Cincinnati Reds fans across the region are reveling in the team’s success as a nearly unprecedented win streak and a lead in their division are getting the team and the city national attention.
The Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 on Wednesday to win their 11th straight game, the longest such streak for the franchise in 65 years and the longest active streak in Major League Baseball. They’re now 40-35 and lead the National League Central Division after losing 100 games last season.
That came after a baseball first the previous day. With their win Tuesday, the Reds went from 29-35 and five games out of first place in their division to 39-35 and in first place. It’s the first time a team had gone from five games behind to first place in 10 games.
The team has had only four winning streaks longer than this in its history: 12 games in 1939 and 1957, 13 games in 1890 and 14 games in 1899. The Reds are off today before hosting the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
Lifelong fans and believers have been waiting for this success.
“I’ve always known I can count on the Reds ... Sometimes we start out not so good and catch fire in the end of the season or it’s vice versa,” said Anthony Dodds Jr., a Tiffin University baseball player and lifelong fan from the Cincinnati area who was training in the Dayton area on Wednesday..
“I’ve never counted them out.”
Some fans say the new roster additions, including highly anticipated infielder Elly De La Cruz, have helped turn of season.
“(De La Cruz) brought a different energy to the team,” said Liam Ramsey, trainer at Home Field Instruction in Franklin.
And with the division lead in late June, some fans are starting to think of a playoff run.
“I don’t want to jinx it, but yeah, there’s playoff potential for sure,” said Rachael Rockwell-Harvey, a waitress at Brixx Ice Company in Dayton and lifelong Reds supporter.
Merchandisers, sports bars and others whose fortunes can rise and fall with a team’s success have seen a difference.
“I’ve noticed here recently there have been more people coming in saying, ‘Reds on, please,’” said Ciara Chesley, a bartender at Brixx Ice Company.
All of this comes about one month from the start of training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals, who have done their part in bringing respect and excitement to southwest Ohio. They are 22-11 in the past two seasons with two straight AFC Championship Game appearances, a Super Bowl appearance two seasons ago and one of the top roster in the NFL heading into this season.
“With the Bengals in Cincinnati, we’ve got some competition between baseball and football,” Dodds said.
As the season continues, Reds fans will be watching to see if how much more the team can do. And, they stress, enjoying the success in the moment.
“We as fans just have to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride,” Dodds said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report