Last summer, my family and I took an epic car trip to visit family and friends. In two weeks, we drove a 9,000-mile loop from Texas to Tennessee, through North Carolina, over to Pennsylvania, up to New York, around to Ohio, down through Kentucky and Tennessee, and back to Texas. Two adults, two adult children, four suitcases, bunches of DVDs, and three laptop computers with headphones in one Subaru Outback.
One of the highlights of our journey was in Cincinnati, when we caught a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. We had no idea that the Reds were baseball’s first professional franchise. Pretty cool claim to fame!
We hit it just right; it was a special day. Entering the Great American Ball Park, we were offered complimentary Mr. Redlegs mustache and replica striped pillbox hats. (Who is Mr. Redlegs, the Reds’ mascot? See him in this cute ESPN commercial.) Photo opportunity!
The Planters® Mr. Peanut’s NUTmobile was also visiting the ball park. They were giving out packs of peanuts, which we put in our Cokes. (It’s a Southern thing; if you haven’t ever tried it, you simply must!) Another photo op. Who wouldn’t want their picture taken with the NUTmobile?
By the time we made it to our seats, we were stoked for the game. Walking into the stadium, it looks ordinary. However, when you enter the seating area, the view astounds you. The stadium sits along the winding banks of the Ohio River. Throughout the game, long barges were moving on the river. We were utterly fascinated because where we live, freight is moved over land, either by truck or train.
You can hardly talk about baseball these days without some reference to the movie “Field of Dreams.” It evokes such powerful feelings within each of us.
People will come, Ray…And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces…The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball…This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
– Terence Mann, played by actor James Earl Jones
It was a great day. I can’t remember who won the game. It hardly seems important compared to how many memories we made.