Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Joe Nuxhall and Marty Brennaman

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now- legendary voices and characters. Today, I want to pay tribute to Joe Nuxhall and Marty Brennaman.

One of the nice things about growing up in the 1970's was Cincinnati Reds baseball. Most boys I knew wanted to be either Pete Rose or Johnny Bench. I wanted to be either Joe Nuxhall or Marty Brennaman, the now-legendary radio announcers for the Reds' games. It didn't matter which one, because both were equally as great.

Joe Nuxhall became a radio broadcaster for the Reds in 1967. His career lasted through 2004, and continued part-time up until his death in 2007. In addition to his 40 years of broadcasting Reds games, Nuxhall is most remembered for having been the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game, pitching 2/3 of an inning for the Reds on June 10, 1944 at the age of 15. Called upon for that one game due to player shortages during World War II, Nuxhall would eventually find his way back to the Reds in 1952.

Marty Brennaman joined Nuxhall on the Reds radio team in 1974. "Marty and Joe" became an institution. Brennaman's trademark call of a Reds victory ("And this one belongs to the Reds!") was coined during his second game with the team. Nuxhall's trademark was "...Rounding third and heading for home." Highlights of Brennaman's broadcasting career include these calls: Hank Aaron's record-tying 714th career home run in 1974, Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd career hit in 1985, Ken Griffey, Jr.'s 500th and 600th career home runs, and the Reds' back to back World Series victories in 1975 and 1976. In 2005, he was inducted into both the NSSA Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame.

"Play ball..."

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