Don’t worry, I’m not here to bash on the Reds (although they have won three games in a row as of Tuesday night). Instead, I’m here to tell you about a different baseball team.
Now, is this team also in last place in their division? Yes.
Are they particularly good? No.
Do they have any pitchers like Hunter Greene who can throw a baseball 100+ mph? No.
Do they have any Hall of Fame-caliber players like Joey Votto? No.
Can you buy tickets directly behind home plate for $15? Oh yeah.
Can you drink a beer out of a commemorative wiffle ball bat? Yes - now we’re talking.
This magical baseball experience cannot be found in the confines of the city of Cincinnati, oh no. For this experience, you must traverse state lines to the land of the bluegrass, across the mighty Ohio River to Florence, Kentucky, home of the Florence Y’alls, an independent minor league baseball team.
While the Y’alls might not feature any household names or surefire future major leaguers, it offers all the enjoyment and atmosphere of a professional baseball game for a fraction of the cost of going to Great American Ballpark (did I mention you can get a beer bat?).
For those too young to partake in adult beverages, or those who’d rather maintain all their faculties, all manner of children’s activities are available, in particular the massive slide that looms over the third base line. The gift shop offers a wide array of Y’alls merchandise, including sweatshirts, hats, socks, mugs and even retro lunchboxes.
I went with a group of friends last Saturday afternoon, which turned out to be Nickelodeon night at the ballpark, one of many themed nights on the Y’alls’ schedule. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit this, but a baseball jersey with Tommy Pickles and Otto Rocket on it was right up my alley. Be on the lookout for other themed nights, like Margaritaville night on June 25th or July 16th when the Grateful Dads perform live.
For anyone who is too bummed out about the Reds’ offseason roster implosion or their subsequent lack of success in 2022, the Y’alls offer an amazing baseball experience with none of the guilt of supporting an ownership group that felt that Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Amir Garrett, Wade Miley and Tucker Barnhart were all expendable. Although they might not be the best team in the Frontier League, the Y’alls offer a competitive baseball experience for the average fan, and honestly, that’s probably the best we’re going to get as Cincinnati baseball fans. The Y’alls play next at home on June 21st versus the Evansville Otters. Pick up a Chewbacca jersey from the online store before you go!