CINCINNATI -- The red seats in Great American Ball Park had a smattering of blue from University of Kentucky fans on Tuesday. The Reds honored the Wildcats for the basketball team's national championship. Head coach John Calipari and a contingent from the school brought the NCAA trophy. After a brief recognition on the field, where he received a loud ovation, Calipari threw a ceremonial first pitch to infielder Todd Frazier. With the University of Cincinnati, Xavier and Ohio State all having elite college basketball programs in Ohio, there was a question by some about why Kentucky would cross the Ohio River as it tours with its trophy. However, the Reds have more radio affiliates in Kentucky than in Ohio and a large fan base in the Bluegrass State.
"It's great here," said Calipari from the Reds' dugout. "Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio -- it's all the same place, it really is. The Cincinnati Reds fans in Lexington -- it's a Reds city, other than being a blue city for us.
"We've taken the trophy and gone all over, and this was a natural thing and easy place for our fans to gather. But it's not to be offensive to anybody. Cincinnati has done a great job, and their program is on the rise and it will continue."