Longtime Reds Voice Marty Brennaman Has Last Call Today
Today's Brewers-Reds game will be the last call of Marty Brennaman's 46-year career as the Reds' radio voice, and while Brennaman "has always been unscripted" on the air, he intends to "follow that plan" again this afternoon, according to John Fay of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Brennaman said, "I'm certainly not going to prepare anything, and I'm certainly not going to be specific about a litany of names that have been important to me. Because when you get into that preciseness ... you're going to leave some people out." He said he intentionally has not thought about his final game ahead of time. Brennaman: "I probably will think more about it. I'll probably take some notes to give some guidelines on the areas I want to reflect upon" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/25). In Dayton, Hal McCoy noted Brennaman "nearly retired last year and planned to tell nobody," though he "came back and made the announcement before the season that this was it." McCoy: "It was the right thing to do. Not only have the Reds made retirement special, but Brennaman has had a well-earned triumphant farewell tour around the league" (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 9/26). A "huge factor in Brennaman's decision to retire" came when the late Joe Nuxhall, who shared the radio booth with Brennaman for 31 years, was "dealing with ailments that limited him after he retired" in '03. Brennaman: "When Joe retired, there were things he wanted to do that he was physically incapable of doing. I decided right then that wasn't going to happen if I had any control over the situation" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/22).
SIGNATURE STYLE: The AP's Joe Kay wrote Brennaman has employed a "tell-it-like-it-is style that is slipping away along with the many voices that have been part of the game for a long time." Brennaman is "proud that he's one of eight broadcasters who have spent at least 45 years with only one big league team" (AP, 9/24). In Cincinnati, Bobby Nightengale wrote Brennaman's ability to "connect with the person listening, making them feel like a part of the conversation, is his gift" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/22). MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian said Brennaman was the "voice that would define the way a braodcast should sound" ("The Rundown," MLB Network, 9/25). THE ATHLETIC's Mo Egger wrote, "When you listen to Marty, you're getting unwavering, unabashed, sugar-free, plain-spoken and at times even uncomfortable honesty." That is "what should be appreciated and valued most by listeners." Listening to Brennaman "means never having to wonder how he really feels" (THEATHLETIC.com, 9/25).
A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN: The ENQUIRER's Fay wrote there will "never be a broadcaster quite like" Brennaman. His longevity -- 55 years as a broadcaster, 46 with the Reds -- "puts Brennaman in rare air." What "sets him apart most is the freedom he has to criticize the club that pays him." His opinions are his "calling card," and he has had "free-rein most of his career." Brennaman "admits he was a bit of a homer in his career," but he will "take on players, coaches, managers, umpires and the front office." Brennaman's style is "folksy and funny." His "rapport with his two main partners" -- Nuxhall and Jeff Brantley -- is "genuine and makes the broadcast" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/22). In Lexington, John Clay wrote there has "never been anyone quite like Marty Brennaman," and after today, "listening to the Reds won't be quite the same" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 9/25).
TWITTER REAX: Praise for Brennaman has poured in on social media. Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari tweeted, "Today marks the end of an incredible era. ... He’s one of the best to ever do it and has been the voice of multiple generations. Savor tonight, Marty, and enjoy retirement! Thanks for giving so much to the game!" Retired radio personality Bob Kevoian: "So long, old friend. #AndThisOneBelongsToTheReds." Cincinnati Magazine's Chad Dotson: "I've never heard anyone actually describe action in a baseball game better than Vin Scully or Marty Brennaman. The two best ever, and I've heard almost all of them during my lifetime." Cincinnati-based WKRC-CBS' John Lomax: "The stadium won't be the same without you. Marty, you're the best." WLWT-NBC's Brandon Saho: "'Junior has just knocked the door down to the 500 Club.' One of my all-time favorite Marty Brennaman calls. Chills every time."