Today, Cincinnati Reds longtime announcer Marty Brennaman announced that he is retiring after the 2019 season. For a lot of us, this is almost like losing a member of your family. Marty has been in our lives for decades. If you’re old, like me, you’ve been fortunate enough to catch all 46 years of his excellence behind the mic. I’ll make sure to listen to him as much as possible in the coming season.
Marty has been with us through ups and downs for well over 4 decades. He has seen World Series titles, he has seen last place finishes, he has seen everything in between. If I remember correctly, his first game as a Reds announcer was Hank Aaron’s 714th HR. That’s one hell of a start to a career. Here’s a list of just a few of his highlights………
- Hank Aaron #714
- Tom Seaver no-hitter
- Tom Browning perfect game
- Roy Halladay no-hitter
- Both of Homer Bailey’s no-hitters
- Jake Arrieta no-hitter
- Pete Rose #4192
- 1975, 1976, 1990 World Series victories
There are so many more highlights in the storied career of Mr Brennaman. I was lucky enough to hear him call most of the ones listed above, as well as so many more great moments in Cincinnati Reds history. His passion showed in every game he called, even when it raised some sort of controversy. He never left any doubt how he felt about a play, a player, a call on the field. Marty Brennaman became the face of baseball in Cincinnati. Hearing his voice on the radio in the 70s is a cherished memory that I will always carry with me. It speaks of a time gone by, a time when the world was an innocent place to live, at least in the mind of us boys growing up at that time.
A perfect evening in those more innocent times would be dad grilling out, my brothers and I playing baseball in the backyard, and mom coming out with a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea. Once dinner was ready, we would eat outside, enjoying the summer evening. And then it was game time. Dad would break out the old transistor radio, tune in to WLW 700, and we would listen to Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall give us the Reds lineup for the evening. The crowd in the background had us wanting another trip to Riverfront Stadium to catch our boys in action again. When it was time for the first pitch, man, that was electric.
Today’s coverage of all sports is so saturated. I’m not complaining, I love the coverage. What we’re lacking though, is the true personality of a great announcer; a Hall of Fame announcer. A Marty Brennaman. I’m not sure how many times we’ll hear his phrase “….and this one belongs to the Reds” this season. Vegas says 77 times. I say at least 85. I know this, I want to hear Marty say it as much as possible. Here’s to hoping the Reds make his final season a special one. This one belongs to Marty.