Join Date: Sep 2006
Re: Joe Nuxhall Passes Away
Marty on Nuxhall's last show
On Oct. 3, 2004, Joe Nuxhall retired from the Reds radio booth. His guest on the Reds postgame show was Marty Brennaman. These excerpts are from that conversation.
Marty and Joe discuss Marty's first day in the booth, after the departure of Al Michaels.
Nuxhall: Marty, 31 years, pal, and I guess I go back to that first day in Bradenton, Fla., when you joined the ballclub, and that was OK, but then we went up to Al Lopez Field.
Marty: That's correct ... I remember it like it was yesterday. Chicago White Sox, you and I are sitting up there at the top of the stands ... and I welcomed people to Al Michaels Field! I mean, good lord. And I get no help from you. That's about the only time I think you left me out to dry in 31 years.
Nuxhall: Well, I was laughing.
Marty: I know you were.
Nuxhall: I couldn't talk.
Brennaman: And as soon as we go to the commercial break you say, 'I'll be damned. We haven't even gotten to the regular season yet, and I've got material for the banquet circuit next fall,' which made me feel even better.
Nuxhall: And of course I go back to my first day ... and I thought I had to describe every pitch. I mean you would have enjoyed that, you wouldn't have gotten any words in as much as you like to talk, because I thought every pitch they delivered I had to comment on.
Marty and Joe discuss the first time they met.
Nuxhall: You know, you look back on it, Marty, when you go back to that eventful day in Dayton, Ohio, when you joined us on the Reds caravan. I think we had to go to a studio, wasn't it, to get a picture?
Marty: We went to a photography studio in Dayton. Jim Winters took me up to Dayton early that day, I went to the Dayton Daily News (for an interview) ... and then you and I met with Jim Winters in that photography studio in Dayton. That's the first time we ever laid eyes on one another.
Nuxhall: Didn't realize we were left-handed, did we?
Marty: No, not then. Well, I knew you were left-handed because like I said, the first thing I said to you was, 'I have your baseball card.'
Nuxhall: That was nice.
Nuxhall: Like you and the vice president (Dick Cheney).
Marty: He said that, too, didn't he?
Marty and Joe discuss their favorite gags in the booth. In one instance, Marty made Nuxhall think he was about to be ejected from the stadium.
Nuxhall: I guess one of the scariest things that happened was when they first opened Turner Field in Atlanta, and, of course, me as dumb as I am, smoking cigarettes.
Marty: But I was guilty there.
Joe: The rules were you don't smoke in the stadium.
Joe: And I'm sitting there, having a Marlboro Light ...
Marty: It had already been set up.
Joe: You set me up.
Marty: So the guy gets upset there.
Joe: And he says, 'You smoker, get out of here!'
Marty: That's right, he did.
Joe: And you rolled over off your seat.
Marty: I was crying, boy.
Marty and Joe start to choke up as they reflect on their time working together.
Joe: You look at all this and it's been 31 years, and we've had some great times together. You look back on the '70s ballclubs, then the '90 ballclub which no one was expecting that much out of, go wire-to-wire and sweep the Oakland A's. What a great time we've had.
Marty: Well, in the old ballpark, and being here in Great American Ball Park for two seasons now, and as wonderful as this facility is, and as devoted as it is exclusively and 100 percent to the game of baseball, it will be hard-pressed to equal the run of years that that ballpark next door had. I mean with players and teams and moments, you know, I've been lucky because I was here through the most fruitful period of this club's history and of course sitting side-by-side with you for 31 years. And one nice part about it all is you are going to do some games next year.
Marty and Joe recall a game when Marty was stuck calling several consecutive innings without Joe.
Joe: I think our relationship's been outstanding and I look back on some of the things we just talked about and when you think of 31 years, sitting in a booth, side-by-side, and you have some disagreements, but I think we can honestly say we've not had one serious disagreement.
Joe: The only serious one ... and that was the day I got trapped in the Astrodome.
Marty: Now wait a minute, that's a stretch. You didn't get trapped. You didn't get trapped.
Joe: In my opinion.
Marty: You just decided not to come back.
Joe: They kept tying the score.
Marty: And the game went 16 innings and I was hotter than a match. I mean, I was not real happy.
Joe: I gotta be honest with you. I started back up.
Marty: I know you did, and somebody would score, and the other team would counter and I kept looking at that board and I was thinking now it's at 14, now it's at 16, and I'm saying 'Where in the hell is he?' And he never came back again.
Joe: They wouldn't let me out on the field to look up and say 'hi.'
Marty: I know they wouldn't. They wouldn't call timeout so you could wave at me. That would have really lit me up.
Marty and Joe wrap up their conversation.
Joe: Well Marty, again, thank you.
Marty: No, thank you Joe. Thank you. Thank you.
Joe: It's been the best.
Marty: I guarantee you there's been nobody that's worked together in this business that ever derived this much fun out of broadcasting a ballclub's games as we have had over the last 31 years. I mean, it's impossible. And this is a business where you're working together every day for six months. If you don't like the guy you're working with this job can be absolutely hell on earth. And thank God two left-handers came together in February of 1974 and were off and running from that point.
Joe: It's been great. I want to wish you the best. And certainly when you get to Ireland next week, or this week, stay in the fairway for heaven sakes.
Marty: That's going to be real tough.
Nuxhall: Is it? Marty, thank you.
Marty: Thank you, Joe.
Nuxhall: We'll see you later, pal.
Marty: OK, pal. Thanks.
Joe says goodbye to listeners.
Joe: You've been absolutely unbelievable and we appreciate every bit of support you've shown to us and to the ballclub. It's been a glorious career, and I mean that sincerely. Last Saturday night, what a big night that was for my family. And I want to thank you for it. It's been great. So, for the last time, this is the Ol' Left-hander, rounding third and heading for home. Good afternoon, everyone.