Reds Caravan in town today

VIENNA – A Hall of Fame broadcaster and a two-time all-star second baseman head the list of Cincinnati Reds who will be at the Grand Central Mall to meet with local fans from 5 to 7 p.m. today.

That’s when the Cincinnati Reds Caravan will make its traditional local stop as part of the Reds’ Northern Tour, one of three groups of team personnel drumming up excitement for the 2013 season.

Last year, announcer Thom Brennaman was part of the group that visited here. This year, it is his father, Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman, who will take the time to talk to local fans.

Perhaps no person is more closely associated with the Reds than Marty Brennaman, who joined its broadcast team in 1974, when he first uttered his trademark, “This one belongs to the Reds.”

Brennaman will begin his 40th season when Cincinnati opens against the Los Angeles Angels on April 1.

Speaking of that game, one of the highlights of today’s appearance will be a drawing for two tickets to the opening day game.

Joining Brennaman will be second baseman Brandon Phillips, a two-time National League all-star, who has won three Gold Gloves. A fiery competitor, Phillips has accounted for a .273 batting average, 148 home runs, 601 RBI and 154 stolen bases.

Others who will meet and greet local fans include broadcaster and former pitcher Chris Welsch; minor league catcher Tucker Barnhart; assistant general manager Bob Miller; Reds alumnus Todd Benzinger, a member of the 1990 World Series champions; and team mascot Gapper.

The caravan got under way on Thursday when the Reds visited Athens, Ohio.