Date: Friday June 30, 7pm
Teams: Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs
Ticket(s): Section 344, Row NN, Seat 6 (FREE – Thanks Reds!)
One thing I’ve learned from several MLB teams now is that this whole trip is common. Every year as many as a couple hundred people reach out to teams as part of a trip to see all 30 stadiums. So, they’re not really in the business of giving out free stuff. Particularly on a Friday night with the defending World Series champs in town. Yet, somehow my buddy Josh talked to the right guy and got us 3 tickets in the outfield and a gift bag complete with Reds t-shirt, calendar and beer stein. What a deal and what a start to a great game.
Prior to heading in, we hit up Pies and Pints, just a couple blocks from the stadium. It exceeds its already lofty Yelp reviews. We got the Chicken Gouda pizza – would recommend. The whole two blocks between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium was busy with lots of Cubs fans in town.
We arrived just as the game was starting and settled into our seats for a few innings. The near-sell out crowd wasn’t nearly as Cub friendly as outside the stadium would have suggested. Scott Feldman was on the mound for the Reds and he was brilliant. The Cubs managed just 3 singles all night, which certainly didn’t impress the blue-clad contingent in the crowd.
Great American Ballpark sits on the Ohio river. As far as backdrops go, it probably isn’t the most awe-inspiring, but the rest of the stadium more than makes up for it. Unlike any other stadium I’ve been to, it felt like the fans were on top of the game. Contrast that to Toronto, where the upper level can feel like miles from the game. The concourse areas were also great, including a full whiffle ball field for kids.
Off to St. Louis for Cardinals and Nationals. On the way, I’ll likely hit up the Louisville Slugger museum, if time permits. 3 days, 3 games. 5 more to go in this crazy first leg of the trip. After St. Louis, it is the White Sox on Sunday, the Brewers on Monday, the Cubs on Tuesday and the Twins on Wednesday. Only then will there be a break from baseball!