Castellini says he'll fire himself if Reds don't have winning season
Baseball-themed chamber dinner honors Nuxhall
HAMILTON — Cincinnati Reds President and CEO Bob Castellini stood in what he called "the heart of Reds' country" and told a crowd of more than 400 the professional baseball team will be competitive in 2008.
"If we don't win this year, we might all get fired and I'll start by firing myself," he said.
Castellini was the keynote speaker Friday night at the 98th annual Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce dinner held at Vora Technology Park.
Baseball was the theme of the event, which also honored Tim Nichting — who led the West Side All Stars to the Little League World Series — as citizen of the year. The lifetime achievement award was given posthumously to Joe Nuxhall.
Chamber President Kenny Craig, who donned a baseball tie, said event attendance of 443 set a record.
At the dinner, which funds most chamber activities, Castellini discussed off-season progress he believes the Reds have made by signing additional pitching.
In honor of Nuxhall, Castellini said the organization was trying to name a portion of Main Street Nuxhall Way in Cincinnati close to the Great American Ball Park, which also has a bronze statue of his likeness.
"I'm not promising anything yet, but I'm working on it hard," he said.
Castellini also said he hoped to see the crowd again on June 10 at the ballpark for Hamilton Day, which also marks the 64th anniversary of Nuxhall's history-making pitching debut at age 15 as the youngest player in the Major Leagues.