Reds honor champion Ohio State Buckeyes

Reds honor champion Ohio State Buckeyes

CINCINNATI -- The setting was Great American Ball Park by the Ohio River, not Ohio Stadium's "Horseshoe" near the Olentangy River. Nevertheless on Wednesday, the Ohio State football team was given a warm reception by Reds fans.

During a rain delay before their game vs. the Pirates, the Reds honored the Buckeyes for winning the National Championship over Oregon in January. Head coach Urban Meyer and two Cincinnati-native players Adolphus Washington and Joe Burger threw simultaneous ceremonial first pitches.

The Reds, who already had Opening Day on Monday, included Ohio State in their "Opening Night" extravaganza on Wednesday. The National Championship trophy was on display and players walked a red carpet to see fans and exchange high-fives. Mascot Brutus Buckeye also showed his smiling face.

During the rain delay, Meyer got to have dinner with former Red and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.

"He told me he was actually pulling for Oregon in the championship game. I told him that I'm from Cincinnati and he changed his tune," Meyer said. "My roots are real deep. I love Cincinnati -- when you're pulling down I-71 and come around that turn and see downtown."

Meyer was born in Cincinnati, played football for the University of Cincinnati and was also an assistant coach there early in his career.

"I could name the starting lineup and their batting averages of the '75 champs. To sit and have dinner with one, Joe Morgan, was great," Meyer said.

And for another baseball connection, Meyer was also an infielder in the Braves' organization from 1982-83. He played 44 games at the rookie-league level in the Minors.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.