Harrison gets first Opening Day start in hometown

Pirates third baseman grew up and went to high school in Cincinnati

Harrison gets first Opening Day start in hometown

CINCINNATI -- Professional athletes are renowned for being too focused on their daily responsibilities to stop and smell the roses. However, Josh Harrison had to take a moment to get a sniff of this big bouquet.

The product of Cincinnati's Princeton High School had grown up certainly aware of what a huge deal Opening Day is in his hometown. Until very recently, the Reds had the honor of hosting the first game of every baseball season, homage to the first professional nine, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings.

So Harrison establishes himself as a Major League regular, as a National League All-Star and when it was time for him to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day for the first time game of his career ... it happened in Cincinnati.

"It's pretty special," Harrison said. "Especially to have my first Opening Day in front of my family. I didn't have a chance to go to Opening Days, because I was usually playing in my own games.

"So at the time I didn't really pay much attention to it. Now, I understand the history of it all. My family has a better grasp of the context, and I know they're very excited."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.