Reds Opening Day is Proud Tradition for Three Families

Opening Day Wagers Made the Papers
Opening Day Wagers Made the Papers

Reds' Opening Day is a proud tradition that goes back more than a century. Fox 19's Steve Oldfield takes a look back to a big game a century ago, and he catches up with three very different fans headed to the park later today.

For more than a hundred years, Reds' Opening Day has been the best in baseball and it's not the players, but the fans who can take most of the credit.

The proof is in the papers we dug up at the Cincinnati Public Library from 1907... When a young reds team wasn't expected to beat the pirates...

"Trailing 3 to 2 going into the 9th inning, they staged a wonderful comeback and beat the Pirates 4-3."

The papers gave the credit to the rowdy reds rooters- saying they'd never made so much noise and to keep it up!

"People actually carried musical instruments bugles and drums into the stands"

Reds historian and Hall of Fame Director Greg Rhodes wrote the book on opening day.

"It's become a fabric of our community life."

"It is a holiday it is a time to rejoice. It is in the minds of many people, the single greatest day."

Opening Day brings together fans who might never come together ... Like regulars Tiffany Tanner, a research assistant at Children's Hospital,   Shawn Voelker an artist from Ludlow,  and philanthropist Chris Neyer:

"It's part of Cincinnati history and I would gather up the children and everybody'd put on their best summer clothes and we'd go and have hotdogs and all the stuff down there you wouldn't let them eat at home."

"It's an exciting feeling of opening day for me because it brings me back to my childhood."

When he's not holding tickets to a game, Shawn - is painting his favorite Reds players... Like Bronson Arroyo:

"It's just a time I remember as a kid, lining up seeing the parades, getting excited of what's to come and it's no different as an adult. I'm still as excited as when I was a kid.

"Opening day in Cincinnati is an event... It will definitely have a different feel than the other 160 games we play."

"It's important!"

Chris Neyer has always been a strong supporter of the arts... She commissioned a sculptor to capture her kids - including Tom junior who's now  part of the Reds ownership group,  as a boy in his ballcap.

"All of us would get excited about it and go. So opening day? I'm not so sure what's so special about it is that everybody comes out. It's just spirit!" Steve Oldfield