Great American Ball Park

Courtesy John Schutte

Baseball is a very ear-friendly sport. There's the crack of the bat, the sound of a fastball hitting leather and the roar of the crowd. There might not be fans in America's ballparks as this COVID-shortened season starts - which just might make sound all the more important. Bill Rinehart has more about the organist for the Cincinnati Reds in this chapter of OKI Wanna Know.

Courtesy Sports Illustrated

The Big Red Machine rolls back onto TV this week in Fox Sports Ohio's s repeat of the Reds' 1976 World Series sweep of the New York Yankees Wednesday through Saturday.

FSO devotes next week (May 17-23) to Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League All-Star Games played in Ohio since 1981.

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His name may not ring a bell, but if you’ve ever attended a Reds game at Great American Ball Park, you’ve heard his talent. Our Media Beat blogger John Kiesewetter sits down for a conversation with John Schutte, the GABP organist and keyboardist with popular local band The Rusty Griswolds.

Courtesy John Schutte

The Reds haven't been to the playoffs lately, but the team consistently leads Major League Baseball with the hippest ballpark organist.

You might not know John Schutte's name, but millions of people have enjoyed his music at Great American Ball Park since 2010 – or playing keyboard for the Rusty Griswolds 1980's cover band.

John Kiesewetter

It's not small ball, it's Thrall Ball!

Tommy Thrall takes over Cincinnati Reds radio play-by-play this spring from Marty Brennaman, who retired last fall after 46 seasons. Thrall will call all of the spring training games from Arizona, many of them with analyst Jeff Brantley. The Reds' spring opener is 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in Goodyear, Ariz.

Courtesy Cincinnati Reds

Fox Sports Ohio will televise eight Cincinnati Reds spring training games from Arizona, two less than last year.

Pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear on Feb. 13, one week from today. The Reds' spring schedule opens Saturday, Feb. 22, against the Cleveland Indians on radio.

Courtesy of Patriot One Technolgies

At Great American Ball Park, technology inside a couple of unobtrusive planters use artificial intelligence and magnets to make sure people coming inside don't have weapons or explosive devices. Ginter Electric, a Patriot One Technologies dealer, installed the system and is partnering with the Cincinnati Reds.  Ginter's T. J. Dooley is looking to sign up businesses, governments and schools.

billy joel
Evan Agostini / AP

The "Piano Man" himself is next summer's headliner at Great American Ball Park. Billy Joel will make his first solo stadium performance in Cincinnati on Sept. 11, 2020.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

If you see and hear first responder vehicles near Great American Ball Park at The Banks Thursday morning, don't panic. First responders are practicing how to respond in a mass casualty event like a natural disaster or terrorist attack.  

Marty Brennaman
John Kiesewetter / WVXU

Reds fans have just four opportunities to see or hear Marty Brennaman's last games at Great American Ball Park.

Brennaman will work only four of the final six home games – Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He will not go on the season-ending trip to Pittsburgh Sept. 27-29.

John Kiesewetter

On his birthday four years ago, I first proposed the Reds honor Hall of Fame radio announcer Marty Brennaman with the "ultimate birthday present," a statue on Crosley Terrace. I've updated the column for his 77th birthday today during his 46th and final season on Reds radio. Happy birthday, Marty! ! (And Happy Birthday to his wife, Amanda, who also celebrates one today!)

As he celebrates his 77th birthday today, Marty Brennaman sounds as excited as that rookie big league radio announcer who joined Joe Nuxhall in 1974. That’s what made him a Hall of Famer.

Courtesy Fox Media LLC

Riverfront Stadium… Bob Braun… Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall... The Uncle Al Show … Uncle Al's accordion… Great American Ball Park…

The more I talked to actor Rob Lowe, who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, from 1964 to '76, the more I was surprised by his flood of Cincinnati memories. 

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Great American Ball Park will be one of 15 stadiums across the country to host a replica of Neil Armstrong's space suit. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is sponsoring Apollo in the Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing.

Michael E. Keating / WVXU

Sometimes, as I sit in my mezzanine seats at Great American Ball Park, I hear fans sitting nearby – casual fans, folks who do not, like some of us, live and breathe Reds baseball all year long – talking about the circular plaques on the façade behind home plate, just below the press box and broadcast booths.

Julie Niesen / WVXU

After a long Ohio winter, today is the first day of spring and, just a week from now, the first day of baseball season.

Courtesy MLB Network

When you watch a biography of Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, you expect to see lots of World Series highlights available for years on DVD.

That's all part of BENCH, a terrific 90-minute MLB Network Presents film premiering 8 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 30 on the MLB Network. But the stars of the show are Bench, now 71, being a single father to sons Justin, 12, and Josh, 9, in their Florida home.

BENCH also will bring back a flood of memories for Big Red Machine fans with the sights and sounds from Riverfront Stadium, spring training, the Reds' dugout, and Bench's foray from behind the mask into the entertainment world with Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Hee Haw, David Letterman and his own TV show.

Michael E. Keating / WVXU

Editor's note: This story was originally published March 25, 2014. We are re-posting it here in honor of the Reds' Opening Day on March 28, 2019, as the story is as much a fan favorite as the pastime of baseball itself. 

John Kiesewetter

DVR Alert! Fox Sports Ohio will repeat Scooter Gennett's historic four home-run night and two other Reds games over the All-Star Break.

Gennett set a Reds record June 6 when he became only the 17th person in Major League Baseball history to hit four homers in one game in a 13-1 blow-out against the St. Louis Cardinals.

John Kiesewetter

When Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine returned to Great American Ball Park Saturday, so did public address announcer Joe Zerhusen.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Homeowners occasionally refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates to save money. 

The Hamilton County Commissioners just did essentially the same thing Wednesday with the bonds it issued back in the 1990's to build Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ball Park and other riverfront improvements.

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