All-Star Game Fanfest

11 07 2015

2015 AS Game logo

I’m down in Cincinnati this weekend and early next week to attend the All-Star game.  It’s really neat for me.  I went to the All-Star game back in 1988 as an 8 year-old kid.  My dad took me to that game.  27 years later, a lot of things have changed but some things are still the same.  My dad got season tickets last year and this year (40 games each year) so he had the right to buy the All-Star package.  So I drove down from Chicago to go to as many festivities as possible.  That meant All-Star Fanfest today.

Friday is “kids’ day” at the All-Star Fanfest, and we had a 3-generation trip down.  My dad, me and my (almost) 3-year old son spent the day walking around the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati.  We did a lot of the kid things, and it’s a great experience overall.  We got a picture by the World Series trophy, and one by the World’s biggest baseball.  He got to run the bases, hit off a tee, throw a ball against a sticky wall, see some mascots and of course eat a cookie.

I also got three autographs at the show.  The first one was Jim O’Toole, who was a pitcher from the 1960’s.  I ordered a card of his on eBay a week ago specifically for this show.  Cool to have one of the original Topps All-Star Rookie cards autographed.

Fanfest Auto - Jim O'Toole

O’Toole signed before lunch, but the other two autographs I was able to get in while Brady was either watching Cars 2 on a tablet, or asleep in his stroller.  The former was Reds Hall of Famer Ron Oester.  I got him to sign his 1990 Topps card, which was appropriate since he was on the 1990 World Series team.

Fanfest Auto - Ron Oester

I also got Tommy Helms, who replaced Pete Rose at 2nd base in 1966 (Pete moved to 3rd) and then briefly replace Pete as the Reds’ manager in 1989 (Rose moved to baseball’s ineligible list).  I got him to sign a 1975 Topps mini card, which was pretty cool.  His signature still looks the same as it did 40 years ago!

Fanfest Auto - Tommy Helms

I’m going back tomorrow by myself, and then going to a card show Sunday and Monday before I hit up the home run derby.  Should be a really fun week!




3 responses

11 07 2015

You are giving me good memories of the 1996 All-Star Fan Fest in Philadelphia. I think that was one of the earliest ones that MLB ran, and it was a blast. I volunteered to work one of the attractions, a replica of the NL dog out. That gave me full access to every day of the event. Then I met someone there who had a complete list of the autograph guests (which wasn’t published in advance) so I knew what lines to get in and when. Without that in ’96, you would get in a line for, say, Earl Weaver but by the time you got to the front of the line, it might now be Ivan DeJesus. I also knew what items to bring to get signed each day. I got more autographs those three days then maybe any three days of my life. The only one I mistimed was Curt flood, who got up to leave about five people ahead of me. He died a few months later and I never did get his autograph–and I was going to get it on his 1970 Topps Phillies card , the team he refused to play for. Anyway, enjoy the festivities with your dad and your son!

11 07 2015

Oops–by “dog out” I mean “dugout”–thanks, spellcheck.

11 07 2015

Thanks Steve! Good story. It is a huge event, and has been a lot of fun.

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