Great Stadiums (3): The Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati Reds

They named the whole city after this guy, here depicted in Paris

They named the whole city after this guy, here loafing in Paris

This is the third in a long-promised (by Evander) series on the best of the best among Major League stadiums. For a virtual-panoramic tour of the Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds, click here.

They don’t call the stadium “great” for nothing.

Now ten-years old—difficult in itself to believe—this is the third home field of the Reds with which I am familiar, the first being Crosley Field (1884, or 1912 in some sources, thro mid-1970), which featured the eccentric “slight incline” in left field—undoubtedly related to issues of drainage. (A famous photograph depicts Mill Creek after it had overrun its banks, submerging the stadium.)

Crosley Field was for many years a traditional site for N.L. opening day, chosen since the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first professional-baseball team. (Their actual first home in 1869, a field with which I am unfamiliar, was an adjacent setting in Lincoln Park.)

By the end of its run, Crosley Field only held 29,603 fans. It was superseded by one of the multipurpose concrete donuts a.k.a. ashtrays: Riverfront Stadium. The “River” refers to the Ohio, which divides Kentucky from, well, Ohio. The place, since imploded, was later called Cinergy Field.

The Great American Ballpark, sun-drenched during stifling day games, is not everyone’s cuppa. But from everything I understand, there could hardly be a better place to watch a game.

At the 3-minute-16-second mark of this video is another person’s opinion (with typos along the way) and ranking of the Great American Ballpark.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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