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The Cincinnati Reds and not-so Opening Day

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There is baseball on our brains, yet none for our eyes to process.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Findlay Market sits towards the northern end of Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine, just a block over from the technical boundary with the city’s West End. Most years, that section of town is rocking right now, as the annual parade to celebrate the Reds on Opening Day typically clamors its way down Elm Street towards where the Reds now ply their trade on the banks of the Ohio River.

Most Cincinnati residents know that’s not exactly how it used to be, though. Before the Reds moved initially to Riverfront Stadium and eventually into GABP, it was Crosley Field where they did their damage on the National League. Crosley, unlike its more modern peers, sat in Cincinnati’s West End, roughly a mile west of Findlay Market itself, and the parade’s route and purpose before 1970 was much more designed to highlight the shops and vendors of the neighborhood surrounding the stadium, one to celebrate the return of the long baseball season to that part of the city’s vibrancy.

Another iteration of that tradition was slated to go into the books today, March 26th, 2020, but that will not be the case. As MLB, the world, our lives have been forced to press the pause button in the face of the spread of COVID-19, baseball as we know it has been effectively muted. Cincinnati, unfortunately, will not be able to cheer the holiday it helped create, and the Reds will not be taking the field in their brilliant white/red threads.

The return of the Reds and the rise of spring from the ashes of winter have become so synonymous in my mind that yes, it certainly does feel like all of spring has been cancelled.

MLB, to its credit, is doing a bit of a thaw on their archive of amazing footage of old baseball, at least. Today, they’re giving us last year’s Opening Day to watch, and it will commence on their MLB Vault YouTube channel at 1 PM ET, should you choose to tune in.

Wear your jerseys or shirseys. Drop your brats and metts on the grill next to the big, sweet onion. Keep those amazing local breweries in business by downing a growler or three of their sweet, sweet goodness. Enjoy what you can of the Reds, even if it’s significantly different this time around.

Heck, yap about it in the comments at Red Reporter dot com, if you’d like. Instead of at the parade or in the stands at GABP, we’ll be there, too.