Cincinnati brightens under All-Star spotlight

Queen City made the most of its time as king of the baseball world

Cincinnati brightens under All-Star spotlight

CINCINNATI -- You crushed it, Cincinnati.

The Reds and the city embraced the privilege of welcoming the world as the host of the 86th All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. From one event to the next, visitors and fans saw the best of Cincinnati on the biggest of stages.

"It was an unbelievable week here in Cincinnati," Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "The community here is so interested in baseball generally, and so excited about having the All-Star festivities here, it just couldn't have been a more positive weekend."

"A great city. I'm having a blast, for sure," said Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who became the first back-to-back MVP Award winner in All-Star Game history. "Everything I've been to has been a blast."

Castrovince: With two MVPs, Trout already an ASG legend

Even before Tuesday's Midsummer Classic, which saw the American League defeat the National League, 6-3, perhaps the most indelible moment was already stamped by none other than Reds hometown star Todd Frazier on Monday night. The National League's starting third baseman electrified Great American Ball Park over all three rounds on his way to winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders in dramatic fashion over Joc Pederson.

To Frazier, who was given standing ovations on Tuesday, Cincinnati more than met his expectations as an All-Star host.

Frazier receives ovation

"Above and beyond. [On Monday], the crowd was going nuts," Frazier said before Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. "It means a lot to be a part of it and to help this city out. I'm not saying it needs help. But for baseball, it brought back those good old days when you pretty much started playing. I know there are players who first played for the Reds who are up in heaven smiling. It's pretty nice."

Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini held a post-event staff meeting on Wednesday morning and gathered everyone for a photo before a 2015 All-Star Game logo.

"I gave a big thank you to all of our staff," Castellini said. "I couldn't be more pleased with the work that was done. This has literally been years in the planning, a solid 18 months of working on it and two or three weeks of almost 24-7. Major League Baseball was great to work with. The city was great to work with. The city and [Hamilton] County bent over backwards to make it a great event."

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The forecast of rain was a persistent threat every day, but showers held off just long enough to stage a successful All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, 5K Color Run, the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and celebrity softball game, the latter two of which were both played on Sunday. All the jewel events were sold out, with 43,656 fans attending Tuesday's All-Star Game.

The memorable moments were plentiful, especially early, when Trout led off the game with a home run. And even before the game, to cap the "Franchise Four" presentation, no one will forget Pete Rose being acknowledged with fellow Reds greats Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin.

Reds' Franchise Four announced

Later, the four Greatest Living Players --- Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax and Bench -- were named and loudly welcomed by appreciative fans as they took the field.

MLB honors greatest players

For all of the events inside the ballpark, there were even more around the city and surrounding areas. The T-Mobile All-Star FanFest at the Duke Energy Convention Center drew thousands of fans, as did the Chevrolet Red Carpet Show and Parade.

Larkin proud of ASG in Cincy

"I think it's been great. It's been smooth," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "As players, that's all we ask for -- not to be too many hiccups. Everybody has been great and accommodating. Even the fans were nice at the parade. I wasn't sure if they were going to be [to opposing players]."

Castellini appreciated all of the positive feedback he received from players and from Major League Baseball.

"To get that kind of recognition from guys who have been around a while and have been to a lot of them, that's a high compliment," Castellini said.

There were also numerous community events that promoted multiple causes, especially youth baseball. It featured several field dedications, tournaments and even the "World's Largest Game of Catch."

Record setting game of catch

Between Major League Baseball, the Reds and local sponsors, Castellini said approximately $8 million was raised for local charities and their legacy projects.

"The engagement of the community was fantastic. Every event," Manfred said. "The big ones, obviously, were the [All-Star] Game and the Home Run Derby. But we did nine field renovations. And every single event was well attended."

Manfred holds Town Hall Meeting

The Reds were able to call on the franchise's history for support from players like Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Rob Dibble, Randy Myers, Norm Charlton, Ron Oester, Glenn Braggs and more.

"Being a person that comes here quite a bit because the Reds are in our division, they've done a really good job," Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "The fans came out ready and loud. The Red Carpet event was great. You saw how busy it was. It wasn't just people standing around along fences. There were DJ's out playing music. Bars were open as you got closer to the field. It looked like a lot of fun, and people were enjoying it."

Frazier joins Red Carpet Show

When it was all over, the Reds passed the All-Star baton to San Diego -- host of the 2016 game -- while setting a high bar for all cities that follow.

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