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thank you boys...

Anyone who knows me pretty well knows that I've been a Cincinnati Reds fan since way back.

And when I say waay back, I mean... from the time I knew what baseball was... I listening to Joe Nuxhall and Marty Brennaman call the game on 700 WLW. The sound of their voices became synonymous with the sound of summer. Baseball was summer. Reds baseball was where it was at.

As a small child, I remember being dropped off at my babysitters house in the morning and as she made breakfast for the rest of her family, her husband and I would sit down on the sofa and watch all the game highlights on ESPN. When I started collecting baseball cards, my biggest collection of cards were always from the home town team, the Reds. I grew up wanting to slide into home plate headfirst like Pete Rose and wear glasses just like Chris Sabo. My first actual live major league baseball game was a double header and my parents will happily tell the story that they thought I would be bored out of my mind by the fourth inning of game one, but it turns out I would hardly leave my seat to use the bathroom even once in all 18 innings. I was jealous when my neighbor went to the game in an early September evening in 1985 where Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all time hits record. I was there on that rainy night when the Red's clinched the Division in their magical Wire to Wire 1990 season. As a 6th grader I won 3rd place in a speed pitching contest at Riverfront and received an actual Starter warm up jacket just like the Reds wore in the dugout. One of the best birthday gifts ever was when the Reds picked up Ken Griffey Jr. from the Mariners in 2000. And probably my all time favorite memory of the Reds was getting to sit in the blue field level seats for the first time, right along the 3rd baseline, first row and at some point in the 3rd inning, Kevin Mitchell handed me a foul ball (they were playing the Phillies). I don't think from that point on I remember anything else about that game... but I still have that ball.

Basically, my history is intertwined with moments from the Reds. Granted, I may have never known the Big Red Machine of the 1970's.... but I was there for the Reds from 1980 on. So, it is with great joy that I congratulate the Reds on their regular season wins and I look forward with eager anticipation to the post season. Regardless of how RED OCTOBER treats the boys of the Nati, I thank them more than they can imagine for giving the people in Cincinnati a reason to be excited.

So thank you boys and good luck.

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