CINCINNATI — The pregame ceremonies of Tuesday’s 86th All-Star Game brought out a ton of emotion packed together with loud bursts of appreciative history, especially for the host Cincinnati Reds’ fans.
From the loud cheers for the more than 100 members of the Cincinnati Fire Department who held a gigantic American flag during the National Anthem, sung by Ciara, to the cheers for local favorites and Cincinnati Franchise Four selections Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose, the cheers were felt throughout Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.
Baseball fans for any team were then treated to an emotion-filled presentation of the four Living Legends — Hall of Famers Bench, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax.
Koufax then threw the ceremonial first pitch to Bench to get things going.
(Tuesday night’s game began later than scheduled because of a slight rain delay. You can get the whole story in Thursday’s newspaper.)
FIVE-TIME HOSTS: Cincinnati has hosted the All-Star Game five times, but this is the first time it’s been held at the Reds’ present facility — Great American Ball Park.
The Reds hosted the annual game in 1938 and 1953 at Crosley Field, then held the 1970 and 1988 contests at Riverfront Stadium.
Cincinnati is now the sixth Major League city to host the All-Star Game at least five times. New York (nine times), Chicago (7), Cleveland (5), Pittsburgh (5) and St. Louis (5) are the others.
ONE GAME, 3,000-PLUS REPORTERS: More than 3,000 media credentials were distributed for the All-Star Game. The game will be broadcast by 51 television and radio networks in 13 languages. NHK (Japan), MBC Sports+ (South Korea) and Medcom (Panama) are on site with live coverage along with ESPN International. Nationally, the game was broadcast exclusively on FOX Sports.
RECYCLING HELP: A green and white-clad group of college students roamed the Great American Ball Park stands each day to grab recyclable items from the fans in the stands. The students were from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Minnesota.
HAPPY TODD FRAZIER DAY: In honor of Cincinnati Reds All-Star Todd Frazier’s win in the Home Run Derby, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley proclaimed Tuesday as Todd Frazier Day in Cincinnati. Frazier rallied to defeat two-time champion Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson and then L.A. Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson to win the HR derby title on Monday night.
Frazier, who became the first Cincinnati Reds player to win the derby on his home field, became just the fourth player to reach the HR derby finals in consecutive years, joining Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa and last year’s champion, Yoenis Cespedes.