This past Friday I continued my adventures in Ohio, this time with a more sports-oriented excursion. I ventured out to Cincinnati for a Reds game. I planned to go to the Aquarium across the river from Great American Ballpark before the game. On my way to Cincinnati, though, I had to stop at the bank for a minute, and on the same street as the bank I happened to see a tabletop gaming shop and a comic shop with matching branding across the street. So I found myself spending some time inside both locations of Bookery Fantasy Comics, Collectibles, and Gaming in Fairborn, Ohio.
They had a pretty nice selection of items, and in looking at their website it appears that I completely missed their Comic Cave, which boasts a great many back issues at $1 apiece. I determined that I would make a purchase while I was there, and selected a book from the Horus Heresy series that I knew I hadn't read yet.
Then I looked through their discount bin and found a box of Space Marines at a ridiculous discount. I haven't painted a wargaming miniature in years, but I hold out hope that one day I will return to that hobby and the piles of unpainted plastic and metal I have in my basement. I don't have a very organized want list for comic books, so it is pretty rare for me to buy anything in a comic book shop. I did have a pretty good look around, though. By the time I got to Cincinnati it was too late to really see the aquarium before the game, so I got some ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery and headed over the bridge to the ballpark instead. Parking was only $3 for the day, so that was a pleasant surprise after the scalping we endured going to a Phillies game in April. On that trip it cost some insane amount in tolls just to get into and out of Philadelphia, and then parking in a surface lot was like $20 besides. I didn't pay any tolls in Ohio, and got a parking spot in a secured garage for just $3.
I could see the ballpark across the bridge, so I took a picture. Once again, it was swelteringly hot and humid. I couldn't look down from the bridge without getting dizzy, so I snapped a couple of quick pictures, put my head down, and hurried across.
Thanks to StubHub I got a pretty good seat at a discount. I was just behind the camera pit to the side of the Diamondbacks dugout. The Diamondbacks players were pretty friendly at the start of the game, but once the Reds got out to a decent lead I saw Paul Goldschmidt tuck the ball in his glove under his arm instead of throwing it to the kids clamoring for his attention. There was a bit of a ruckus in the 3rd inning as well, as Jean Segura was hit by a pitch and felt like he'd been hit in purpose in retaliation for his lead-off home run. That probably didn't improve the mood of the Arizona players at all.
This picture is from the bottom of the 7th inning. Joey Votto had just advanced to 3rd after Adam Duvall grounded into a double play, and Brandon Phillips was up. In a minute Phillips would single, leading to a Votto score to put the Reds up 5 - 2. Earlier Votto had hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to make up for two runs Dan Straily had given up to the Diamondbacks at the top of the first. Billy Hamilton's wheels were on display, as he stole 3 bases on the night. So I pretty much got to see everything you'd want to see at a circa-2016 Reds game, with power coming from Votto and speed from Hamilton. It would have been nice to see Goldschmidt hit a ball over the fence. It was nice to see Dan Straily and Tony Cingrani pitch, although I can't really say I collect either pitcher's cards.
I took this selfie later in the game, probably in the eighth inning. I wanted to get a picture with the features in the outfield. I have to admit that I didn't like the Great American Ballpark as much as I liked Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The seats seemed a little more crowded and the fans less engaged. Maybe it was just the heat and the lack of a really good match-up, with two last-place teams playing each other. The in-game promotions were pretty good. Maybe I just didn't enjoy the park as much because I was alone instead of with a group.
After the game I stayed because it was Fireworks Night. They put on a pretty good show. They had a soundtrack by The Grateful Dead, but I honestly could have done without the music. It was loud and trended on the obnoxious side. I looked around at the shops for a while to see about a souvenir to take home, but the prices were too much for me. They wanted $40-50 for a t-shirt, and I just couldn't do it.
I got a picture of me with this super-creepy billboard of Mr. Redlegs on the way out of the park. You can see that even with my back turned I was keeping an eye to the side, because that is one shady-looking dude.
And here is the view of the park from the bridge. I am glad I went to a Reds game on this trip. It was good to see the home team win. They have one more home series while I'm here, but I don't know if I'll make it to another game, especially one during the work week.