Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30- Cincinnati Reds

Today is actually the first day I’ve worn this hat. Come to think of it, that’s really weird. I love this hat. For those who aren’t too savvy on Cincinnati Reds hats, you should know that this hat has only been around since the start of the 2000 season. Now, I know what you’re thinking; and no, I’m not high right now. The hat you’re thinking of is the classic all red hat featuring the white “C” logo on the front. This is not that hat. This is the all read hat with a white “C” logo… and a black shadow around the “C.” The move was made to make the logo look more three dimensional; however, if you’ve seen a hat up close you’d know that the threading is all ready three dimensional. But, for hat snobs like myself, I applaud the change. The slightest change will make us buy it in order to keep our collections up to date.

This particular hat is one of the many I picked up at the New Era Flagship store across the street from the Fan Cave. In fact, this is one of thirteen I purchased in the first two days I visited the location. The folks across the way were nice enough to give us all a 30% off discount on whatever we wanted, yet I was the only one who ever bought anything from them. I take that back. Kyle Thompson and Ricky Mast each bought one hat, and I think Shaun Kippins got a replacement Braves hat. But that was about it. As for me, I bought somewhere like 35-50 hats from them. I’ll have to go back through and double check. Anyway, like I said, for the past 13 years the Reds have alternated this cap as their alternate and their game style cap. With that it made it a bit difficult to throw a few numbers down that stayed within the realm of the era and style, but luckily I found two that I really wanted to add.

#4- On May 18, 2012 I was lucky enough to still be in the Fan Cave when Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs and Brandon Phillips paid a visit. Phillips was running a little bit late, but rolled in with style, sporting a diamond encrusted watch, black shades and a v-neck sweater and tie combo. Dude pal looked pretty dapper. He was also incredibly friendly, and took the time to talk to everyone before he had to head out to shoot a sketch with Andrew Zimmern from “Bizarre Foods.”

After my exile I was able to catch up with Phillips when the Reds played a road game in San Diego. I had tweeted at him earlier in the day and sent the photo we took in the Fan Cave, but didn’t expect much of a return. Instead, he not only retweeted it, but also said that he was looking forward to seeing me. I was in Anaheim at the time and had to race down to San Diego where I met up with Fan Cave Top 30 finalist Andy Bishop for the game. During batting practice Phillips signed a few autographs for kids and even gave a bunch of wristbands to one lucky little Reds fan and his baby brother.

It was then that Phillips spotted me and asked why I wasn’t in New York anymore. I told him what happened and he just shook his head and said that it was wrong of them to let me go. He didn’t have to say that, but I really appreciated hearing it. Aside from that, Phillips is one hell of a second baseman. He’s been playing the four spot for the Reds since 2006 and has been a recipient of the Gold Glove three times (2008, 2010-11) and made two All-Star teams while hitting .280/142/563. For a second baseman it’s pretty stellar; especially one who has been averaging over 145 games a season. Kudos to you Brandon. You do the baseball world proud. (Also, have to tilt the cap to the side like BP.)

#21- This is another guy I was fortunate enough to meet during my time in the Cave, but on the inside I was slightly angry at him for one year of his career. Sean “The Mayor” Casey is a hell of a guy and a fantastic analyst for MLB Network. Casey played for the Reds from 1998 through the end of the 2005 season, before moving on to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a bit and then onto the Detroit Tigers for the 2006 season. It was his time with the Tigers I hate on account for the four game sweep my Oakland Athletics suffered with Casey’s big grin flashing from the Tiger dugout. AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Back to Cincy… Casey had a great career with the Reds, batting .305 and making three All-Star game appearances. But, like Phillips, he’s just a stand up guy. Amazing stories to tell and always willing to meet and greet everyone who wanted a few moments. I couldn’t think of a better tandem to honor.

1 comment:

  1. As always, Ben, I love reading your stuff and being able to share it with everyone. The Mayor is honestly one of the nicest guys in baseball, and it's an honor to consider him a Redleg even now.

    Great work, keep it up!