Today, April 3, 2017, is a holiday here in the Queen City, when our Cincinnati Reds play the opening day baseball game AFTER our big parade! On the rare occasion that spring break falls on Opening Day, the Bohlens are at the parade.
Instead, today I tried to bring the parade into my classroom. First, we sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as I paraded around the room in my Reds regalia. Two very different responses from my reading classes: 7B humored me by timidly singing along, and 7A rocked it. Find the song and lyrics here.
I was so surprised that my students were luke-warm to our beloved Cincinnati Reds. Such short memories! Yes, last season (okay, seasons) = abysmal failures. YET. The Reds! The FIRST professional baseball team in the history of America! THE team (until recent history) to ALWAYS have the FIRST game of the season.
It’s my job to get this generation educated on the magical days of THE BIG RED MACHINE. Sparky Anderson managed the “Great Eight” All-Star team of Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Dave Concepcion, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey Sr., and Cesar Geronimo. Because I was a kid in the 1970’s, baseball will always have a special place in my heart.
In this spirit of Opening Day in Cincinnati, we read the narrative poem Casey at the Bat by Earnest Lawrence Thayer. Find the poem here.
James Earl Jones has an amazing narration of this poem, complete with theatrical background music. Listen here.
My students really liked the poem and “got” the message. They were crestfallen when Casey struck out, and very annoyed at his arrogant showmanship. They got the message.
It was a good day in my Milford classroom, in spite of my Redlegs losing to the Phillies later in the day.