Living 379 miles from Cincinnati has always made the Reds on radio important to me.
I first started listening to WLW during the 1969 season when Jim McIntire was their broadcaster, along with Joe Nuxhall. I liked McIntire. I liked Al Michael even better when he came along in 1971.
And then along came Marty.
Marty Brennaman’s voice has been a fixture in my house for the last four decades. More than my brother, my cousins, my in-laws, virtually anyone that I know. For the better part of eight months, Marty is a constant presence in my house.
The first home run call my newborn daughter ever heard was when Marty broadcasted one hit by Chris Sabo in April 1991. Marty was in my truck when Pete Rose got hit 4,192. Marty was in my truck again when Tom Browning finished his perfect game.
This one belongs to the Reds will never come close to being replicated. No one should dare use it, other than Marty. That’s his signature call.
And whenever someone says ‘Marty and Joe’ it brings back both great memories and tears to my eyes because Joe Nuxhall represented all that was good. Joe Nuxhall reminded me of my Dad.
I think Marty did this right. He’s retiring at the right time. From time to time, I would see negative comments on him on this web site and that’s fine. But I could never join that crowd. I have too many great memories of Marty Brennaman.
I only met him twice. The first time was in the Astrodome during the 1978 season. It was right after the gates opened and he was on the concourse heading for the broadcast booth. I recognized him and we shook hands and talked for just a moment.
The second time was in 1987 at a Reds banquet in a downtown Cincinnati hotel and my best friend and I had our picture taken with Marty and Joe. Later, they both signed an 8 X 10 photo made from that photo and it still hangs in my sports room.
I was at work on the day of his final broadcast and saw a tweet from John Fay that Marty said he had cried three times on the day of his final broadcast. I wish I could have made that 379 mile trip to be at Great American Ballpark for his final broadcast. It would have been fun but bittersweet. Especially with the Reds getting swept by the Brewers and finishing another dismal season in this era – the worst since The Great Depression. Especially since this Reds team hasn’t contended in years. And especially since this abject failure of a “rebuild.”
Nothing for Bruce. Nothing for Cueto. Nothing for Chapman. Zero, zilch, nothing at all.
I know Marty gets cantankerous. So do I.
But there’s too many good memories. Fond memories. World Series championships. Sparky. Eric Davis. Jay Bruce’s epic home run in 2010. And Marty’s favorite Reds team, the 1990 Reds.
Your voice spoke volumes in my house Marty. I’ll miss you.