By Michelle Lewis
Louisville Slugger Field is being called up to the majors. Many current major
league stars have come through Louisville and some are making a return trip. It was
announced on Sept. 19 that Slugger Field will be home to the final exhibition game
the Cincinnati Reds will play during the 2014 preseason. On March 29, 2014 The Reds
will face the Louisville Bats and many familiar faces will return to Louisville for a single
game. It is the first time Slugger Field has hosted a major league exhibition since 2005.
The Cincinnati Reds are the closest Major League Baseball team to Louisville, sitting
just up the river 100 miles. Louisville sits squarely in Reds’s Country and is home to the
team’s Triple A affiliate, The Louisville Bats.
Bats fans will recognize guys like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Aroldis Chapman,
aka The Cuban Missile. They along with quite a few of their teammates, will play a
Sat. afternoon game just before opening the major league season the following
“The Bats have one of the strongest fan bases in the minor leagues, and we’re
happy they’ll be able to watch in person some of the major league players who recently
came through there,” Walt Jocketty, Reds’s General Manager and President of Baseball
The Reds are currently two games back in the National League Central and four
ahead of the Washington Nationals for the NL’s second Wild Card slot. They have
several players who spent the summer in Louisville before receiving Sept. callups. Recent additions to the Reds via the Bats have already proven helpful. Bats star and
base thief extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton, has nine stolen bases after just two weeks in the
majors. Hamilton had four stolen bases in his first major league start and was a key factor
in the Reds series sweep of the Houston Astros.
With the recent success of the Reds and the role Bats’ alumni are playing in the
majors, tickets are likely to go fast. There is a special “Big Red” ticket package, which
includes tickets for the exhibition and two Sat. night Bats games on June 14 and
Aug. 2, 2014, available now for $34 through the Bats ticket office. Also included in
the package is a Reds ball cap and both regular season games are bobble-head giveaways
featuring Homer Bailey and Joey Votto. Single game tickets for the exhibition will go on
sale Nov. 1
2013. They will be $25 for infield seats or $14 for field reserve.
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Lewis