Marty Brennaman’s long, wonderful career as the voice of the Cincinnati Reds came to an end on Thursday afternoon as the Reds lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in their final home game of the year. As Brennaman was signing off he said “I just hope that the people now going forward will accept Tommy Thrall as well as they accepted me 46 years ago.” And with that the secret was out that Thrall would be taking over in 2020 and join Jeff Brantley in the radio booth.

Thrall is in his first full year with the Reds. From 2012-2018 he was the play-by-play voice for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. At the time they were the Cincinnati Reds affiliate. Several years ago he was brought in to fill in for a few spring training games. Last season he was brought in to call a few games in September with the Reds, working with Jeff Brantley. After the year was over the Reds hired Thrall to join the Reds broadcast crew. His job this season included filling in on the radio, where he handled about half of the games this season, and then filled in as postgame duties when he wasn’t handling the game.

They say you never want to be the man who replaces the man, but the one that replaces that guy. Usually, though, the guy that’s replacing the man is someone that’s new – someone from the outside. While Tommy Thrall is still somewhat new in Cincinnati, the fanbase has likely heard him call more than a few games as he was on the airwaves this season quite a bit.

There won’t be a “shock” for most of the audience. They know what they are getting with Thrall and Jeff Brantley, who they’ve heard together already. And not that you would expect Marty Brennaman to not back the next guy coming in, but hey, he asked the fans on numerous occasions today to accept him as he takes over the gig. Having that approval and backing might go a long way with some fans who could be willing to give him a shot rather than just go with the “he’s no Marty” line.

12 Responses

  1. Michael Smith

    Good for Tommy. I liked him this year and the cowboy has grown on me over the years.

    • Keith

      Agree completely. I’ve done a 180 and now enjoy listening to the Cowboy. I like this move and look forward to the two of them for (hopefully) many years to come. I like consistency in the booth.

  2. RedNat

    I always felt Marty was the voice of the grumpy disgruntled fan (like me) that despite the reds woes will never abandon the team. He represented us well. I think Jeff will have to assume that role because Tommy just seems like too nice of a guy.

    • RedNat

      I know and they have been stinking a lot lately so I hope Jeff will point that out now when Marty is gone lol

    • Mike

      I certainly agree. I love someone who will call it like it is. Hate it when the announcers will not point out the lack of fundamentals or the lack of hustle. Especially in the locker room when they talk to DB. For goodness sake, ask the tough questions…..

  3. Aaron B.

    Ah poor Thom takes so much abuse. I like the guy despite his obvious gaffes from time to time… his heart is in the right place and he roots for the Reds. Chris corrects him when necessary. When Thom gave all his thank yous in the 8th inning he mentioned a lot of people probably wished he was retiring too, but said he needed the job lol. I like him better than Jim Day who was just too dull for me, he is better as the guy on the field (or in the stands).

    • Mike

      I said the same thing a few weeks ago and was admonished by one of the readers. Jim Day is
      a poor play by play man in my opinion. His monotone puts me to sleep. Thom is not the best of the bunch, but miles ahead of Jim Day. Not a Danny Graves fan either. Welch and Cowboy are the best. I think Thrall will do just fine….

  4. jrs1972

    I honestly won’t miss Marty at all. I miss the idea of Marty and Joe from when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s. That seems idealized to me. But I long ago turned off Marty and stopped listening to him after his endless bashing of the reds, baseball, and especially his childish vendetta against Joey Votto. As the voice of the franchise, he did almost as much to poison the well of the fanbase as the miserable on field performance.

    I didn’t bother listening to any of his farewell season, preferring to keep the memory of better times when listening to Marty and Joe on a summer night was magic and not Marty and his grumpy old man show.

    • Todd Powers

      Most sports fans do not like homer announcers.

    • Kathy

      So you prefer the “homer”,vsomeone who is always praising the team no matter how bad they’re playing?! nah, sorry I want someone who tells it like it is and that’s exactly what Marty did!

  5. Todd Powers

    A few years ago I worked a small truck stop’s 2nd shift. The TV would have the Reds on and I would be moving about with Pensacola on my iPhone. I’ve listened to Tommy Thrall for several years now. He does a good job and has a good voice that is upbeat and distinctive. Plus, he’s familiar with the organization from a prospect stand point.

    Yes, us Old Timers will always miss Marty and Joe, but I could not imagine better hands than Cowboy and Tommy.