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Stadium 17: Our Visit to Great American Ballpark

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We arrived at River Days RV Park outside of Cincinnati in time to get everything hooked up and head into Cincinnati for our visit to Great American Ballpark. As it turned out, the usher in our section lived in the same town that the campground was in. Her cheerfulness and interest in our trip made our visit to the stadium extra enjoyable!

No Stranded Seats Allowed

When we purchased our seats for the game, both the MLB app and SeatGeek had relatively few options for seats. We finally found 200 level seats we liked, but the MLB app wouldn’t let us purchase them unless we purchased all four. The message said that they didn’t want to strand a single seat. With that sort of communication before the game, you can imagine our surprise when we found the stadium was relatively empty!

The gate crew noticed the extra ticket and asked about it. In a moment of pity, they offered a package of baseball cards to Ryan. That turned out to be the beginning of a new hobby!!

Our Impressions of the Great American Ballpark

Our Seats: We were in Section 421, right behind home plate, in Row B, Seats 12, 13, 14, and, unfortunately, 15!

The Food: Ryan and Brad tried the signature Skyline Chili Cheese Coney dog, a hotdog smothered in a saucy chili with hints of cinnamon and chocolate, and topped with onions and shredded cheese. They said they were good, but small! Brad had three over the course of the game. I went to the Montgomery Inn Smokehouse for a pulled pork sandwich. It was excellent!

Non-Alcoholic Beer Review: Most of the ballparks have some sort of designated driver program. In exchange for promising to be your party’s designated drive, you typically get a “reward.” Most of the time, it’s a soda beverage of some kind. We usually skip it, since Brad and Ryan like to get the souvenir cup and I like to get a non-alcoholic beer.

The Great American Ballpark was the first exception! Their “reward” was a wristband that entitled the wearer to nonalcoholic beers for the bargain price of $1! They are another Bud Zero stadium, so I enjoyed two instead of my usual one.

There was only one hitch. After talking to just about every concessionaire on the 200 level, I figured out that no one carried it. So I went downstairs to the main level, purchase two, and returned to the 200 level to sit down. For future reference, there are only two concessionaires who carry Bud Zero, and not all stands will have it. They are Porkopolis and La Rosa Pizza.

The Game Recap:

The Cincinnati Reds battled their neighbors to the north, the Cleveland Guardians. It was a tight game, with a beautiful, up-against-the-outfield-wall catch by TJ Friedl in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Fairchild hit the first two-run home run, giving the Reds a 3 – 1 edge. McLean followed with a second two-run home run, moving the Reds into a 5 -1 lead.

In the top of the fifth, the Guardians Gabriel Arius hit a home run to deep center field, adding a run to the score. The Reds ended the game with a double play to win over the Guardians 7 to 2.

Meanwhile, asset-limited, income-constrained employees who are experiencing homelessness are winning at Wellspring! The three home runs for housing in this game delivered an additional $1,002 in donations to Wellspring Family Services.

Up Next:

Our next stop is the home field of tonight’s visiting team! We’re headed to Progressive Field in Cleveland, home of the Cleveland Guardians.