Despite a vagabond baseball career that
saw him careening from team to team across the Northeast and Midwest for
a decade, Lipman “Lip” Pike arrived in Cincinnati in early 1877 to play
for the Red Stockings — the early name of today’s Reds — amid a fair
amount of hype.
Instead of bake sales or car washes,
the close-knit community of Delhi has developed its own unique,
colorful brand of philanthropy, arisen from what was originally just
an informal weekly Sunday pick-up softball game among bar buddies.
Ask a non-Cincinnati native of a certain
age what they know of the Queen City, and inevitably Pete Rose and the
Big Red Machine will come up. Hey, probably better that than the
Mapplethorpe controversy, WKRP in Cincinnati or Jerry Springer’s various post-mayoral hijinks.
It’s tough, at this point, to debate the
fact that Bob Castellini might be the greatest thing to happen to the
Cincinnati sporting scene in the last decade. Coaches and players come
and go, but a commitment from ownership is the most important thing any
pro sports franchise needs for sustained success.