Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Reds Great American Ballpark

At Great American Ballpark Mik got a mini bat that is a dark wood color. It is about the same length as the regulr mini bats, but it is about twice as fat at the big end. The logos on it include a gold Reds logo and a large Louisville Slugger logo. In gold lettering it says Cincinnati Reds and Great American Ballpark.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Great American Ballpark

Instead of having a regular hot dog, Mik had the Skyline chili dog at the Reds game. The dog has chili, mustard, and cheese on it. You can also have it with onions, but Dad asked for it without the onions. He did not realize they put mustard on it and would have asked for without if he had known. Mik still ate it all and really enjoyed it, but he does think it would be better without the mustard because he did not like having the mustard on the cheese.

With the rain delay Mik got hungry again later and had a Pretzilla, which I had tried earlier and he thought was really good. The pretzilla is the best pretzel we have had on the trip. It is a good size and has nice fluffy dough. It is basically made with pizza dough. Best of all is it has salt, but it is not too much salt.

Baseball Museum 6: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame

The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is located next to the Great American Ballpark. I knew it was there and planned to see it, but I did not realize that it was not exactly part of going to the ballpark. I assumed it was one of the things you could walk through and see before the game started. Instead it is its own separate admission price thing. We paid the $10 per person ($8 for Mik at student price) to do it still. It is not too bad of a deal, as it is a pass for unlimited visits in 2009.

The first floor of the Hall of Fame at least currently has an exhibit on Crosley Field. Mik found this interesting since he did not even see the Crosley Field replica, which Dad and I went to earlier in the day we went to the Reds game and the Hall of Fame. In particular Mik was fascinated by the Pete Rose jersey, as it looked like a basketball jersey. It was one of the style jerseys meant to be over long sleeves and without the long sleeves it really does look a lot like a basketball jerseys. The exhibit also included some interesting things left over from Crosley Field including glass pieces from the field’s backstop.

Along the wall by the staircase they have thousands of balls in a display to represent Pete Rose breaking the all time career hit record. By the way there is a white rose bush in the landscaping right outside this part of the Hall of Fame.

The second level of the museum currently has a small exhibit about the Negro Leagues. This was not all that interesting to us because it was mostly similar to what we had recently seen at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City. Mik did enjoy the Clowns playing.

On the second level there is also an interactive area about different aspects of the game. It includes videos with tips for different positions. Mik liked the one with pitching tips, as that is the position he likes to play in his video game. There are also things like catching a ball against the outfield wall and throwing a pitch. There is an even interactive part to be a sports announcer.

The exhibit ends with a small Hall of Fame room with plaques of the Reds Hall of Fame players. Right before this Hall of Fame room there is an interesting room with a timeline of the Reds history. It includes a life size sculpture of the 8 players nicknamed the Big Red Machine.

Overall the Reds Hall of Fame was worth seeing. However, we did feel a little rushed because we only got to the ballpark 2 hours before game time and we easily spent an hour here and could have spent longer if we had had time. It is open way before game time (10am most days, I think) and we could have come earlier, but as I said before I thought it was part of the game ticket ballpark experience and I thought it was open at the same times as the gates for the game.

Day 28: Blue Ash Sports Complex Replica Stadiums

Back on June 16, 2009, before the Cincinnati Reds game Dad and I went out to the Blue Ash Sports Complex in Blue Ash, Ohio, to see the replica baseball fields they have there. Since we were not going straight to the game from there we let Mik stay at Grandpa’s while we went to the Blue Ash Sports Complex. While dragging him to experience all the current MLB ballparks is a must, we have been lenient with him not having to truly experience the extras such as him staying in the car at the Field of Dreams.

The main field to see at Blue Ash Sports Complex is the Crosley Field replica. Crosley Field is where the Cincinnati Reds used to play from 1911 through 1970. The replica in Blue Ash recreates Crosley Field’s original dimensions for the outfield. It also includes a replica of the outfield wall and scoreboard. Most of the original Crosley Field has been destroyed, but one of the original ticket booths is here and I believe the scoreboard and/or the clock on the scoreboard might be original. I think some of the seats are from the original Crosley Field as well. Lastly, if you look inside the window of the ticket booth you can see the original outfield wall sign for the 366 foot part of the wall.

Of course, visiting Blue Ash Sports Complex is not exactly the same as the original Crosley Field, however, it is way better than just the home plate plaques that honor many demolished ballparks. It also serves as a great ball field for youth baseball games. It really gives the feel of what the field was like, except for all the seating and concourse.

Along the back of the bleachers on the 3rd base line there are plaques representing different former Reds players that have played in the Reunion games at the Crosley Field replica park. This includes Ken Griffey, Tug McGraw, and Pete Rose.

At the Blue Ash Sports Complex there is also a field that has the dimensions of the Reds’ Riverfront Stadium, which they used after Crosley Field and before their current ballpark (Great American Ballpark). The Riverfront one is not anywhere near as interesting as the Crosley Field replica, but it is kind of cool that they have recreated its dimensions as well.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

At the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum I got a souvenir baseball that has the museum’s logo on it. The ball is mostly just a plain white baseball. The logo is located on one side. It is actually a rather interesting logo. It has Jackie Robinson batting as the central aspect of the diamond shaped logo.

Some of Mik’s Photos of the Trip

Dad downloaded photos from Mik’s camera the other day and e-mailed me the ones he thought were good. Mik has not taken much since he spends most of his time just playing his PSP, but he had some good ones on his camera. It includes some Dad took of Mik.

The first is of Mik throwing a fit outside AT&T Park as he got inpatient waiting for the park to open.

The next two are ones he took in the Redwoods when we went on the Stout Grove Trail.

The last two are from when we went on the Christmas Carol Train Tour. They are both from the end of the train. The first is of Dad and me and the last one is of Mik trying to roll away while Dad takes a photo of him by the fireplace. Mik was not happy about Dad using his camera that day because that was the day Dad forgot his at the kabin.