CINCINNATI, Ohio — The Portsmouth community was out in full force Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park to celebrate Portsmouth Day. Multitudes of Portsmouth area residents made their way to root on the Reds, as they faced their inner-divisional rival the Pittsburgh Pirates. Those attending were able to enjoy the day and game with their neighbors and friends.
All types of fans came from the Portsmouth area to celebrate Portsmouth Day, from city officials, to just the average citizen.
First Ward City Councilman Kevin W. Johnson was on hand sitting with several other area residents in the sections just behind the left-field wall, at Great American Ballpark. Johnson was attending his third Portsmouth Day on Sunday afternoon.
Portsmouth Day brings out a sense of community, according to Johnson.
“I’m always delighted to see people from Portsmouth come here,” Johnson said. “They feel good about being here. They feel good about watching certain things about our community up on the jumbo-tron, and things we deserve.”
Johnson acknowledged a lot of changes throughout the Portsmouth community, and in Scioto County.
“The two people who were out there representing us out on the field, Derek Allen, and Jason (Kester), they deserved to be out there,” Johnson said. “They’ve done so much for our community. Things are changing, and all for the positive.”
The city councilman representing the first ward said it felt good to visit Great American Ball Park again on Portsmouth Day.
“It feels good to be here, and it feels good to see so many people supporting Portsmouth,” Johnson said.
Johnson was quick to praise the Reds organization and the support they have given the Portsmouth area.
“They’ve learned to support the communities that support them,” Johnson said. “You’ve seen not only Portsmouth being supported, but the kids and organizations in support of kids, and support of kids in poverty, all sorts of things. The Reds organization is a good all-around corporation, and we need to have more of them, we need more of them.
“The Reds make every community that it reaches out to as a part of a greater community, that we’re more than just ourselves,” Johnson said. “We’re more than just Portsmouth. We’re more than just Scioto County. We’re part of a greater community throughout southern Ohio.”
Scott Caudill of Minford, Ohio was proud of having an opportunity spend the afternoon with his boys as they all enjoyed America’s pastime, baseball. Sunday’s game was the fifth year Caudill has made the trip to Cincinnati on Portsmouth Day.
One of the reasons the Caudill makes the trip is the community involvement during the day.
“You see a lot of local members of the community come, and it’s nice to sit and watch a Reds game, which you don’t always get a whole lot of chances to come to, but you get to sit with a lot of your friends.”
Sunday’s game was a little more special for Caudill, as his long-time friend Jason Kester got to throw the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
“I grew up next door to Jason Kester, so I wouldn’t miss that for the world,” Caudill said.
Watching his friend throw out the first pitch was quite an experience for Caudill.
“For me, it was surreal,” Caudill said. “Just watching the success he has endured throughout his life and his career, he’s just somebody I admire. He’s very humble and he just works very hard for everything he’s got, and he’s doing a ton of great things for our community.”
Perhaps the most important thing about the day for Caudill was getting the chance to spend the day with his boys.
“It was a good chance to bring my boys and just have a good Sunday out,” Caudill said.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.