10 Never Seen Facts on Great American Ball Park

By: Sports Teller


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10 Never Seen Facts on Great American Ball Park

Great American Ball Park is one of Ohio’s best professional stadiums every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Reds stadium opened in 2003 and hosted the All-Star Game in 2015. Any Cincinnati fan that bleeds team red will know every information possible, from the team winning the NL Central Division in 2010 to Homer Bailey throwing two no-hitters (2012 & 2013). However, there are new Great American Ball Park facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Seen Facts on Great American Ball Park below!

10: A Right Field Smokestack was Caught on Fire During a Reds Game in 2015

The calendar year 2015 turned out to be a special year for Great American Ball Park. In July, Cincinnati served as the home for the MLB All-Star Game. In fact, Reds Infielder Todd Frazier won the Home Run Derby after finishing second in the previous year’s tournament. One more thing to point out is that both Frazier and Closer Aroldis Chapman were Cincinnati’s All-Stars in the 2015 Midsummer Classic. But what many people didn’t remember was a safety incident that happened at Great American Ball Park two months prior. 

During the Reds/Giants contest in May 2015, the top of a right field smokestack was caught on fire. Normally, those steamboat features would shoot-out fireworks for every Cincinnati strikeout and victory. But during the top of the 6th inning, a good-sized flame was coming out of one of the right field smokestacks. In the bottom half of the frame, fans had to be escorted from their seats between the batter’s eye and the right field seating section. Finally, in the 7th inning, the firefighters arrived at Great American Ball Park to extinguish the flame. Afterwards, the game proceeded without further incident, with the Reds losing to San Francisco 10-2

9: Before Joe Nuxhall Way, the Address Used to be Main Street

In some stadiums, baseball teams would find generous ways to pay tribute to their star players. For example, the bridge that connects Fenway Park and Kenmore Square was named the David Ortiz Bridge. Another example is that PNC Park in Pittsburgh sits close to the Roberto Clemente Bridge. One more thing to showcase is that Oracle Park in San Francisco has a water area beyond the right field wall called McCovey Cove (Willie McCovey). But for the Reds, the Joe Nuxhall Way was not the original street name when Great American Ball Park opened its doors in 2003. 

The first base side address was then called 100 Main Street. Apparently, main streets are a common name for any road in the United States. However, the address became 100 Joe Nuxhall Way following the passing of longtime Reds LHP/Announcer in 2007. Nuxhall played for Cincinnati from 1952 to 1960 and again from 1962 to 1966. The Southpaw was a two-time All-Star and called games for the team for over 35 years following his playing career. In addition to the street name, Nuxhall is a member of the Reds Hall of Fame. 

8: A Fan Ran onto the Field at Reds Stadium, But Escapes Security

In rare situations, fans would run onto the field for their own enjoyment. They might illegally walk on the field to try to get a player’s autograph. Or maybe they got bored and decided to run across the field. Unfortunately, those acts could lead to an ejection by security along with a visit to a local jail. Sometimes, running on the field can even lead to a lifetime ban from the stadium. Interestingly, one fan did manage to escape Great American Ball Park after running across the field and dodging security guards. 

During a Reds/Cubs game in July 2015, a then-under-20-year-old fan named Justin Buchanan pulled off a daredevil-like act that stunned fans and players alike. In the 8th inning, Buchanan jumped to the field from his 3rd base seat. Along the way, he briefly chatted with Reds Center Fielder Billy Hamilton. But in order to avoid security and police, Buchanan leaped over the outfield wall and escaped from the stadium. Eventually, the fan turned himself in to local police authorities and was given a trespassing charge.  

7: Great American Ball Park is the Only MLB Venue to Have a Separate HOF Museum

A Hall of Fame Museum is a great way to entertain fans during a baseball game. The establishment displays some unique artifacts like game-used infield bases and autographed jerseys. Usually, those types of museums are built inside the stadium so fans can check the displays out without having to miss part of the action. For instance, Turner Field in Atlanta had the Braves Hall of Fame located in the 3rd base concourse. Also, Yankee Stadium has the iconic Monument Park that is situated in the center field concourse. 

But did you know that the Reds are the only team in the big leagues to have a Hall of Fame Museum in a separate building? The team’s HOF establishment is located on the same land as Great American Ballpark, but on the 1st base side before entering the stadium. The Reds Hall of Fame Museum showcases the team’s long history of World Series championships and player awards. Perhaps the most popular exhibit is the wall of over a hundred baseballs. Other fan-favorite exhibits include the Reds fan’s man cave and the World Series trophies from the 1970s. 

6: Reds are the First MLB Team to Build a Nursing Room at a Stadium

At sporting events, families would bring their little ones as a milestone for their “first game.” Children spectators at the stadium can range from a toddler to an infant. But when it’s time for a diaper change, mothers would head to the restrooms to use the diaper station. However, the main problem was that there wasn’t a place for moms to comfort their little babies. They would have to provide comfort in the busy concourses where fans line up to get food or buy merchandise. 

Fortunately, the Reds had an answer for mothers looking to take their infants to a contest while providing comfort. In 2015, Great American Ballpark became the first MLB stadium to build a nursing room. That special room is called the Pampers® Nursing Suite, which is located on the suite level via elevator from Champions Club. The Nursing Room has the following amenities: storage lockers, diaper stations, restrooms, refrigerators, and rocking chairs outside the suite. From babies to children, the Cincinnati Reds are a home run for families finding an easier game-day experience. 

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5: Fans Can Get a Piece of Crosley Field at Great American Ball Park

Before the current stadium, Reds fans will always remember Riverfront Stadium. The former venue served as a multi-purpose facility for both the Big Red Machine and the NFL’s Bengals. But before Riverfront Stadium was Crosley Field, a park named after the late Reds owner Powel Crosley Jr. Anyway, Crosley Field was the main tenant for the Cincinnati ball club from 1912 until 1970. The old ballpark saw many great Reds moments like winning the first two World Series titles in franchise history (1919 and 1940). 

When the Reds moved to Great American Ball Park in the early 2000s, they brought memories of Crosley Field with them. For instance, there is a clock near the left field jumbotron that looks similar to the one that Crosley Field used. Next, there is the Crosley Room (filled with 1900s Reds photos) that hosts business meetings and dinner banquets. Last but not least, there is a small monument in front of the home plate entrance called Crosley Terrace. The area is the home of Crosley Field-timeline players like Frank Robinson and Joe Nuxhall. 

4: Country Stars Have Dominated Reds Stadium Since its Opening in 2003

Normally, it is a great practice for MLB venues to host live concerts. In fact, there are teams that previously hosted large-scale performances. Those teams were the following: Giants, Guardians, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Twins, and many more. Concerts can vary with either a post-game event or just a stand alone performance during the off-season. But did you know that most of the live concerts at Great American Ball Park were played by country music stars? And that doesn’t count singing at National Anthems or having themed nights. 

Starting in 2014, Jason Aldean was the first country act to perform at the Reds stadium. The Georgia-native also collaborated with Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert during that show. Four years later, two more country artists took the stage at Great American Ball Park. The first one was performed by Luke Bryan along with Jon Pardi and Sam Hunt. The other one took place with the Zac Brown Band as the headliner. In 2022, country music will make its return to the venue with Cole Swindell as the main performer

3: A Dodgers Fan was Banned for Life from Great American Ball Park

In rare situations, a fan can earn a permanent trespass from a baseball stadium. The reasons for the banishment can range from sneaking into the stadium to fighting with security. Other examples might also include shoplifting from a team store and drinking more than the park’s legal requirements. But if a banished fan returns to stadium property, then he or she would be arrested on the spot. Well, that was the case for one Dodgers fan at Great American Ball Park during the 2010s. 

In June 2014, a then-40-year-old Tony Sexton was taken into custody for illegally walking on the premises during a Reds/Dodgers contest. The Dodgers fan received a lifetime trespass order from Great American Ball Park in 2008 for disorderly conduct and being under the influence of alcohol. Sexton has caused concern in the online community as he would go after anyone who bad-mouthed former Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. Anyway, Sexton was eventually released on a $40,000 bond and faced trespass pleas via misdemeanor. 

2: Only One Player has Ever Hit a Home Run Towards the Ohio River

Out of 30 MLB stadiums, only three of them are considered waterfront parks: Oracle Park, PNC Park, and Great American Ball Park. First, Oracle Park is perhaps the most common place to see Giants home runs hit the water called McCovey Cove. Second, PNC Park has a rarity for Pirates home runs that land either close to or near Allegheny River. Finally, the Reds stadium is pretty much the rarest of them all in terms of a home run potentially splashing in the Ohio River. But luckily, that distinction only happened one time in the park’s history.

So who was that special player that hit the home run into the Ohio River? During a 2004 game against the Dodgers, Reds slugger Adam Dunn smashed the over-500 foot-long ball out of the stadium. Speaking of the long ball, it landed on the street beyond centerfield before rolling into the river bank. Eventually, one of the ballpark employees retrieved the ball from the Ohio River and sent it to Dunn. Since that 2004 contest, Great American Ball Park has added a steamboat area located above the batter’s eye. Therefore, the upgrades made it difficult for players to hit home runs into the river ever again. 

1: Todd Frazier was One of the Two Players to Ever Win the HR Derby in their Home City

The Home Derby is one of the star attractions to take place during the Midsummer Classic. The tournament allows fans to see some of the top hitters duke it out to see who hits more dingers for the night. Also, the Home Run Derby helps determine which players hit the farthest long balls at the stadium. But believe it or not, Reds infielder Todd Frazier is one of the two players to date to ever win the Home Run Derby in their home city. That’s right, because the one-of-a-kind occasion took place during the 2015 All-Star Game. 

For the grand-daddy event in Cincinnati, the Home Run Derby had three rounds: quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. In the quarterfinals round, Frazier edged out Rangers slugger Prince Fielder with the long ball score of 14-13. Then, in the semifinals, the Reds star defeated Blue Jays infielder Josh Donaldson 10-9 to reach the finals round. In the last part of the tournament, Frazier managed to beat Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson in a nail-biting round 15-14. Therefore, Todd Frazier is one of the two players to win the derby in their home city along with Bryce Harper during the 2018 tournament in Washington D.C. 

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