Results tagged ‘ Hank Aaron ’
I knew a top-notch ceremony would be held before the Civil Rights Game on Saturday but my expectations were definitely exceded. Everything was done well, but not overdone. It was really cool seeing Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali and Bill Cosby ride in from center field on golf carts and get standing ovations. Cosby wore a Homestead Grays Negro League jersey.
Each icon, and MLB Beacon Awards honorees, had brief tributes to their lives on the big videoboard.
Reds players especially made a concerted effort to see Aaron up close after the tribute was over. David Weathers had his son, Ryan, pose for a picture with the former home run king.
BeBe Winans gave a stellar rendition of the National Anthem. In something you rarely see nailed perfectly, the flyover came right at the end of the song. It was three A-10 planes from Willow Grove Naval Air Reserve Station in Pennsylvania.
The uniforms for both clubs were throwbacks from 1964 — the year the Civil Rights Act was passed.
The White Sox were in solid light blue unis with black numbers…and numbers on the right sleeve. It was a bit unsettling at first, but kind of cool. The Reds had the white pinstriped caps going and in a twist you never see in MLB, the last names were under the numbers. I also think it was the color blue inside the wishbone ‘C’ on the front.
Frank Robinson was accompanied by five Negro League veterans when he threw the ceremonial first pitch. Tony Perez was doing the catching.
If MLB ever considers Cincinnati for an All-Star game, it just saw a strong audition. Commissioner Bud Selig is here along with what I was told was nearly 100 staff members from the league office.
This was taken just as the ceremonies got underway.
Taken during the National Anthem.
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Just got to City of Palms Park in Fort Myers moments after the Red Sox finished destroying Northeastern Univ., 14-0. That must have been fun for the college boys. For my money, City of Palms is one of the best ballparks in the Grapefruit League, up there with Clearwater. It’s just a nice place to watch a game. This is the first of three stops in Fort Myers in the next week. The Reds play the Red Sox again here on Tuesday and the Twins on Friday at the Lee County Complex.
Also for Reds fans/Cincinnatians making the trips, there is a Skyline Chili in the city about 10-15 minutes from both the Red Sox and Twins ballparks. I frequented it a lot when I used to do Spring Training here and it’s solid. They do it right.
Your Reds lineup:
Stubbs CF, Taveras CF, Hairston SS, Votto 1B, Encarnacion 3B, Bruce RF, Gomes DH, Jones LF, Richar 2B, Hernandez C
Masset – P
(Stubbs was mistakenly put on the game notes)
Your Red Sox lineup:
Lugo SS, Wilkerson CF, Ortiz DH, Drew RF, Bay LF, Varitek C, Carter 1B, Green 3B, Velazquez 2B
Notes from the clubhouse:
- The Reds agreed to one-year contracts with 1B Joey Votto and RHP Daryl Thompson. Four players on the 40-man roster remain unsigned.
- LHP Pedro Viola was named as a late addition to the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic. Viola was at Class AA Chattanooga last season.
- It’s the last game before the WBC for players like Votto, Hairston, Taveras and Hernandez.
“I will have to keep up with the guys that are gone, see how they do,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Hopefully, I will not get an injury updates.I will speak to them tomorrow and see them in the morning before they leave. They know what to do. They came into camp in shape so I expect them to stay in shape. I just hope they get enough work and they all play or pitch.”
- Votto is off to a nice start through three games, batting .429 (3-for-7) entering Saturday. A nother good sign came when he hit a homer to left field Friday vs. the Phillies. His homer in the intrasquad game Tuesday was to center field.
“I do worry about that. I want to spread the ball around the field,” Votto said. “I’ve had the swings that I used during the season.”
Votto smartly points out that he doesn’t put much stock in Spring Training results.
“I could hit .500 or .200 and I will be the exact same person for Opening Day,” he said. “From that point on, it really matters to me.”
- We learned today that the Reds have a new nutritionist named Michelle Macedonia. Before the bus left for Fort Myers, she held a meeting in the Sarasota clubhouse.
“I was very impressed,” Baker said. “It’s what Hank [Aaron] used to stress to us all the time – taking care of yourself and eating right. It’s the days where we have fast food kids. They have to learn. We’re not trying to take it all from them but if you eat better and take care of yourself better, your body will stay healthier, you’ll have a healthier life in the long run and hopefully stay healthier in the short run for us and their career.”