The Findlay Market Association is the proud sponsor of the 97th Opening Day Parade, and with the cooperation of the Cincinnati Reds, is proud to announce the Grand Marshal for this year's parade (start time of noon, from the market).
2016 Findlay Market Parade Grand Marshal - Lou Piniella
Lou Piniella played his first major league game as an Oriole at the end of the 1964 season. After a short stint with Cleveland Indians, Lou then played for the Kansas City Royals and became the 1969 AL Rookie-of-the-Year. In 1972, while playing outfield for the Kansas City Royals, Lou was named to his first and only All-Star team. After the 1973 season, Lou was traded to the New York Yankees. While with the Yankees, the team would win the World Series in 1977 and 1978. In June of 1984, Lou played his last game as a Yankees.
Thereafter, Lou stayed with the Yankees as a hitting coach and eventally became the manager in 1986. In 1990, the Cincinnati Reds named Lou as their manager, which was the year the Reds would go into the World Series as underdogs to the heavily favored Oakland A's. The Reds went on to sweep the series. Lou then stayed with the Reds for two more years. As a Major League Manager, Lou has won a World Series, as well as being named Manager of the Year in the American League (1995, 2001) and in the National League (2008). Currently, Lou Piniella serves in a consulting capacity for the Reds as a Senior Advisor to Baseball Operations.
Brandon Finnegan will appear with The Cincinnati Reds entry. Brandon Finnegan of Texas Christian, was the Kansas City Royals, 1st round (17th overall) pick of the 2014 draft. Brandon made his major league debut on September 6 of 2014 against the New York Yankees, where he pitched 2 innings with 2 strikeouts and no earned runs. Also, in 2014, Brandon Finnegan became the first player in history to play in both the College World Series and the World Series (Game 4) in the same year. Brandon came to Cincinnati, along with Cody Reed and John Lamb, from the Kansas City Royals for Johnny Cueto. In 2015, split between the Royals and the Reds, he went 5-2 with an ERA of 3.56 with 45 strikeouts.
Alfredo Simon will appear with The Cincinnati Reds entry. Alfredo Simon was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1999. After some time in the minors, he was signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles in 2008. Alfredo made his major league debut on September 6 of 2008 against the Oakland Athletics. Alfredo originally came to Cincinnati in 2012, after being selected off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. In 2014, he was selected as an All-Star (pitched a scoreless third inning, one hit allowed and striking out one - Robinson Cano), and finished the year with a 15-10 W/L with 127 strikeouts. Alfredo was traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Detroit Tigers (for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathon Crawford), where he went 13-12. March 17, 2016, Alfredo signed back with the Reds as a Free Agent.
Ron Oester will appear with Mike's Carwash entry (#38). A Cincinnati native and 1974 graduate of Withrow High School, second baseman Ron Oester played his 17-year professional baseball career in the Cincinnati Reds organization, including 13 years at the Major League level. Selected by the Reds in the ninth round of the 1974 amateur draft, Oester made his Major League debut in 1978 and began making regular appearances in the Reds lineup in 1980 when he appeared in 100 games and finished fourth in voting for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. In 1981, Oester enjoyed the first of six consecutive seasons as the Reds starting second baseman, a streak that was interrupted by a major knee injury he suffered in July of 1987. He won Major League Baseball's Hutch Award in 1988 after his successful return to the Reds everyday lineup. In his final season in 1990, Oester was a key player off the bench during the Reds World Championship season and scored the winning run in the Reds pennant-clinching game over the Pirates in Game 6 of the 1990 NLCS. After his playing career, Oester spent six seasons with the Reds as a Major League coach. He remains a Cincinnati resident.
Scott Williamson will appear with the Therapeutic Recreation for the Disabled entry (#92). In 1997,Oklahoma State’s pitcher Scott Williamson was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 9th round. Scott soared through the Reds Organization, going from Rookie Ball in 1997, to starting the next year in AA and finally ending up in AAA the same year. The following year, on April 5, 1999, Scott made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds. He was voted to the 1999 All Star Team, named 1999 Rookie of the Year, and finished the season with 12 wins, 19 saves, and era 2.41 as a relief pitcher. In 2003, Scott was traded to the Boston Red Sox and ended up setting Red Sox record for 3 saves in the ALCS. In 2004, Scott and the Red Sox went on to break the infamous 86 year curse of the Bambino, and to become 2004 World Series Champions. Scott went on to play for the Cubs, Padres, and Orioles. Scott’s passion for the game continues as he spends his time working with kids in the Greater Cincinnati area helping them develop there baseball and life skills. When presented with the opportunity to be involved in a Foundation that is named for man who meant so much to him as a player and a person, Joe Nuxhall Miracle League, Scott didn’t hesitate to jump aboard and portrayed the same excitement as if he was winning the World Series again. With all of his accomplishments and rewards that he earned in his career, none of them would even equal, the one of him being an instrumental part of one of the Miracle Leaguer lives. Scott continues to live in Cincinnati along with his wife Lisa, and children Reece and Cambrie.
Kaitlyn Baker will appear with the Cincinnati 911 Steel entry (#149). Kaitlyn Baker’s music reflects the beauty of the Cumberland Mountains and the ruggedness of the coal mining region where she was raised. The 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Pound, Virginia, has been called a new "coal miner's daughter." BuzzFeed.com named her one of “Country Music’s 15 Brightest Rising Stars.” Her credits include opening for Travis Tritt, Rhonda Vincent, Billy Currington and other popular artists. She has performed on the nationally syndicated public television concert series "Song of the Mountains." Her song “Coal Train” was included in the 2015 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards ZinePak, a 2-CD album that debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and remained in the Top 10 for three consecutive weeks.
Philip Paul will appear with the King Studios entry (#39). Drummer Philip Paul, the 2009 recipient of the Ohio Heritage Fellowship for Performing Arts, played on some of the greatest, most important records ever made including "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris, "Fever" by Little Willie John, "Hideaway" by Freddie King and "The Twist" by Hank Ballard. All those records were recorded for the legendary Cincinnati record company, King Records, where Paul served as the in-house drummer from 1952 through 1964. In addition to his extensive session work with King, Paul worked for years as one-third of the Roy Meriwether Trio, recording a pair of albums with Meriwether on Columbia. He also toured with jazz artists including Jimmy Smith, Nat Adderly and Herbie Mann and toured the U.S. and Canada with George Weins Newport Jazz All-Stars. Philip Paul made his first album as a leader in 2003, the aptly named It's About Time. In 2002, he received a Lifetime CAMMY Award from the Cincinnati Enquirer for his contributions to the music and culture of Cincinnati. He can be seen with the Philip Paul Trio at The Cricket Lounge in The Cincinnatian Hotel.
Anthony Muñoz will appear with the Anthony Munoz Foundation entry (#21). First-round draft pick by Cincinnati Bengals and third overall pick in 1980, Anthony played 11 years in the NFL and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1998. He was named NFL’s Man of the Year in 1991, and his career as an All-Pro lineman earned him membership on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994. In 2010, he was ranked No. 12 on the NFL Network's Top 100 players list and was the highest-ranked offensive lineman. In 2002, Anthony created the non-profit Anthony Muñoz Foundation, which works with Greater Cincinnati youth impacting them mentally, physically and spiritually. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $11 million for youth programs.
Anthony and his wife Dede have two children, Michael (wife, Emily) and Michelle (husband, Luke Trenz), and 8 grandchildren, all living in the Cincinnati area. He is a true family man, who also stays active in the community, sharing his persistent message to overcome adversity and give back. The former Cincinnati Bengals star has logged two decades of high-profile charitable work and youth advocacy since retiring from the game in 1992. A true hometown hero, Anthony continues to give his time and dedication to serving the youth of Greater Cincinnati. For more information, visit the Anthony Muñoz Foundation's website: www.munozfoundation.org.
Members of the United Soccer Leagues FC Cincinnati Soccer Team will appear with the FC Cincinnati entry (#178). Jeff Berding, President & GM, along with FC Cincinnati staff members and Supporter Group members from Die Innenstdat and The Pride will represent the team in this year’s parade. FC Cincinnati began its Inaugural season in March and looks ahead to its first-ever home game on Saturday, April 9 at 7pm. The team, led by Cincinnati-native Austin Berry, calls the newly renovated Nippert Stadium home. Visit FCCincinnati.com or call 513-977-KICK (5425) for more information.
Watch for The Scott's Reds Rally Pack and The Reds Mascots: Gapper, Rosie Red, Mr. Red and Mr. Redlegs! The Scott's Reds Rally Pack has participated in the Opening Day Parade for the last 13 years. At Great American Ball Park they are responsible for spreading joy, and free tee shirts, to fans throughout the season.