The Southern Leg wrapped up another fun-filled meet and greet with the friendly people at WFTG radio in London, KY. Once again, the station provided the crew with a wonderful spread of food to enjoy – albeit without any fish ‘n chips. That detail didn’t prevent Devin Mesoraco and company from chowing down before hitting the road again for Somerset. Upon seeing the heaping plate of food Lee May sat down with, Marty Brennaman openly wondered whether the Reds Hall of Fame first baseman tore his rotator cuff lifting the plate.
On the bus to Somerset, Brennaman also commented on the friendly rivalry between his tour and the Northern Leg.
“Once again the North tour aspires, unsuccessfully, to be the rock star tour that we are. And as long as Jack Tripansky (Zach Bonkowski) is part of that tour, they will never elevate themselves to our level.”
The Northern Leg stopped at Portsmouth Elementary School on Friday afternoon. Waiting for the Reds in the school gymnasium were over 500 fourth, fifth and sixth graders from Portsmouth and Notre Dame Elementary schools. The students greeted their Reds guests with a deafening roar and enjoyed the chance to ask questions. The festivities included a $15,000 check presentation from the Reds Community Fund to the City of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Little League for field improvements at the Labold baseball complex. As the Caravan was about to board the bus, they had a chance to sign a few autographs for members of the Portsmouth Girls Little League softball team who last year won the 9-10 year-old division of the 2008 State Softball Championship.
Following their visit in Vevay to begin the day, the Western took a three-hour cruise to the southwest corner of the Hoosier State to Evansville, IN. The group was welcomed by a “C” of Reds fans at Jillian’s Billiards Club – including a Bronson Arroyo look-alike.
The Caravan participants were pleased with the terrific turnout from Redlegs rooters, as this area has generally been considered a Cardinals stronghold in the past. As one fan commented, “It’s great to see all of these Reds fans in the Cardinals backyard.”
Now the crew is on its way to the College Mall in Bloomington, home of the five-time NCAA hoops champs.
Here is a link to a fun story about Brandon Phillips from Thursday’s stop in Ashland, KY.
Phillips makes fan’s day with cell phone chat
Media Relations Director Rob Butcher and the Northern Leg crew were welcomed at Portsmouth Elementary School by 500 screaming young Reds fans. The reception was terrific and incredibly loud. During the rally, Reds Community Fund Executive Director Charley Frank presented the Portsmouth Little League Program with a check for $15,000 on behalf of the RCF.
While he didn’t prevail in bowling, Tom Browning did introduce the Northern crew to Mary’s Cozy Burgers, piled high with lettuce, tomato and onions. The group took some burgers to go and they made the “perfect” meal on the bus ride.
The “A Squad” in the South is now watching Hancock as they make the trip across the pond to London.
Brandon Phillips has claimed he should’ve been offered the title role, with Will Smith as a Plan B.
The Northern Leg wrapped up its stop in Chillicothe, OH, visiting with Reds on Radio affiliate WBEX at Shawnee Lanes. The crew enjoyed some bowling excitement, with infielder Jeff Keppinger winning out with a score of 131. Meanwhile, Tom Browning vowed that the two of them would meet again.
Minor League Player of the Year Chris Valaika was particularly fond of the food spread at Shawnee Lanes and wasn’t bashful about digging in.
The Southern Leg just capped off its successful visit to Pikeville and is now making its way across the Atlantic to London. It’s sure to be an eventful trip in the bus.
During the Pikeville visit, one anxious fan asked Chris Welsh whether his JTM commercials had earned an Oscar nomination when the announcements were made earlier in the week. Chris had to break the sad news that he and Bronson Arroyo were left off the list.
Devin Mesoraco is continuing to enjoy his trip through Reds Country, saying “Its a different experience and its exciting seeing how many fans the Reds have regionally. Everyone has been very nice and we’ve been eating well too!”
Brandon Phillips on the air at WLSI 900 AM and WPKE 1240 AM in Pikeville