Monday, September 23, 2002
Sunrise, sunset on Cinergy Field
On its last day of Major League Baseball, Cinergy Field came alive before dawn and was dotted with workers until midnight. Some snapshots of what unfolded in between:
4 a.m.: First workers report for duty. George Lipscomb, 27, of Avondale, a cleaning crew supervisor, is among them.
11:15: Gates open. First through Gate 1 is Steve Mix, 42, of Milan, Ind., with his wife, Kim, and two nephews.
11:16: Loge level, first beer sold from booth where Cynthia Hartley of Westwood is working.
12:06 p.m.: Todd Cassina of the Kahn's Retros team, in 19th-century Reds uniform, said of his work: How often do you get a chance to throw meat products at 40,000 people?
12:28: Marge Schott sits and chats with Johnny Bench.
12:36: First Reds on the field, Reggie Taylor and Gookie Dawkins, stop and pose for photos.
12:50: The PA announcement: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Cinergy Field, home of the Cincinnati Reds.
1:02: Nick Lachey of the pop band 98 begins singing the national anthem.
1:05: Ceremonial first pitch: Sparky Anderson to Johnny Bench.
1:16: Moments after Jose Rijo's first pitch of the game, Matt Dettmer, 8, of Southgate, hits 41 mph on the radar gun in the fans' activity section.
1:25: The last commemorative T-shirt is sold from a blue-level vending booth to Jeanne Icenogle of Deer Park.
2:35: Jose Rijo leaves game to a standing ovation, waves his cap to the fans.
3:23: Fans sing along to God Bless America during 7th-inning stretch.
4:16: Todd Walker grounds out to second base, and Marty Brennaman announces, And that is that.
5:24: Home plate is pulled up and transported next door to Great American Ball Park.
5:26: The loudest of many stadium-wide chants of We Want Pete.
6:32: Stadium workers usher the last fans out of Cinergy, many pausing to take final pictures.
6:41: Stadium and security workers gather at pitchers' mound for last group photos.
6:47: Reds groundskeeping crew begins converting Cinergy's infield from major league baseball dimensions to that of a smaller softball field for tonight's special home game for Pete Rose.
The crew will work late into the night.
- Tom O'Neill and Michael C. Clark
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