Originally Posted by Unassisted
Ready to provide more answers? This round is for the history buffs among us.
We're answering one set of questions at a time. The fourth round of answers will be on the "Reds Operations" category. Post your answers to any or all sections of the question in this thread. I will compile and incorporate them into this first post.
Feel free to post links to threads if you think they contain particularly good answers or might be difficult to identify as such.
There must be other good questions to be found in this category, so feel free to submit those, too.
So far I'm mining the following threads:
As far as the form of your answer, you can either go with a "just the facts" format or make a post with full sentences as if someone had asked the question. If you want to disagree with an earlier answer for some reason, that's fine, too.
Rough Draft of Round 5 Answers:
Category: Reds History
[b]Q: Why is Opening Day so important to the Reds?
This is kind of a tough question to give a specific answer to. There are a couple of misconceptions people have about Opening Day in Cincinnati.
1. The Reds always had the first game of the season because they were the first professional team. That is not true. Basically the Reds used to open first because they were one of the most southern cities in the National League and there would be less of a chance of bad weather if they opened in Cincinnati. When the NL was formed in 1876, the home opener was no big deal. As stated before the Reds were kicked out of the NL in 1880 for selling beer. From 1881 to 1889 the Reds were in the American Association. So it isn't like the NL looked upon the Reds fondly enough to make sure they opened at home before everyone else. In 1935 they were scheduled to open on the road but Reds owner Powel Crosley and GM Larry MacPhail pitched a big enough fit that the NL backed down. There is no evidence that says that the Reds get that honor because of the 1869 Red Stockings.
2. Until recently the Reds always hosted the first MLB game of the season. TV has paid MLB enough money that the official opening "day" has been on either Sunday night before everyone else begins or earlier the week before in Japan. But even before that there were times where the first pitch in MLB was not thrown in Cincinnati. When the Reds were still in the American Association they opened in
Kansas City in 1888. In 1913 and 1937 the Reds opened on the second day of the NL season. In 1949 there was an AL and NL game the day before. In 1957 & 1958 the Washington Senators opened the day before the Reds. In 1966 the whole opening series was postponed due to rain. In 1990 due to a players strike the Reds opened in Houston.
A very big reason why Opening Day is so important is the Opening Day Parade run by the Findlay Market Association. The Findlay Market Association has been marching every year since 1920. They have had Opening Day parades in Cincinnati since 1895 when Reds business manager Frank Bancroft thought it was a good idea to have a parade for the opener. The rest is history.
To sum it up I think a passage from the forward of the book "Opening Day" by John Erardi and Greg Rhodes - in which most of this post has been cribbed from (Chapter 2) - says it best:
"For no other city has an Opening Day tradition like Cincinnati's. Due to a unique combination of factors, the Reds are the only team that opens each season at home, and for many years Cincinnati had the day to itself: The first professional team played the first game of the season. Over the decades, the tradition has grown into a city-wide celebration of the national pastime and the glorious role the Queen City had in its founding.
History spawned civic pride, which begat parades, proclimations and parties, and perhaps inevitably, pachyderms on a baseball field.... As Sparky Anderson put it, 'It's a holiday, a baseball holiday! Ain't no other place in America got that!'"