In our world, tradition carries weight.
And if one talks about Ohio towns with baseball tradition and heritage, Portsmouth, and Scioto County in general, is right up there with the best of them.
On Sunday, the City of Portsmouth, as per tradition, will be honored by the Cincinnati Reds organization with its annual celebration of Portsmouth, which will take place on Sunday when Cincinnati plays host to the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. in the final contest of a three-game MLB series between the pair in a partnership with the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, Portsmouth — which has produced two African-American athletes worthy of Hall of Fame consideration in Al Oliver and Larry Hisle — will get to share the day simultaneously with the annual Jackie Robinson day that is held every year in the sport of baseball.
Sue Burke, who is Chairman of the Design Committee with Main Street Portsmouth, will headline the event by throwing out the first pitch, as per tradition of the distinguished citizen award that is handed out by the chamber every year, in a day that is not only special for Portsmouth, but special for baseball, as well. Portsmouth baseball hand Zach Kinney, along with Sarah Born and the brother-sister duo of Micah and Sarah Simmons, will be signing the Star-Spangled Banner as a quartet on Sunday afternoon.
In Lisa Carver’s eyes, it’s a special honor for Portsmouth to even have a day dedicated to it by the organization — especially considering the fact that those types of occasions are becoming increasingly rare.
“We’re one of the few communities that the Cincinnati Reds’ organization still does community days with,” Carver said. “The chamber names someone in the area that’s performed distinguished work for our community every year, and Sue sacrificed many hours outside of her work schedule in order to greatly aid the Portsmouth community. So she’ll be throwing out the first pitch on behalf of the great citizens that reside in our area.”
With the day also serving as Jackie Robinson Day around the league — in addition to the special that occurs on Sunday — a Jackie Robinson Fathead Wall Decal will be free for kids 14 years old and younger. A Reds baseball-themed decal will be featured on each of these Sunday giveaways throughout the year, according to the Reds’ official website.
Tickets are no longer available with the Chamber of Commerce but can still be purchased online at the discounted price, which is $20, at http://m.mlb.com/reds/tickets/specials/portsmouth. In that discounted list, sections 140 through 145 — all seats in right field — are available to purchase, and with 1,167 seats still available in those sections as of 1:45 p.m. Friday, there’s plenty of opportunity to buy a ticket. Purchase deadline is 11:15 a.m. on the day of the game.