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"Chuck Tanner used to have a bedcheck just for me every night. No problem. My bed was always there."
--Jim Rooker, former Pirates pitcher on his former manager


Great American Ball Park

By Wikipedia

Great American Ball Park is the home of the Cincinnati Reds, a member of Major League Baseball's National League. The ballpark, located in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio on the Ohio River, is the fourth home of baseball's oldest professional team.

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 100 Main Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Broke ground August 1, 2000
Opened March 28, 2003
First Official Game March 31, 2003
Replaced Cinergy Field
Owner Hamilton County
Surface Grass
Construction cost $290M
Architects HOK Sport;
GBBN Architects
Cincinnati Reds (2003-)
Seating capacity
42,059 (2003)
Left Field - 328 ft
Left-Center - 379 ft
Center Field - 404 ft
Right-Center - 370 ft
Right Field - 325 ft
Backstop - 55 ft

The downtown park opened on March 28, 2003 for an exhibition game with the Cleveland Indians. Great American Ball Park hosted its first regular season game on Opening Day, March 31, 2003 as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Reds, 10-1.

During construction, the new stadium was "wedged" into the space between multi-purpose Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium, which opened in 1970) and U.S. Bank Arena. Cinergy Field was demolished after the 2002 major league season, and the ballpark is part of an almost entirely revised downtown riverfront, along with Paul Brown Stadium (home of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, which opened in 2000) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (opened in 2004).

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  • A 35 foot (11 m) wide break in the stands between home plate and third base -- known as "The Gap" -- is bridged by the concourse on each level (see photo). Aligned with Sycamore Street, it provides views into the stadium from downtown and out to the skyline from within the park.
  • In right center field, two riverboat-inspired smoke stacks flash lights, emit smoke and launch fireworks to incite or respond to the home team's efforts.
  • The 50 by 20 foot (15 by 6 m) "Spirit of Baseball" limestone relief carving near the main entrance shows baseball figures of a boy and a man, along with the Cincinnati riverfront.
  • Mosaics depicting the 1869 Red Stockings, baseball's first pro team, and the 1975 Big Red Machine club that won the first of two consecutive World Series are just inside the main entrance.
  • Panoramas of downtown Cincinnati, Mt. Adams, the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky are visible from most of the park (see photo below).
  • At 217 feet, 9 inches (66 m) wide, the scoreboard is the third largest in the Major Leagues (after Colorado and Detroit).
  • Four statues -- Joe Nuxhall, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, and Frank Robinson -- representing the Crosley Field era decorate Crosley Terrace, in front of the main entrance.
  • A three-piece mural on the back of the scoreboard in left-field pictures the bat and ball from Pete Rose's 4,192nd hit. (Which at the time were thought to have broken Ty Cobb's hit record. In reality, he broke the record days earlier in Wrigley Field.)
  • The trademark radio sign-off phrase of long-time announcer Joe Nuxhall, "Rounding third and heading for home...", appears on the north side of the stadium, on the back of the third base stands.
  • The park is considerably smaller than other parks in MLB, making it a haven for home runs. (For this reason, the stadium is sometimes jokingly called "Great American Smallpark.") It has been compared to the likes of Colorado's Coors Field, which bears a mile high altitude.
Great American Ball Park!

The view from "The Gap" in Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, 2004.

Photo by Rick Dikeman.

03/31/2003 Pirates 10, Reds 1
Umpires Randy Marsh, Larry Vanover
  Greg Gibson, Sam Holbrook
Managers Bob Boone, Reds
  Lloyd McClendon, Pirates
Starting Pitchers Jimmy Haynes, Reds
  Kris Benson, Pirates
Ceremonial Pitch Former President George Bush Sr.
Attendance 42,343
Batter Kenny Lofton (ground out)
Hit Ken Griffey Jr. (double)
Run Randall Simon
RBI Reggie Sanders
Single Pokey Reese
Double Ken Griffey Jr.
Triple Rob Mackowiak (04/03/2003)
Home Run Reggie Sanders
Grand Slam Russ Branyan (07/21/2003)
IPHR Eric Young (05/11/2003)
Stolen Base Moises Alou (04/05/2003)
Sacrifice Hit Kris Benson
Sacrifice Fly Pokey Reese
Cycle (None)
Win Kris Benson
Loss Jimmy Haynes
Shutout Chris Reitsma, Scott Williamson (04/23/2003)
Save Mike Williams (04/02/2003)
Hit by Pitch Josh Fogg hit Adam Dunn (04/03/2003)
Wild Pitch Josh Fogg (04/03/2003)
Balk Dave Veres (04/04/2003)
No-Hitter (None)
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet

Although not readily apparent, this facility bears a corporate name. The naming rights were acquired by the Great American Insurance Group.


Seat width: 19 inches (48 cm)
Ticket windows: 25
Concourse widths: 40 feet (12 m)
Escalators: 3
Passenger elevators: 14
Public restrooms: 47 (20 women, 20 men, seven family)
Concession stands: 28
Parking spaces: 850

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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Great American Ballpark from space!

USGS Photo

Year by Year statistics: for Great American Ball Park

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It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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