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Gift of a Day Feature Story October 2012
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Major League Baseball Honors One of its Own

To say that Larry Strautman was a big Cincinnati Reds fan is like saying the Pope is a little Catholic – it’s a huge understatement! 

From the time he was a small boy straight through his time playing in the Minor leagues as an adult, Larry loved baseball. But, during the 1970s when the Reds dominated, winning a total of 953 games, six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series, Larry became devoted to the Big Red Machine! 

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His passion for the sport eventually landed him a position as an Usher for the Reds at the old Riverfront Stadium after he retired from Milacron Machinery. Despite being in his mid-60s when he became an usher, Larry said that this was when “life began” for him. With his work ethic and friendly personality, Larry quickly became one of the top-ranking ushers and stayed with the franchise for 15 years. 

Now, benched with age and illness, Larry yearned for one more trip back to the ballpark. Crossroads made it happen. 

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It was a cloudless summer day when Larry and his family were greeted by the VP of Ballpark Operations at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Larry was transported to a private box where he soaked in more lavish VIP treatment, the sun and America’s favorite past time. 

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Throughout the game, all of the ushers made a point to visit Larry and sign a baseball as a keepsake for their beloved friend. Later, Larry was honored on the stadium’s Jumbotron for his devoted service to the Reds. Humbled, Larry gazed at himself towering over a 40,000-person crowd that included – most importantly – his beloved children, grandchildren and brother. 

His family all agreed, “this is a day we will never, ever forget.” Now, that’s a home run.