Gapper's story is one of heroism and destiny...
Until recently, Gapper had lived his entire life on the island of Blue Stone. On the island of Blue Stone all the creatures have blue furry skin and everyone's favorite sport is soccer. But Gapper grew up to be a red furry creature with a love of baseball! Everybody in Blue Stone loved Gapper and his uniqueness, but he felt the need to find his true purpose in life. One day, not too long ago, Gapper decided to leave his homeland and travel the world in search of new beginnings.
After trekking across the world in search of a home, he figured the "Land of Opportunity" would be a good home.
His first stop in the United States was in Houston. Houston was fun, but Gapper couldn't adjust to the climate. Hot and humid doesn't work when you're big, red and furry. Gapper decided to go north for cooler temperatures.
Gapper's first stop after heading north was St. Louis. Gapper really liked the people of St. Louis and had a great time at the Gateway Arch. But while the people of St. Louis were nice, the animals in the city were out of control!! Gapper especially had a problem with the darn birds that kept pecking at his belly.
One of his friends from Blue Stone had told him good things about Milwaukee, so Gapper figured this would be a good way to escape from the cardinal birds that were bugging him.
In Milwaukee, Gapper quickly noticed the great stadium that was built for a game called "baseball." Gapper spent a few weeks in the area, but he was gaining way too much weight!! All that he could find to eat were sausages and cheese! Plus, Gapper didn't like the taste of beer, so he figured it was in the best interest of his health to leave Milwaukee.
Gapper soon found his way to Chicago. He really liked all the activity that the "Windy City" had to offer. Plus the city was on a lake, which reminded Gapper of home. But once again, Gapper ran into problems with the local animals. One day while Gapper was out jogging, a bunch of bear cubs confronted him. They were very rude to Gapper that day. Gapper wasn't scared of the cubs, but he didn't want to live in a city with so many mean animals.
Gapper looked at his map and decided that he must travel east to find a good place to live. Pittsburgh seemed like a great place, with good, hardworking people. Gapper came into the city on a bus, but it was his love for the water that made him realize Pittsburgh wasn't the place for him. One day while boating in the Pittsburgh area, Gapper was attacked by a group of pirates. They stole his blue baseball cap and told him to leave the city! Gapper left, but not reluctantly, he couldn't live in a city with pirates.
Rather than take a bus again, Gapper decided to float down the Ohio River and let the current take him where it may. Unfortunately, what started out as smooth sailing quickly turned into a tumultuous waterway!
Gapper came floating through Cincinnati one day in the fall of 2002 on a runaway raft. It just so happened that Mr. Red was wondering around outside Great American Ball Park that day and saw that Gapper was in trouble. Quickly Mr. Red found a long pole and stuck it out over the water. Gapper grabbed it and was pulled to safety.
Gapper was pretty shaken up, so Mr. Red brought him into the ballpark to settle him down. Gapper explained to Mr. Red that he was from another country and was trying to find a home. Mr. Red suggested that Gapper stay with him for a few weeks and regroup before he went out on the road again.
At the time, Mr. Red was overseeing the construction of Great American Ball Park and he allowed Gapper to tag along on trips through the ballpark. At the ballpark Gapper quickly became friends with the construction workers who were erecting this landmark. The workers treated Gapper with respect and Gapper entertained them with a unique brand of humor.
Mr. Red would take Gapper on walks through the city and on the riverfront. Everywhere Gapper went with Mr. Red people would smile when they saw them coming and always say "Go Reds!" Gapper thought this was very cool. Everyone was so nice to Mr. Red and everyone seemed to be his friend.
Gapper asked Mr. Red one day, "Why does everyone say 'Go Reds!' to you?"
Mr. Red went on to tell him about the great relationship between the Reds and the city of Cincinnati. Gapper was fascinated with the history of Reds baseball and Mr. Reds' role in the organization. Then, Mr. Red presented him with an offer he couldn't refuse.
Mr. Red said, "You know, we're moving into a new ballpark this year and there is going to be twice as much area for me to entertain the crowd in. If you're interested, I could use your help!"
Gapper was ecstatic!! He quickly agreed. Mr. Red said that in order to make it official, Gapper was to go to Redsfest 2002 to meet the city of Cincinnati. Mr. Red said, "You will be my present to all Reds' fans."
Please help Mr. Red and the Reds organization in welcoming Gapper to our city. He is committed to rooting the Reds on to victory because Cincinnati is his adopted home and life's destiny!