Reds set to host 13th annual HS showcase

March 20th, 2024

The 13th annual Skyline Chili Reds Futures High School Showcase presented by Cincinnati Children’s Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics will feature 98 high school baseball and softball teams from 81 Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Southeast Indiana and Dayton schools playing 49 games from April 1 to May 13.

On March 19, the announcement was made at the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy, which is celebrating its 10th year of operation, during its annual luncheon to kick off the event.

Executive director of the Reds Community Fund, Charley Frank, welcomed the guests and In-Game Sports President and High School Showcase organizer Tom Gamble paid tribute to the late Sycamore athletic director Mark Harden, who passed away recently. Bally Sports Ohio broadcaster Brian Giesenschlag emceed the ceremony, along with former Reds pitcher and current Reds Live TV analyst Sam LeCure and local sports talk radio host Mo Egger from ESPN 1530 and 700WLW. The audience consisted of local and regional coaches and athletic directors from many of the participating schools.

“It’s been 13 years that Tom Gamble and the team from In-Game Sports have been bringing this incredible series of events to our region,” Frank said. “What this event has done for spring sports in our community is impossible to quantify. Growing it strategically and now embedding it is something you can count on every year and something we can all build upon to help lift youth baseball and softball in our community.”

The Showcase begins for Ohio teams when Goshen faces Western Brown on April 1 at the Midland Baseball Complex. Kentucky gets started two days later at Covington Catholic when the Colonels host Dixie Heights. Opening Weekend at the Reds Youth Academy features baseball and softball games on April 5-6.

On April 13, for the fifth consecutive year, the Showcase will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day by hosting teams from Cincinnati Public Schools playing at the Academy. Players will wear “42” jerseys in honor of Robinson, thanks to the Reds Community Fund and Nike.

Sunday, April 14 will feature three softball games at the Academy, including the fourth annual Gabby Rodriguez Game. The Oyler vs. Western Hills matchup will be played in the memory of the late Western Hills High School softball player who passed away in 2018. Rodriguez was an outstanding player at Western Hills, as well as a standout with the Reds Nike RBI program.

The Showcase will also include games played at four regional collegiate fields: Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium, Miami’s Yager Stadium, Xavier’s Hayden Field and the University of Cincinnati’s UC Baseball Stadium.

In addition, 10 teams are scheduled to play in the Showcase’s annual jewel event, “Big League Weekend” at Great American Ball Park on May 10 and 11.

“There’s such good baseball in this area,” Gamble said. “The Reds had three guys in camp this year from local high schools. People get so enamored around here, and rightfully so, with how good high school football and basketball are. But for decades, baseball and softball have been excellent.”

As has been the case since the event’s inception, Showcase tickets remain just $5 each and are available at the scheduled ballpark on gamedays. With each ticket purchased, fans will receive a voucher for one free View Level ticket to a select 2024 Reds home game and a coupon for one free Skyline Chili Cheese Coney at participating restaurants, while supplies last.

All participating Showcase teams will be invited to Great American Ball Park on Sunday, May 5 to participate in the “March at the Majors” pregame parade prior to the Reds vs. Orioles game. The Showcase’s Most Valuable Players will receive their commemorative bats, presented by MSA Sport, as part of that afternoon’s pregame ceremonies.

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