The All Star game is finally here! On Tuesday, lucky baseball fans from around the country will flock to Cincinnati’s own Great American Ballpark for the 2015 All Star Game.
This is Cincinnati’s fifth time hosting this prestigious event (the last time was in 1988!), which pits the best of the best in the American League against the best of the best in the National League. (Just FYI: the Reds are in the National League — so make sure you’re rooting accordingly!)
In honor of the big game, 20 mustaches have been erected all over our beloved city. Each is decorated with unique artwork representing the Reds and Cincinnati history, and placed at an iconic spot in Cincinnati. The mustaches are eight-feet wide, two-and-a-half feet tall and weigh 850 pound each — you can’t miss them!
The mustaches pay homage to Cincinnati’s spot in baseball history (the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings were the very first professional team), and resemble the classic handlebar ‘stache sported by Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs.
A few fun facts:
- This year, Third Baseman Todd Frazier (#21) and Pitcher Aroldis Chapman (#54) will represent Cincinnati on the NL Team. Neither have facial hair! #FullBeardFrazier?
- The Abe Lincoln statue at Lytle Park is one of the few representing our 16th President without his iconic facial hair (he rocked a chin curtain beard, however — not a mustache!)
- Did you know, in the early days of baseball, the majority of baseball players sported mustaches? But by the 1930s, facial hair went out of style, as players were supposed to be clean shaven and therefore “more family friendly.” This began to shift again in the ’70s, when Reggie Jackson of the Oakland A’s showed up to training sporting a full beard — and the A’s manager then offered the rest of the team $300 each to grow some facial hair! #mustachegang
- Meanwhile, back in Cincinnati, players were clean shaven — or else! The Reds actually had an official rule banning facial hair from 1966 to 1999!
- The Reds have two mascots which demonstrate this hairy history:
- Mr. Red (b. 1968 with clean-shaven face) and
- Mr. Redlegs (b. 2007 with a sassy ‘stache).
While scoring a ticket to the All-Star game might be next-to-impossible at this point, fans can still participate in the festivities by posing with the commemorative handlebars. You can also buy mini replicas that double as business card holders from MLB.com/shop and the Reds Team Shop at Great American Ball Park.
This weekend, we went downtown, telling the kids we were going on a scavenger hunt near “Joey Votto’s house.” We parked on Broadway, scoring a great spot on the street, with a meter that had an hour left on it! (BTW: the meters now take credit cards, which is super helpful! You’ll pay $2/hour, with a two hour max).
We then walked through Lytle Park:
By the Cincinnatus statue at Sawyer Point Park:
Then over to Yeatman’s Cove Park:
To the Paul Brown Stadium:
Looping around to The Banks:
Ending, finally, at Great American Ballpark.
We walked an hour and a half, and got to see steamboats and barges on the river, gorgeous greenspaces and parks, many of Cincinnati’s iconic bridges and more! If your kids are older, try renting a bike or surrey (one of those rickshaw-looking things) for a tour-on-wheels!
So, grab your kids, Reds hats and walking shoes — and hit the streets! Pose for some pictures and participate in a piece of Reds — and Cincinnati — history.
Watch the 2015 All-Star game this Tuesday, July 14, at 7:30 pm on Fox Sports.