The Warpath

Marty Brennaman setting the mic down after 2019


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BY JACOB MANTLE

Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman told fans he was retiring after the 2019 season at the annual Reds affiliate radio luncheon on January 16 .  

According to Brennaman, he wanted to announce his retirement after the season was over, but the Reds changed his mind. “[Phil Castellini] explained to me in his own unique way it wasn’t fair to the fans, it wasn’t fair to the club, and I’ll use the line Vinny used, ‘I’m honored, but I’m also very uncomfortable about it,’” said the broadcaster 

Brennaman credits the team’s fans as his inspiration, helping him call games for what will be his 46th season with the Reds.

The iconic voice’s trophy case is stacked: Frank C. Frick Award (2000), inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame (2005) and named Ohio Broadcaster of the Year (17 times, most recently 2018). 

From the broadcast booth, he narrated some of the most iconic moments in baseball, especially in Reds history. In 1974 he called Hank Aaron’s record-tying 714th career home run, Pete Rose’s record-breaking 4192nd career hit in ‘85, the Reds only perfect game in ‘88, the Reds’ World Series wins in ‘75, ‘76, ‘90, Ken Griffey Jr.’s 500th and 600th career home runs in 2004 and ‘08,  in 2010 Jay Bruce’s walk-off home run to win the NL Central and Homer Bailey’s no hitters in 2012 and ‘13.

Nuxhall’s signature line, “[He’s] rounding third and heading for home…” can be seen driving past Great American Ballpark. When the Reds win, Brennaman’s signature line is “This one belongs to the Reds.”

Brennaman’s other iconic phrase is ‘titanic struggle,’ which is used to address crowd attendance at each game.

 

“To say it’s been an incredible ride, that’s what it’s been,” said the 74-year-old as his voice broke in a video posted on social media.

His 55-year-career as a broadcaster is not limited to baseball. He began his career in 1965 after graduating from the University of North Carolina, in High Point, North Carolina. He called high school sports and college basketball and football before being hired by the Reds in 1974.

The hire in 1974 led to “Marty and Joe,” a staple for many Cincinnati radio listeners of 700 WLW. For 31 years Joe and Marty were in the booth together, a record. The two remained close friends until Nuxhall’s death in 2007.

Four days before his death, Brennaman and Nuxhall were playing golf. “We were sitting on the 14th tee box and he said to me, ‘We really had a good time, didn’t we?’ It was so out of character for him. All I could say was ‘yeah, we did.’ Four days later, he was dead,” said Brennaman.

Once retired, Brennaman plans to travel and continue the Marty Brennaman Golf Classic––benefiting the Reds Community Fund. 

Until then, he has one final season fans will get to enjoy. The regular season begins March 28 at Great American Ballpark versus the Pittsburg Pirates.  

 

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