Here Comes the Hammer...and the SledgeHammer

There's truly nothing like a night game in Great American Ballpark -- especially when the home team is coming back from the All-Star Break in first place and you're celebrating the last time the Cincinnati Reds won a MLB Championship. Has it really been 20 years? My bro and I saw some Nasty Boys, a little Sabo, and a lot of winning. I Love Winning.

Ironically enough -- the last time I saw MC Hammer, I was 13 years old, and it was in U.S. Bank Arena, right next door to GABP (with Vanilla Ice no less). On this night, after years of ridicule for excessive bankruptcy and his eventual cultural currency headed the same direction, Stanley Burrell, was destined to regain some of that glory, if only from a small stage in right field. Even if it wasn't the summer of 1990, a time when "U Can't Touch This" ruled the charts, it sure felt somewhat magical to be a few yards away from the guy. He may have aged, but it has been gracefully. Gone are the pants, the luxurious gold chains, the blast pots and elaborate stage lights. Hammer instead sported a Reds track suit/jersey combo, some blipster spectacles and a bandanna, which he needed to keep off the sweat. This man can still dance with the best of 'em -- in fact the guy should probably have his own dance competition show, but that's beside the point. With a cadre of back-up dancers in tow, Hammer proceeded to make the ever increasing crowd to go bananas for even the slightest set that he put forth.

You can't fault the man for knowing that his post-game show was going to be the highlight, so this was just a taste -- "Let's Get it Started," a bit of the Death Row mishap "Pumps n' the Bumps," "Have You Seen Her" complete with falsetto'd soul singers, and "They Put Me in the Mix." Alas, no "Turn This Mother Out," but it was a "free" performance, a taster for what was to come later in the night. Not once did he look out of breath, not once did he hawk a new song, not once did he seem too big or too jaded for his Cincinnati audience. Maybe that's why I adored him so much way back when -- he is a true showman and seemingly genuine person. For the better part of the brief set, he was out in the crowd, letting people dance around him, shaking hands, taking pictures, all the while belting out his "positive" pop-hop. Please Reds Organization -- do something like this again. This was easily the best pre-game I've ever had in the park.

(A Multitude of YouTubes of Hammer at GABP)

But the game....? How can we forget the Reds of the present? It was our first time in the Bleachers, and I must say the view and atmosphere is unlike any other in GABP. It's a bit rowdy, which I loved (especially yelling "steroids" for Rockies starter/has-been, Jason Giambi)being right behind our favorite LF Johnny "Sombrero" Gomes. It made for a celebratory game from beginning to end. I don't think I'll ever venture from that section the rest of the year. It just feels right up there. And the SledgeHammer? Well, after Bronson Arroyo pitched a magnificent 7 innings, he got into some trouble. In came Arthur Rhodes with two on and no out. He walked a batter, but then went on to pop-up, and strike out two in a row to end the inning. Talk about a hammer....it was likely the most electricity I've ever felt in this place.

I Love Winning.

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