baseball

Baseball Stadiums: Great American Ball Park & Fifth Third Field (Dayton)

I spent the last week in Cincinnati, Ohio, working at the AP Human Geography Reading.  This is the second year I’ve participated, and while I went to Great American Ball Park last season I did not post any photos of commentary about my visit.  Additionally, I saw a Dayton Dragons game at Fifth Third Field.

Great American Ball Park is sandwiched along the Ohio River, and provides a view of the Kentucky hillside as fans look past the outfield stands.  The more interesting view is the skyscrapers of downtown Cincinnati behind the stadium.  I saw the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds in two games last week.  I went to two games last season, but this year did a few different things.

First, I ate at the Riverfront Club, which is a fine dining restaurant along the right field line.  I went with some friends from the AP Human Geography Reading for our dine-out night, and we had a fantastic meal.  We opted for the buffet, which included roasted pork shoulder with bourbon sauce, catfish with pecan-encrusted glaze, chicken and dumplings, and some excellent salads.  The food was delicious and well worth the price!  If you want a unique ballpark experience, I highly recommend checking out the Riverfront Club.

Second, I went on Zoo Night and got to see a variety of animals during the first inning.  A bald eagle flew down to the field as part of the opening ceremonies, but several other animals were on display in the Fan Zone.  I don’t remember all the animals on display, but I avoided the boa constrictor and enjoyed taking photos of the leopard tortoise as he attempted to make a get away.  Later that night, I got my photo taken with the Reds superfan (sorry, but I don’t know his name) and Rosie Red.

Me with Rosie Red.

On Friday night, I went to Dayton with some friends to see the Dragons.  The stadium sits among some old warehouses in downtown, so the view isn’t awe-inspiring, but it is cool seeing the old buildings around the park.  I did not find any really unique food item, so I had the a Chili Cheese Dog.  The Chili Cheese Dog is kind of unique to the area because of the famous Cincinnati-style chili that often accompanies hotdogs.  The Chili Cheese Dog was filling, but left me wanting something really unique to the area.

Chili cheese dog.

The most impressive part of the game as the fan experience.  The mascots (Heater and Gem) were awesome!  The costumes were great, and they did an excellent job of interacting with the fans.  The in-game promotions were great because the team stayed true to old-favorites like the mascots dancing on the dugouts but instead of the cliché dizzy bat race the contestants competed in Crazy Frog and had to leapfrog over their partner to win the race!  As a bonus, the game took only 2 hours and 32 minutes, but the final score was 14-6.

The first hometown boy in Dayton Dragon history on the mound.

Perhaps the best part about attending the Dayton Dragons’ game was seeing a special welcome on the scoreboard for me and my friends!  I stumbled upon a page on the team’s web site where fans could submit message requests, and took advantage.  It was so cool to see that message.

My visit to Fifth Third Field means that I have attended three Low-A games, and my first in the Midwest League.  I have also updated my map of baseball stadiums.  I have seen professional games in 25 states, 1 province, and the District of Columbia.

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Categories: baseball, MiLB, MLB, stadiums

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