When you broadcast for one team for over 40 years that becomes a select group. Vin Scully was renowned as the “Voice of the Dodgers” for 67 seasons, beginning in 1950 (when the franchise was located in Brooklyn) and ending in 2016.
Also Jaime Jarrin has been the Spanish broadcaster for LA since 1959 – the team’s first season out west – remarkable considering when he arrived to the United States four years earlier he hadn’t seen a baseball game. He received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. Now 81 years old, his contract runs through the end of next season.
The Royals’ inaugural season came in 1969 and they’ve only had one voice in that span. The 74-year-old started out as the number two announcer alongside Buddy Blattner, before being promoted to the top spot in 1976. The 2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner, Denny Matthews will celebrate his 50th season in the booth next year in Kansas City. Other long-tenured baseball broadcasters include Bob Uecker with Milwaukee (1971) Mike Shannon with the Cardinals (1972) and Marty Brennaman with the Reds (1974).
Franchester Martin Brennaman (born July 28, 1942) Better known for years to Reds Fans as Marty & Joe. It would be remiss (of me) if I forgot to mention Joe Nuxhall in this article.
Whom was Marty’s broadcast partner of 31 years, Joe Nuxhall, hasn’t come anywhere close to Marty’s longevity as a Reds broadcaster. But The Ol’ Lefthander was beloved by Reds fans and spent 38 seasons in the booth, going directly from the Reds pitching staff in 1967 to a new career as a broadcaster that ended – except for some guest appearances – at the end of the 2004 season. Throughout the 2019 season, the Reds have been celebrating the 150th anniversary of professional baseball in Cincinnati, a story that began in 1869 on a dusty, tiny ballpark on a site now occupied by the Esplanade of Museum Center at Union Terminal. With only 10 players and a payroll of $9,300 that team went 67-0 it was only fitting Marty made his last season doing Reds Games, which is 30.7 percent of Cincinnati RED’s baseball history.
I remember on a Thursday as a 13-year-old sitting in English class listening to Hank Aaron coming to the plate in his first at bat on Opening 1974 in Marty’s first game with the Reds. All the while having Aaron tie Babe Ruth in his powerful 714 home run career and it was mid summer in 1974 when Marty coined his own trademark call of a Reds victory (“And this one belongs to the Reds!”)
With Actions Speaking loudest and in the 2012 Season: At the time Marty took his full head of hair about as serious as his word. So earlier in the season when he jokingly told Cincinnati bench coach Chris Speier that he’d shave his head if the Reds won 10 games in a row, there was no doubt he’d live up to his word. So in his first game back after taking a series off and the end of the Reds’ 10-game winning streak, Brennaman said he’d get his
head shaved — and if fans donated $20,000 to the Reds Community Fund. Well The Reds raised more than $50,000 and on AUGUST 3, Marty kept his word.
Today on a Thursday: I make one last trip down to the ball park by the River in Cincinnati to pay my respect to Marty’s last game!! It’s a perfect day 68 degree and sunshine, much like Opening
Day, April 3 2006 when my father lost his battle with cancer. But when the game started – it was Marty broadcasting the game — that help me get over my grief for the moment. In my lifetime — one of the keys to living that Marty taught me through the years.
Is no matter the moment you can still laugh and have fun and you should always treat everybody the same (Be it Rick Stowe the clubhouse guy or Ken Griffey Jr.)
Arriving at the ball park three hours before the game and hence having “Marty Mania” hit me straight through the windshield on East Mehring Way, WLW telling people limited “NO” parking down by the ball park because of construction in the hole. In this moment in time realizing what Marty met to REDS fans through those 46 years and in disbelief. After an evening last night where REDS fans seen Suarez hit his 49th Homerun of the season not in the lineup. I made the trip back home and at the same instance arrived in the drive way — Aquino hit his 18th homerun since Aug. 1.
Throughout the history of the Reds they always were fortunate to have Great Broadcasters: from Red Barber, Waite Hoyt, Joe Nuxhall, Al Michaels and Marty Brennaman to Tommy Thrall and Jeff Brantley. One thing is certain with Marty perseverance of sticking with one club for 46 season and the only remaining connection to The Big Red Machine who played the game flawlessly — that era of Reds Baseball is proving hard to replace.
The writer is a new contributor to the Sidney Daily News.