Redsland Forever

In an event that was most definitely uniquely Cincinnati, the illustration by CF Payne entitled Redsland Forever was unveiled at the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) last Thursday evening. Any time there are cocktails, mascots, and art involved you know you’d be hard pressed to find it anywhere else besides Cincinnati, and you know someone from the UrbanCincy team would have to go see what it was all about. The event was extraordinarily well attended even in the midst of one of the best autumns of football our fair town has ever seen.

When one walks into an event that is focused on things happening in our city and one of the first people you see is Jim Tarbell, one knows that this is the place the be that evening. There was a well stocked bar and patrons mingling in under the gigantic blue Chihuly prior to the formal presentation of the evening. Passing through the entrance and towards The Great Hall, which was where the main event was going to happen, it was easy to see the Reds influences. Look, Chris Sabo. Then Mr. Redlegs. Then Rosie. As folks gathered into The Great Hall for the presentation it was standing room only and it was tightly packed, more so than when The Reds Community Fund & CAM joined up for their first venture which showcased the Andy Warhol print of Pete Rose.

The original illustration by CF Payne, which was purchased by Reds owner Bob Castellini, was stage left and covered by a black cloth as we heard all about the efforts of the Reds Community Fund as well as the Art Museum. The two folks that stole the show though were former Red Chris Sabo and the artist himself, CF Payne.

Redsland Forever from Reds Internal Affairs

In the everyman style that made him popular in his heyday, Sabo got up for a few minutes and chatted up the room, even joking that he was not expecting to speak this evening. The most recent Red elected to the team’s Hall of Fame did point out one thing that has caused some discussion about the illustration, which is that among the fourteen Reds featured, number fourteen, Pete Rose, is conspicuously absent which brought some applause from the room. Promising to be more prepared at his induction, Sabo quickly yielded to the artist himself.

The unveiling was anti-climactic considering the print had been published in the paper and on the web leading but to the evening, but it was great to hear from local and relatively unknown treasure, CF Payne. whose work has been featured on magazine covers ranging from Mad Magazine to Time and many others in between. As he walked us through his process from idea to finished product one thing became incredibly evident: CF Payne is a huge baseball fan. He talked about the fact that Davey Concepcion belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He talked about listening to Reds games growing up. He talked about why Pete Rose was not included in the illustration. (It had a bit to do with Pete being the focus of the Warhol exhibit and not any other factors) But the most fascinating part was to hear how he balanced art (“I need Big Klu in the corner as my anchor”) with passion (“I took my favorite Red, Vada Pinson, out so that I could make room for Barry Larkin.”)

You can, and should, check out the print itself either at the Art Museum (which of course features free admission) as part of a CF Payne exhibit that runs through January 10, 2010. In the spring, the print moves over to the Reds Hall Fame & Museum alongside an exhibit that will be paying tribute to the 1990 World Series Championship team.


Good times in the 513

On Saturday, June 20 thousands of people converged onto Over-the-Rhine to participate in the GoOTR 5k and enjoy the festivities at the first annual OTR Summer Gateway Celebration afterwards.

I can honestly say that the 5k was exhausting in that heat. I averaged an 11 minute mile which is not much better than a brisk walk, but I raised money for the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and got to hang out with lots of fun people in OTR all day.

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The Summer Celebration was a great addition this year as in past years people seemed to hang around looking for something to do after the 5k. In addition to the awards ceremony from Rookwood Pottery and drinks from Christian Moerlein, this year had tons of local vendors selling food, crafts and other items.

On the other side of Vine Street some neighborhood children set up a lemonade stand to take advantage of the perfect business opportunity. There was even a stage for music and dance performances that kept the crowd entertained at 12th & Vine all day long.

A couple of drinks, a mett and a wood-fired pizza later I was ready to head south towards Fountain Square to check out the Civil Rights Game Youth Summit festivities that were ongoing.

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There were lots of out-of-towners and lots of people enjoying the interactive areas for the kids (pitching area, batting cage, etc). Earlier some Reds players spoke to the youth baseball players and fans at Fountain Square.

The day was truly special and will hopefully be just as good, if not better next year with the second annual OTR Summer Gateway Celebration and the second consecutive year of the Civil Rights Game being held in Cincinnati.

Business News

Burger Beer back in the ‘Nati

The Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co. is on a roll lately. Hot off of their Little Kings re-branding, they are now about the bring back one of Cincinnati’s most fabled beers.

On Friday, May 29th Burger Beer will be relaunched at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. The event will go from 6pm to 11pm (short presentation at 7pm) with the first 600 paid admissions ($10) will receive a FREE commemorative Burger Classic Beer Relaunch Celebration/Crosley Field Remembered retro t-shirt.

At the event fans will be able to visit the “Crosley Field Remembered” special exhibit as well as the other permanent exhibits throughout the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, enjoy some Burger Beer and watch the away Reds game (vs. Milwaukee) in the Palace of the Fans Theater beginning at 7pm.

The relaunching will bring back both Burger Classic Beer and Burger Light Beer. The beers will be available throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana for around $5.99 per twelve pack of cans and are considered full-flavored yet light-bodied American styled pilsner beers.

Greg Hardman, president of Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company, has been working aggressively to restore the great Cincinnati beer brands that once made the area known world-wide for its brewing heritage.

Part of that heritage is Burger Beer which was first established in 1880 with the Burger family’s malting business. The family began brewing their own beers in 1934 following the repeal of prohibition and was one of the first brewers in the nation, and first in Cincinnati, to can its beer. Then during World War II, Burger was one of only a handful of brewers selected by the government to supply camouflaged cans of Burger beer to military personnel throughout the world.

Burger Beer was also famous for its marketing slogan, “Vas You Efer in Zinzinnati?” that played off the fondness for Cincinnati’s German Heritage, and was a nationwide hit.

One of the most significant parts of Burger’s past is its relationship with the Reds organization. During the days of Crosley Field legendary Reds broadcaster, Waite Hoyt, during the nearly quarter century that Burger Beer sponsored the Reds radio broadcasts. Hoyt would frequently plug the local beer and would refer to home runs, hit as Crosley, as being destined for the outer reaches of “Burgerville.”


Singles Night at the Reds game tonight

Tonight is Singles Night at the Reds vs. Brewers game tonight. First pitch is at 7:10pm, but the fun starts at the Fan Zone (behind the first base concourse) with a dating game, that will award a variety of prizes to contestants, at 6:30pm.

The game will also have a five-stop Pub Crawl where fans can stop for free giveaways including:

  1. Fan Zone – Budweiser/Cincinnati Reds H3 Trailer, Bud Girls and free beer coupon
  2. Club Red – Coupon for a free UDF malt
  3. Machine Room Grille – PNC Virtual Wallet and Reds magnetic schedule
  4. All-You-Can-Eat Seats – Coupon for a free Chipotle burrito
  5. Third Base Bar (Terrace Level – behind section 110) – Cincinnati Bell/BlackBerry giveaway

Plus on top of all this singles fun the Reds are playing some great baseball. The game will most likely pit Cincinnati’s pitcher/hitter Micah Owings (1-3) against Milwaukee’s Braden Looper (2-1). We’re also fighting with the Brewers for second in the NL Central…so get out there and support your hometown team.

Other Singles Night Specials:
  • A $5 beer will be available in all locations except Machine Room Grille, and a specialty drink will be available in all locations except the All-You-Can-Eat Seats.
  • Be sure to stop by the Fan Zone when you arrive to the ballpark to pick up your wristband in order to take part in the Chipotle Singles Night festivities.
Arts & Entertainment Business Development News

All-Star showing for Cincy in 2013?

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay is reporting that the Reds are “actively pursuing” for an All-Star Game to come to Cincinnati in 2013.

It seems like a relatively long time away, but in All-Star Game terms it’s not. St. Louis will host the game this year, Los Angeles (Anaheim) has 2010 and Arizona will have 2011. Boston is rumored to be the favorite for 2012, but Kansas City is also in the mix for 2012 or 2014.

The game alternates between AL and NL locations, so that leaves 2013, 2015 and 2017 as the next options for Cincinnati to get its fifth All-Star Game and first at Great American Ballpark that opened for the 2003 season.

First generation rendering of Great American Ballpark and its then future surroundings – from Hamilton County

The timeline works fine with me as the first phase of The Banks and the Central Riverfront Park will be complete. The Great American Tower (Queen City Square) will also be finished; and if we’re really lucky, so will the first phase of the proposed streetcar system. Talk about making a good impression.

At the same time work will be underway for future phases of The Banks, Central Riverfront Park and (once again if we’re lucky) the proposed streetcar system. I’m glad we didn’t get an All-Star Game immediately after the opening of Great American Ballpark. I’d much rather have the out-of-towners come in and experience the revitalized Cincinnati and see that we have a lot more to offer than the nostalgia of WKRP.