Having grown up a devoted Reds fan, it was only logical that when I started MSA, Opening Day was going to be a day where my office went to the ballgame. At first, it was only me, but that first Opening Day for MSA fueled the fire to make it a Holiday for our team every year going forward, no matter what. Now with almost 70 of us going, it has become a very special day for all of us.
And over the years, as our company grew, it also seemed that somehow letting folks know we were not going to be working on Opening Day was the respectful thing to do. So, we started sending a special mailer that we put together in-house to our mailing list to let them know. At first, with only a few names, we actually sent things like peanuts, baseball cards, Big League Chew, grass seed, and even a quarter during the initiative to fund the new ballpark. As the list has grown to over 1,000 names, we have now used messages, ideas and generally timely, thought provoking, printed, and mailed pieces.
One year, my son David came up with an idea to somehow get enough signatures on ballot petitions to force a City vote to make Opening Day a holiday in Cincinnati. While we got over 10,000 signatures, we did not receive the required number of registered Cincinnati voter signatures to place it on the ballot. We did receive votes from 5 different continents and over 35 states.
But later in that year, then city councilman, Wendell Young, approached me to discuss seeing how we could at the very least make it a ceremonial holiday. On September 8th of 2011, City Council voted unanimously and now in the history books, Opening Day is an Official “ceremonial” holiday.
This year will be our 38th straight opening day, (taking an asterisk year for Covid).
The great thing about baseball is that hope “springs” eternal, and the dawn of spring always brings hope and optimism for a great season. Since I am a Reds fan and will always be a Reds fan, I always believe that somehow, some way, that this is the year. Call me a Homer, but it’s the only way I know to be.