From the Enquirer:

Hamilton native Joe Nuxhall, who as a 15-year-old in 1944 made history by pitching for the Reds and later became a fixture in the Reds radio booth, died at 10:55 p.m. Thursday night at Mercy Hospital-Fairfield. He was 79.

One of the most beloved figures in Cincinnati’s rich baseball history, Nuxhall was admitted to Mercy Hospital-Fairfield on Monday for pneumonia, a low pulse rate and low white blood count. Thursday morning, doctors postponed surgery to insert a pacemaker because of Nuxhall’s low pulse, his son Kim Nuxhall said.

The Ol’ Left-hander, as he came to be known to scores of Reds fans, spent six decades with the team as a player and radio broadcaster until retiring after the 2004 season. Working under a personal services contract with the Reds, he broadcast selected games during the 2007 season.

As many are saying this morning, for some of us, especially locally, Joe was Cincinnati Reds baseball. I’m almost 50 years old and have been a Reds fan since 1969 and to me, Joe Nuxhall on the radio was the sound of my childhood as a Reds fan.

In the days before ESPN and FSN with every game being televised and highlight shows at all times of the day and night, many of us were, as kids, glued to our radios every night, listening to the Reds on radio and keeping score in our notebooks…listening to the Big Red Machine become one of the great dynasties in this history of baseball. And Joe Nuxhall was a big part of that.

Was he a great announcer? Nope. Did he mangle names? All the time. Did he, at times, confuse left field and right field? Absolutely.

But you never had a doubt that he was a Reds fan. It meant something that he wanted that ball to “Get outta here” as much as you did. You never doubted that he lived and died with how the team did on the field.

As I heard someone say on the radio this morning, from the time that Joe was a kid, all his life he got to do what he wanted to do, play, and then later, to continue to be around the game that he loved.

That’s a pretty good life.

Redleg Nation‘s thoughts and prayers go out to Joe’s wife and family.

Edited to add links to some reactions:

Donate to the Joe Nuxhall Character Education Fund.

The full treatment at the Reds Official Site.

Joe Posnanski of the KC Star (formerly w/ The Post).

Lance McAllister is taking tributes.

WLW put together a nice video.

Todd Jones of the Dispatch.

Click on virtually any link on our blogroll for tributes and remembrances.