Major League Baseball

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Patrick Semansky / AP

I can't even begin to tell you how many Independence Days I have spent at ball parks over the years – Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium, Great American Ball Park.

Some were just dusty sandlots where I was playing as a kid or, as a grownup, coaching other kids in Knothole baseball, teaching them to play the greatest game ever invented and how to behave like good sports doing it.

But last Saturday was the saddest of them all.

Fox Sports

Thom Brennaman says he'll be back announcing Reds games on Fox Sports Ohio in August – not July, as his father told the huge crowd at the Pete Rose Hall of Fame induction dinner Sunday night at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Topps Co. Inc.

Needing starting pitching – sound familiar? – the Reds signed former St. Xavier High School lefty Chris Welsh 30 years ago, on April 4, 1986.

The future Reds TV analyst was 30 when released by Texas the previous November, after compiling a 16-22 record in four seasons for the Padres, Expos and Rangers.

Welsh pitched one season for the Reds, his fifth and final season.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Tens of thousands of visitors will be in Cincinnati for All-Star Game activities starting Friday.  Along with having fun, they'll be creating trash, but plans are in the works to recycle as much as possible.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Different organizations, like the Community Organizing Committee, Cincinnati Parks, and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. have been working on making the area look as good as possible for the national attention that will come with the All-Star Game.  The Ohio Department of Transportation has also contributed to that effort.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati is hosting Major League Baseball's All-Star Game this month, and there's an enormous effort to make the region look as good as possible.  Millions of tourist dollars are at stake; and it's an opportunity the Reds, Cincinnati, and the region may not have again for a while.