Once again, the Reds put on a fantastic convention. It gets better every year and it’s obvious that it’s a point of pride with the Reds’ staff and management. How awesome is it that our little small-market team can put on one of the best off-season fan conventions? There are some folks out there that are a tab bit jealous…
A few points of interest from my standpoint:
– The autograph opportunities are just awesome. For someone that appreciates players past, present and future, there are tons of opportunities for everyone. Getting an auto from Clay “The Hawk” Carroll is pretty exciting… just as getting one from young star Johnny Cueto or up-and-comers like Todd Frazier or Matt Maloney. For me, it’s all good. I did focus my time at Redsfest on autos and ended up scoring 21 on baseball cards and a handful more on my Redsfest pass. What can I say, I’m a nerd. My favorite? Reds Outfielder Jerry Lynch on a 1960 Topps. (Right: Click for larger view) Lines for guys like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Edison Volquez and Johnny Cueto were insane and I didn’t try for any of them, except Cueto.
– The Reds Hall of Fame area had a great set-up of exhibits with old uniforms, spikes, etc. Of course seeing the World Series trophies is always a highlight.
– I love it that the entire convention center is covered in RED. You walk out and your eyeballs need to adjust to seeing the rest of the color spectrum. Immersive – love it.
– All the kids stuff looked awesome. The Reds Heads club area is pretty cool. Batting cages, speed pitch, whiffle ball, etc… all great stuff. If I were 9 years old it might have just been too much… okay, not really… just awesome.
– Free stuff all over the place. The Reds were handing out Redsfest exclusive Topps trading cards that you could put in a little fold-out binder they provided at the Information Booth. Nice little cards to get signed, actually. The set included Bruce, Phillips, Harang, Dickerson, Arroyo, Keppinger, Freel and Votto. I ended up missing out on Bruce and Phillips just because I didn’t pass by the desks handing those out. Anyone have any for trade?? Other free stuff included the gift bag to the first 10,000 folks through the gate with a Reds stocking cap AND a coupon for free chips and guac from Chipotle – hellz to the yeah. I think the Louisville Slugger Factory in Louisville was giving out free tickets for it’s tour as well. I’ve been, and it’s a good time. Apparently, the factory tour is new and improved? Cool.
– I love diggin’ around the collectables area. I got a few cards for some of the Reds minor leagers I wanted to get signed. Overpaid, but that’s what you get a things like this. I love all the old dusty Reds promotion stuff people have for sale. I ended up getting a couple of buttons the Reds gave out in 1989. I actually had the John Franco on when I was a kid – I went to the game. But, I lost the button ages ago. Got that one back, along with a Sabo, Larkin and and coupons for a FREE 32oz Pepsi when I order an large or medium pizza at regular price at Pizza Hut. Dine-in or carry out… oh… it expired on September 4, 1989. Oh well.
– So, at one point on Saturday, the Main Stage had the “Reds Idol Karaoke Contest”. For the most part, it was a snoozer… but a good idea. THEN… this little chunky kid got up on stage and dropped some Journey and brought the house down. I don’t care much for Journey, but Cincinnati loves themselves some Steve Perry power ballads and this kids got some serious love. It was something to see/hear. I give it up for that little guy.
That’s all I have for now… might be more later… Check out the photo blog for a look into my experience at Redsfest.
Coming very soon: Bobblehead predictions! Dates have been announce by the Reds for FOUR bobblehead dates, including a bobblehead to be voted on at Reds.com. Good move, Reds!!