12/11/12 6:08 PM ET
Redsfest draws over 22,000 fans for charity
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
Included in the money raised at the event was $11,000 for Hurricane Sandy reliefs efforts.
"We make Redsfest bigger and better every year as a tribute to our fans, who are the best fans in all of baseball," Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini said in a release. "It's their chance to connect with our players off the field, plus gets our players and coaches invigorated for the upcoming season."
The money raised for Hurricane Sandy was in response to Todd Frazier's efforts for those affected by the storm in Frazier's hometown of Toms River, N.J. Reds fans donated $1,788 at Redsfest, with the rest of the donation coming from the Reds Community Fund. The $11,000 will be split equally between the Presbyterian Church of Toms River and the Toms River East Little League.
Bill Irons, from the Irons Fruit Farm, also presented a check to the Reds Community Fund for $9,000 at the event. Irons pledged to donate one dollar from each paid admission to the Reds-themed corn maze at his family farm in Lebanon, Ohio, this fall.
Other highlights from Redsfest, presented by PNC, included:
More than 70 current and former players, coaches and broadcasters participated in autograph sessions, photo booths, stage events and kids-only press conferences.
A Reds Heads Kids Zone featuring trampolines, magicians, bounce houses, kids story times and interactive games, debuted at the event.
Awards were presented to second baseman Brandon Phillips (Ernie Lombardi Award for Reds MVP), right-hander Johnny Cueto (Johnny Vander Meer Outstanding Pitcher Award), righty Bronson Arroyo (Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award) and prospect Billy Hamilton (Sheldon "Chief" Bender Minor League Player of the Year).
University of Cincinnati's John Meeker and Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year Steve Selsky won the Celebrity Wiffle Ball Home Run Contest.
Dan Plettner of Batavia, Ohio, outlasted more than 575 players to win the seventh annual Reds Community Fund Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament.