CINCINNATI — Over on the Kentucky side of the river, just before the Brent Spence Bridge on into Ohio, an electronic billboard was already celebrating the good news.
"Congratulations Todd Frazier on Winning the Home Run Derby!!!"
If you ever doubted it, Cincinnati really is a baseball town.
It has shown exactly that as the proud host of the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Fans packed the Duke Energy Convention Center for FanFest, turned out in big numbers for Sunday's Futures Games and packed every seat with electricity for Monday night's Home Run Derby.
Then came Tuesday night's dramatic pre-game moment when, as the Reds' Franchise Four, Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin and Joe Morgan, were joined on the field by Pete Rose — one of his rare MLB-sanctioned appearances since he was banned in 1989 — all to a roar of approval.
To be honest, though, when the American League and National League All-Stars were introduced, the roar for Frazier outdid the roar for Rose.
Then came the Franchise Four of Greatest Living Players: Bench, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax. (I want to age as well as Koufax, who is 79.)
All that (and more) took place before Tuesday night's main event commenced and the Dodgers' Zack Greinke took the mound for the National League to face American League leadoff hitter Mike Trout of the Angels.
Trout, 23, deposited Grienke's fourth pitch just over the rightfield wall.
The prominent theme of this All-Star game might have been youth — There were 25 first-time All-Stars between the two teams — but the host city is home to the oldest professional franchise in baseball history.
Cincinnati is a small-market town, but it proved that it knows how to put on a big-time event. And after being passed over for the All-Star game several times since Great American Ball Park opened in 2003, the Queen City wasn't about to waste the opportunity.
Early Tuesday afternoon, six hours before the first pitch, downtown was awash in men and women wearing American League and National League jerseys, the names on the back reading "Harper" and "Trout" and "Rizzo" and, yes, "Frazier."
A friend observed that Monday night's crowd for the Home Run Derby was like a football crowd, anticipating every swing, groaning at the balls that didn't carry and roaring for every projectile that cleared the fence.
Surely it achieved more feel-good buzz than any previous Home Run Derby.
"I do think it was good for baseball," Frazier said. "A couple of guys said that to me afterward. (Jonathan) Papelbon said it. It was like a soccer crowd in Europe or something."
So what did Frazier do to celebrate? While the rest of the All-Stars were in their luxury hotel suites, the hometown hero didn't have electricity at home. A storm knocked it out at 1 p.m. Monday. It had not returned Tuesday, which was not good news for the six females staying at his house.
"They were trying to dry their hair and going crazy," he said. "I went to the hotel to get cleaned up."
Without electricity, his cellphone died, so on Tuesday afternoon, Frazier was just going through his 300 or so text messages. ("I'll get back to every one of them, I will," he promised.) He gave the bat he used to his brother, Charlie, who was his pitcher.
And the best thing might have been that the hometown hero had his little boy there to see it, to be in Daddy's arms when Frazier accepted the trophy.
"Blake's a beast," Frazier said of his 15-month-old son. "Hopefully we'll show him the tape in 10 or 11 years, and he'll think it's awesome."
Truth be told, Cincinnati has made the whole All-Star experience awesome. But then we shouldn't have doubted it. Cincinnati has always been a baseball town.
"I know those guys who first played for the Reds are up in heaven smiling," Frazier said.