I went to my first Opening Day today and what a day. I went down to Fountain Square for the Rally on the Square and the Findley Market Opening Day Parade. It was pretty neat. Before the parade, there was a guy in a golf cart who work for Findley Market. Everytime that he drove by us, there were a bunch of cheers which was pretty funny. When the parade started, the fun truly started. Of all the floats, cars, bands, and performers, the best thing I saw was this dog with it's owner all by themselves and the dog was carrying a plastic baseball bat. It was just funny. The amount of people there was more than I had orginally expected but us Reds fans can survive the rain.
Well, I went to the game and well, it rained. But that didn't stop the spirit. I sat in section 518 which if you are not familar with GABP, it is on the 3rd base side. I also sat under an overhang so I didn't get wet. The fly-over of 4 F-16s occured 45 minutes before the game really started which was pretty funny. The ceremonies before the game were pretty somber. A moment of silence was held for the 4 Reds who were lost in the off-season which include some pretty big names: Bob Purkey who led the Reds to a '61 World Series Victory, Chief Bender who scouted and signed some of the biggest names in Reds history, Bob Howsam who built the Big Red Machine, and Joe Nuxhall who was a member of the Reds for 63 years. What got the biggest applause was for Army Sgt. Matt Maupin who was MIA for 4 years but wasn't exactly there sadly. A moment of silence for him and all fallen troops followed. When the Reds players were introduced, a well-kept secret was revealed as each player was wearing a Joe Nuxhall jersey which truly shows how much Joe meant to the Reds and to Cincinnati. The first pitch was a strike but fell apart quickly after that. The Reds lost but the day wasn't a total waste because I got to see The Boys of Summer for the first time.
Unlike most other team sports, in which teams usually have an equivalent number of players on the field at any given time, in baseball the hitting team is at a numerical disadvantage, with a maximum of 5 players and 2 base coaches on the field at any time, compared to the fielding team's 9 players. For this reason, leaving the dugout to join a fight is generally considered acceptable in that it results in numerical equivalence on the field, and a fairer fight.