With baseball being my favorite sport and the Reds my favorite team, there was nothing better than Opening Day activities and the ballgame. Until now. Until I spent the day at Great American Ball Park with the High School Media Days program.
My five-hour trip to Great American Ball Park will never be forgotten. You could be a baseball hater, but once you see the facilities and people in the Reds' family and organization, you can't help but be impressed and feel lucky to be in the atmosphere. The physical attributes of technology and comfort at the field are amazing. It is called the big leagues for a reason.
It's not just baseball either; getting to hear marketing plans and ideas opened my mind for life and career options -- and just at one baseball field, there are so many.
Now for the baseball fan, the Reds fan, the Reds fanatic, this trip would leave you speechless. The first thing I saw was a big empty field. Beautiful. Once a pass was around my neck and we walked toward a tunnel I had never been into, I knew the day was about to make my jaw drop. Seeing the clubhouse and high-class restaurants first left me in amazement. Major Leaguers are at these locations each and every day.
At the end of the tunnel I saw sunlight; at that point my stomach lost all feeling. I was on a Major League ballfield. I can name every Reds player, along with their number and position, so I can't begin to explain who I saw. I was a kid in a candy shop.
Dugout. ... I hear the word after each one of my games. "It is terrible to clean," is my only thought. Well, it was my only thought. Now, I can just picture ... sitting in the Reds dugout! Making contact with players, their bats and their gloves -- I didn't ever want to leave.
The business side of the team was outstanding, too. Everything is so gorgeous and well-organized. I saw so many of the people I look up to.
Going to Great American Ball Park in this fashion meant the world to me. Everything about the experience and the Reds was perfect, and I will remember every little detail. I watch "Reds Live" with Jim Day -- whom I saw -- on game days whenever I am home, but this truly was Reds, live.
Kagan Gearhart is a senior staff writer for Camel Chronicle at Campbell County High School.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.