The adorable Paula the Penguin delivered the Reds' game ball
In addition to the ceremonial first pitch, the Reds also include, on a daily basis, the delivery of the game ball to the mound in their pregame ceremonies.
Game ball deliverers can range from local celebrities to beauty queens to cool people with interesting stories. On Sunday, the Reds decided to get really inclusive and invite an adorable but oft-overlooked segment of our society: the aquatic, flightless bird.
The game ball deliverer was none other than Paula the Penguin, who hails from Africa and is currently residing at the nearby Newport Aquarium.
By all accounts, Paula's big moment was well received by all. But what else would you expect from someone (or something) that can swim at a 16 mph clip -- that's twice as fast as Michael Phelps -- and looks that fantastic despite a daily diet that equals 100 cheeseburgers for a human?
(Paula politely declined media interview requests, citing an inability to speak.)
The Reds aren't strangers to Paula -- sources tell us Brandon Phillips is a semi-regular visitor to the aquarium and is on a BFF basis with her handler, Aquarium ambassador Ric Urban, who escorted Paula to the mound for her big league debut. She also attracted the attention of a few Reds before the game, including star Todd Frazier, who, judging from the above picture, was quite taken with her.
Paula's appearance was part of a Sunday fun day for the Reds Heads Kids Club, which was treated to a Q&A session with Urban at the Fan Zone during the third inning of Sunday's game.