Ode to Joe and Marty

This blog is about baseball cards. With the Reds in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, it’s hard not to talk a little baseball as well. Back when I was a kid in the 70s in northeast Kentucky, I loved to listen to the Reds on the radio. I can’t remember what station I listened to, but the flagship station was (and is) 700 WLW.

On the radio for the Reds were Joe Nuxhall and Marty Brennaman.  Joe was a former Reds pitcher who debuted for the Reds during WWII. Decent players were in short supply at the time. Nuxhall debuted for the Reds at only 15 years of age. Crazy. His brief appearance still stands today as the youngest appearance of a player in a MLB game.

Poor Marty. I didn’t know anything about him except that those two guys were awesome on the radio together. The Reds were a great team, and listening to Joe and Marty on the radio just made the Reds better. This was back when people actually watched baseball games on TV. If the Reds were on, you’d turn off the TV volume and have the radio on instead.

One of my friends had a radio for his bike handle bars. This wasn’t some sleek iPod device; it was a big honkin’ radio. Big or not, I was so jealous of that radio because my friend could listen to Joe and Marty on his bike. It was a thing of beauty.

Joe and Marty each had a distinct style. Joe’s voice was raspy while Marty’s was clear and strong. When the Reds won a game, as soon as the final out had been made, Marty would call out, “And this one belongs to the Reds.” Joe had his own signature sign. After the post-game show was complete, the Reds broadcast would always conclude with Joe saying, “This is the old left-hander rounding third and heading home.”

Times are different now. I live in North Carolina, so I can’t listen to the Reds on the radio anymore. Furthermore, Joe Nuxhall passed away a few years ago. Marty still calls the games, but it’s not the same. While things have changed (not the least is the fact that I’m different now), those times listening to Joe and Marty made for some great memories.

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