Brennaman, and Anthony Muñoz, to name a few.  The Parade Ambassador is none other than Johnny Bench, a Reds legend.  A few more famous names will be participating in the game:  Joe Morgan will serve as honorary captain for the game, Eric Davis will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Johnny Bench will catch it.  Pete may be in the Mr. Red outfit, but we are not sure.

Today’s weather is expected to be partly sunny and near 65 degrees, much nicer than Opening Day in 1907, when the Giants played the Phillies after a heavy snowstorm.  When the Giants started losing, angry fans began throwing snowballs onto the field, causing the Giants to forfeit the game.

Most presidents have thrown out a ceremonial first pitch, but did you know that President William Howard Taft was the first president to throw the ceremonial first pitch?  Of all the presidents, only Harry Truman has thrown out both left-handed and right-handed pitches on Opening Day. 

The Cincinnati Reds have the distinction of being the first official professional baseball team.  They played their first game in 1869 and they were known as the Red Stockings.  They won their first World Series in 1919.  The Reds played, and won, the first official night game at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field.  They also played in the first ever televised game against Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The Reds’ pitcher Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher to have thrown two consecutive no-hitters, which occurred in 1938.  Overall Cincinnati has won eleven Divisional titles, nine National League pennants and five World Series championships.

The Reds will be playing in Great American Ballpark, their home stadium since 2003. The stadium pays homage to the Reds’ storied history.  The Crosley Terrace Statues portray legends such as Ted Kluszewski, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Nuxhall and Frank Robinson.  Inside the stadium, mosaics depict two important teams in Reds’ history: the 1869 Red Stockings and the members of the Big Red Machine, who won back-to-back World Series in the 1970s. The stadium cost approximately $291 million to build, covers 29 acres and is made of over 10,000 tons of steel.

Today’s game is completely sold out. We hope you were able to get a ticket if you wanted one.  Either way, we look forward to another exciting season of baseball.  Go Reds!

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