Gimme a Mulligan with Fred Main
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This will be the last summer we get the opportunity to hear Marty Brennaman utter his famous phrase. The longtime announcer for the Cincinnati Reds said he plans to retire after the 2019 season.
And that, my friends, will be a sad day in my household.
I grew up listening to Marty and Joe Nuxhall on 700 WLW, calling the games of my favorite team. They were great together, bringing the plays and lives of the Big Red Machine to our house. During baseball season, Reds’ games were a constant on our radio. We’d play cards or a board game in the dining room, listening to Marty and Joe describe another victory by our beloved team.
On those days where I was at my own game (and at Cardington that was nearly every summer night), it was Marty’s voice that lifted my spirits on those few days we lost. Dad always had the Reds’ game on the radio and we’d talk about my game or what the Reds were doing on the way home.
Marty had a way about him that just drew you into the game. He was paid to root for the Reds in his broadcasts, but it never stopped him from telling the truth when he felt a player wasn’t doing his job. He showed his excitement when the time was right, but never to the point of going crazy over a normal play.
Over the years, Marty has called some of the most notable plays and games in Reds and Major League history. His first game at Riverfront Stadium (then the Reds’ home) in 1974 was the game Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth with 714 career home runs. He called Tom Seaver’s only no-hitter (1978), Pete Rose’s record-breaking 4,192nd career hit (1985), Tom Browning’s perfect game (1988) and Ken Griffey Jr.’s 500th career home run (2004) and 600th career HR (2008).
But, it’s his call when the Reds won World Series titles in 1975, ‘76 and ‘90 that I’ll remember most. My dad, grandfather and I were on the golf course when Joe Morgan had the game-winning hit in 75, carrying along a transistor radio so that we could do both of our favorite things — golf and listen to the Reds.
As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t listened to as many games as I used to. But, you can be sure that I’ll be tuning in to WLW as much as possible this year, especially when the end of the season rolls around, just so I can hear one more time — “And this one belongs to the Reds.”