The Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day Parade is back for 2022, and a fan favorite has been declared the Grand Marshal.
Baseball Hall of Famer and former Red Barry Larkin will lead the procession — officially called the “Findlay Market Opening Day Parade” — through the streets of downtown before the Reds take on the Cleveland Guardians at Great American Ball Park during the home opener on April 12.
“I am truly honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal of this year’s Findlay Market Opening Day Parade,” Larkin says in a press release. “As someone born and raised in Cincinnati, I know what a major role the parade plays in making Opening Day such a special experience here in our city. I look forward to being part of renewing that tradition with Reds fans this year.”
Organizers say this year’s parade will include “appearances by Cincinnati Olympians, former Bengals players, the Hamilton West Side All Stars and the Taft High School Boys Basketball State Champions.” Attendees can also expect all the usual fanfare, floats, marching bands and dance teams to accompany sporty celebrities like Nick Goepper, the Fort Wayne, Indiana native who took home a silver medal for slopestyle skiing in the 2018 and 2022 winter olympics; and former Bengals stars Anthony Muñoz and Ickey Woods.
And while organizers are touting big plans for the parade, it’s still not quite a return to normal.
After two years of COVID-related cancellations or delays, this year’s Opening Day Parade was pushed from its original March 31 date to April 12 after the first few series of the 2022 Major League Baseball season were canceled. The season, which was postponed while the MLB and members of the Major League Baseball Players Association came to terms on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, now starts on April 7, with the Reds visiting the Atlanta Braves on that day.
Born in Cincinnati, Larkin played shortstop for the Reds 1986-2004, serving as captain in 1997. Despite injuries, Larkin was considered one of the best players of his era, racking up plenty of hardware over the years: three Gold Gloves, nine Silver Sluggers, National League MVP, a Roberto Clemente Award and a Lou Gehrig Award. He helped lead the Reds to a World Series victory in 1990.
Before that, he was selected to play for the 1984 U.S. Olympic baseball team, performing alongside Mark McGwire, Will Clark and other future MLB stars.
Larkin announced his retirement from the game in 2005, with a career batting average of .295, 2,340 hits, 1,329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases.
In 2012, Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In 2021, he joined the Cincinnati Reds’ broadcast team as a color analyst, having already provided commentary for ESPN and MLB Network.
The Reds take on the Cleveland Guardians at 4:10 p.m. April 12 at Great American Ball Park. For details and more tickets, visit reds.com. And for full details on the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, visit findlaymarketparade.com.
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