Our recent post about the excellent service provided by Reds’ employees drew some attention from around the ‘net. A reader emailed with more praise for the Reds, and I wanted to share it here. We bang on the Reds sometimes (although we’ve been uniformly positive about the new ownership, and I think that’s where the credit for all this should lie), but it’s good to point out that they’re doing some things right.

You will recall that we expressed our disappointment at the team’s new ticketing system, at least with respect to Opening Day. Well, our reader and his son were frustrated as well, with good reason, and the son fired off the following email to the Reds, just a few hours before the first pitch was scheduled to be thrown on Opening Day:

Subject: Opening Day Streak Stopped

Mr. Castellini & Mr. Allen,

I want to first thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I am writing you because this is the first time in 25 years that my father will not be attending opening day. For the last 17 of those years I have accompanied him to Caddy’s, GameDay, Head First and many other establishments. After eating “breakfast” at one of these fine establishments we would head to Fountain Square to watch the Parade.

Even as I grew older, I always enjoyed watching the parade because I was with my dad on Opening Day in Cincinnati. What could possibly be better?

Through the rain, sometimes snow, the tragedy of the death of John McSherry, and even paying way too much for tickets to the first game at GABP…my dad and I were at Opening Day. However, this year is different. Neither of us will be at the game today, and not because we don’t want to be. It has been 12 years since this team was in playoffs, but did that stop my dad and I from supporting the team? No, it did not; we were at EVERY Opening Day and numerous games throughout the seasons. Our streak stopped this year because of you two gentlemen.

The new ticket system for purchasing Opening Day tickets is completely unfair to my father and me. We are diehard Reds fans, but we cannot afford to purchase a season ticket package, and while we will probably attend 10 games this season, we should be able to choose which 10 games, not you. Yes, we entered the online lottery for the chance to have the opportunity to perhaps be able to possibly buy Opening Day tickets, but sadly, we did not win. So for the first time in almost two decades [XXXXX], Sr. & [XXXXX], Jr. will not be at Opening Day, but I can assure that every ticket scalper in the city will have handfuls of tickets that he will be selling for two and three times face value.

If this is the system that you feel best suits your organization that I can safely say that my father and I have most likely attended our last Opening Day. We will still listen to every game, especially with Marty and Thom now working together. (An excellent hire, along with Jeff Brantley – just added to the best radio coverage in baseball) Watch with the sound down when the games are on TV, but not being able to enjoy the atmosphere of Opening Day with my father is the biggest disappointment in my life in a long time. While that might seem trivial to some people, some of my fondest memories are at Reds games with my father, many on Opening Day. So I say thank you for those memories, but because of you two gentlemen I will never get the chance to make new ones with him, and if I am every lucky enough to have a son I will not get the chance to make those same memories with him and his grandfather.

Again, I thank you for your time in reading this letter. Good Luck today and throughout the season.


Roughly an hour later, John Allen had responded personally, after locating a couple of seats 13 rows from the Reds on-deck circle.

The father’s assessment: “My son and I had great day thanks to John Allen. He is a class guy.”

I love stories like this. After years of anti-marketing (“We can’t compete!”), I’m so happy to see the team I love make a concerted effort to keep the fans happy.

It’s a great time to be a Reds fan.