Bucket lists are for the young, the energetic, the motivated, those with vision and a plan for the future.
Sadly, I never created a bucket list. Wonder what that says about my age, energy level, motivation, vision and planning capacity?
Today, Cincinnati hosts the 2015 Major League Baseball All Star Game. Allow me to pay a humble homage to this event with a retrospective bucket list…a collection of unintentionally related life experiences centered on the game of baseball. Sometimes there’s clarity in the rear view mirror.
1970 – Attended first game with Mom, Dad and sisters, shortly after the opening of Riverfront Stadium. First of countless games I would attend with parents or a combination of family members throughout the coming decades.
1971 – Baseball card collection commences. Boxes still stored in my basement. Secretly rotating location to keep wife from tossing what will become her best retirement asset upon my demise.
1972 – Reds lose to A’s in seven games. I writhe on the living room floor in hysterics. An obsession is born.
1973 – Reds lose to Mets in playoffs. A trend of torture.
1975/76 – Panacea. Joy. Peaking way too early in life.
1980s – The lost decade of the Reds.
1981 – In my last year as a player, Feldhaus Roofing, a rag-tag bunch of damn good players from Norwood, wins the city championship on a squeeze play. Damn right!
1989 – Opening Day. Propose to Michelle during the seventh inning stretch. To this day, she questions whether or not she actually responded, “Yes.”
1990 – Reds win fifth World Series! Michelle and I get married. Coincidence? Jim Merkl and I sneak into 1990 playoff game vs. Pittsburgh Pirates through an open door in the parking garage, making our way through the umpire dressing room…while they were dressing.
1993 – Take Mallory to first baseball game. I hold her for seven innings, sweating profusely. Hand her to my sister, Cathy, and suddenly they both are shown on the Jumbotron. Coincidence?
1998 – Take Mallory and Anna to a game by myself. (Ages 5 and 2, mind you.) Dinner consists of hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, pop. No longer allowed to take girls to game alone.
2010 – Along with Anna and 80 other Sycamore choir members, I sing the National Anthem at the opening Friday night game of the 2010 Reds season. They go on to post season for first time in 15 years. Coincidence?
2014 – Share a legal beer with Mallory at Reds game. Something I was never able to do with my Dad. (Your time will come, Anna.)
2015 – Helped produce and direct Batter Up Bash, an All Star Week kickoff event held last Friday night on Fountain Square. Had the opportunity to produce a video for the occasion. Hope you enjoy!