On Wednesday, July 3rd, my brother and I went to see the Reds play the Nationals at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. I’ve ‘graphed a few of the Reds’ games now and usually do pretty well there. This day was another good one (in spite of a little bit of rain).
We arrived at about 2:00 pm and decided to ‘graph the opposing team players’ entrance. Generally, this is a good place to be early in the day because the opposing teams stay at the Westin downtown, which is only about a 5-10 minute walk. Many players choose to walk down or take a short cab ride down to the stadium. From 2-4 you can nab several of the players as they walk down or get dropped off on the Broadway entrance on the east side of the stadium (look for an open garage door with some ‘graphers outside of it).
If you decide you want to do the Reds, you need to go to the underground parking garage on the south side of the stadium (E. Mehring Way). You can stand at the front of the parking garage and some of the Reds might roll down their windows and sign on their way in or out of the game.
At around 3:30, we walked up to the Westin and waited outside the team bus. Several players signed, as well as Hall of Famer Don Sutton (who is now a broadcaster with the Nationals). After getting our autographs, we headed to the Machine Room to get a bite to eat before the game. (I would highly recommend this strategy, as the doors for the Machine Room open at 4 pm. The food is good and you don’t have to fight the lines getting into the game.)
Once in the stadium, we ‘graphed the Nationals side for a few minutes and got a few guys to sign. We also went over to the Reds’ side to get Brandon Phillips to sign the jerseys that we brought down (which we were able to do…Brandon signs before almost every game). When all was said and done, we got about 30 ‘graphs, including: Don Sutton, Luis Ayala, Collin Balester (super nice guy), Joel Hanrahan, Odalis Perez, Saul Rivera, Wil Nieves, Felipe Lopez, Ryan Zimmerman, Brandon Phillips, and Gary Majewski.