Thousands of baseball fans will be making their way downtown Monday to celebrate the Reds' first pitch of the season.
The Cincinnati Reds announced their 2016 Opening Day schedule, which is highlighted with former Reds manager Lou Piniella throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
“I haven’t thrown a ball in about five years. So, I’ll have to stretch out and get a few arm rubs to get it to home plate,” said Piniella. “In Cincinnati, the Reds are bigger than life. I didn’t realize that until I became the manager of the Reds in 1990.”
The 140th Opening Day in Cincinnati will be kicked off at 11 a.m. with the fifth annual free Block Party on Joe Nuxhall Way, Freedom Way and Walnut Street. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Anheuser Bursch, Coca-Cola, LaRosa's and Queen City Sausage. Proceeds will benefit the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy. There will be live music from The Naked Karate Girls. The event will end at 3 p.m.
Starting at noon will be the 97th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, with Piniella serving as the Grand Marshal.
Great American Ball Park gates will open at 2:10 p.m. with the game against the Phillies starting at 4:10 p.m.
Former Reds left fielder Greg Vaughn will serve as the game's Honorary Captain. He finished 4th in the National League MVP voting as a member of the 1999 Reds.
Marlana VanHoose from Denver, Ky. will sing the National Anthem at the game. She sang the National Anthem for Opening Day 2015 and the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby at GABP last July.
Prior to singing the National Anthem, the Reds will pause to remember the lives of several members of the Reds family who passed away during the offseason, including long time scout and cross-checker Jeff Barton, former player Charles "Whip" Davis, former Reds outfielder Eddie Milner, Reds Hall of Famer Jim O'Toole and longtime clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe, as well as others.
The pregame flyover will be performed by an E-2D Hawkeye belonging to the U.S. Navy VAW-120 "Greyhawks" Squadron from Naval Station in Norfolk, VA. It is the first flyover from the U.S. Armed Forces since 2012.
The Mistics will perform "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch.
Raisel Iglesias will be taking the mound for the Reds and Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound for the Phillies
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