Play Ball!


Pete rose

Here I am at around 8 or 9 with my Pete Rose tee and matching Pete Rose hairdo. Quite the look!

Last week I helped plan a media event with the family that owns a local pizza chain and baseball legend Pete Rose. Not a bad day’s work. He was a real sport (See what I did there?) and answered all of the crowd’s questions, flirted with one of the reporters and smiled for hundreds of photos.

But this wasn’t the first time I had met Pete. In fact, baseball and I go back, back, back. (OK that’s enough. Sorry!)

When I was about eight or nine, the Big Red Machine rolled into our little town for a meet and greet. Hundreds of locals flooded our small town bank for a chance to meet not only Pete, but also Joe Morgan, George Foster, Sparky Anderson and Johnny Bench. For a little kid in the late 70’s, this was way cool.

I saw a lot of Reds games when I was a kid thanks to education programs that provided free tickets to elementary students with straight A’s. I was a geek like that. It helped that I also got a $1 for every A from my Grandpa!

I also remember listening over the radio (700 WLW!) to what seemed like endlessly long Reds’ games with my Grandpa on Sunday afternoons.

With two younger brothers both on baseball teams, I spent hours at the local ball fields for practices, games and those post-game suicides and soft pretzels.

When Dragon’s field opened, I was there cheering on what has become a staple for Dayton sports fans leading them to nearly 1,000 straight sold out games.

Will all that history, you would think that baseball would simply be a part of my life. But it’s not.

Here’s the truth. I hate baseball.

Maybe it’s because I was exposed to so much. Maybe it just moves…. too…. slow…. for me. Maybe I’m un-American. I’m not sure why. I just know I don’t enjoy the sport at all. With the exception of those soft pretzels with mustard.

But please don’t tell Pete.

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