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Lance McAlister: My Favorite Opening Day Memory
My favorite Opening Day memory was 1980.
I was 14 years old, walking into the stadium with my dad. We heard the news that Frank Pastore was going to be the starting pitcher. Tom Seaver, the scheduled starter, was sick.
I asked my dad, "Who is Frank Pastore?" Three hours later I knew the answer....he was the guy that shutout the Braves 9-0 as the Reds won on Opening Day.
Opening Day is about hope and faith....the renewal of Reds baseball. Opening Day is our holiday. The team is woven into the fabric of the city. Baseball defines the city. We shovel our driveways and survive each winter, knowing that baseball is on the other side. Play ball!
He insists he’s got the best job going....and who is to argue? He gets paid to talk about the teams he grew up with in Cincinnati. He painted his face for the Freezer Bowl and watched Pete get hits 3,000 and 4,192 in person. His broadcast career originated with weekly calls to WLW Sports Talk to talk circles around Bob Trumpy. When he wasn’t bgging neighbor Marty Brennaman to sign his 1976 Reds Greatest Hits album, he was playing for Cincinnati’s 1977 dynasty little league team, Wicks Good Food and Booze. Being cut from his high school baseball team, as a left handed shortstop, opened the door to doing radio at his high school station.
After graduation from Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana in 1984 it was onto Butler University. His TV sports anchor career began at WSBT-TV in South Bend and took him to CLTV in Chicago. The highlight of his broadcast career was winning a Midwest Emmy for Chicago Bulls coverage. Eventually he left to do radio with Norm Van Lier at WMVP AM 1000 in Chicago. Then it was back home to Cincinnati in 1997.
He resides in Northern Kentucky. Wife Kelly was his intern in Chicago (insert own joke here). He has two children, Casey 9, and Peyton 7. In 2003 Casey received a bone marrow transplant that saved his life after being diagnosed with AML leukemia. Lance is the proud owner of the St. Pete Roses, his fantasy baseball team for the past 20 years. In 2006 he played on the Reds Baseball Heaven Championship team with his father. Despite injury a hamstring that limited him to a DH role, he hit a crisp .500 (14 for 28) for the week. In November of 2008, after fainting in the emergency room, Lance's heart stopped and he flat lined for 60-seconds. That day Lance received the ultimate conversation starter, a pacemaker. Like the watch, he keeps on ticking today.