Will the Reds wear a patch to honor Joe next year? If they do I wonder what it will be?
That would be one of the many things they should do to honor Joe.
Will the Reds wear a patch to honor Joe next year? If they do I wonder what it will be?
That would be one of the many things they should do to honor Joe.
I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.
Marty: 'It's been special'
BY JOHN FAY
Marty Brennaman’s last time with Joe Nuxhall was like so many others – a little golf, a lot of gags.
Brennaman and Nuxhall played a charity golf match at Kenwood Country Club just before Brennaman left on a cruise. Brennaman was in the middle of the Pacific when he got word that his long-time partner had died. That made him grateful for the last day on the golf course.
“It was apparent that he was weak and not feeling well. I think he only swung the club about five times. I said, 'Joe, you need to go home.' He said, 'No, it's a beautiful day. I'm tired of laying around.' So he rode along the whole round. He laughed and joked. I feel blessed that I had a chance to spend that time together."
Oh, the times they had together. Brennaman and Nuxhall spend 31 years calling Reds games on the radio.
“In the 31 years we worked together doing 162 games, I don’t think there was more three or four times when we ever got mad at each other,” Brennaman said.
Then he corrects himself.
“I really can’t think of one time we stayed mad for any length of time,” Brennaman said. “It’s been special since Day 1.”
Day 1 was in 1974. Brennaman was hired to replace Al Michaels as the Reds’ lead radio voice. It was Brennaman’s first big league job.
“I met Joe in a photo studio in Dayton, Ohio,” Brennaman said. “The first thing I said to him is: ‘I’ve got your baseball card.’”
Nuxhall and Brennaman would be teamed together from ’74 to 2004, when Nuxhall was pushed into a part-time role. When you add spring training games, the two worked over 5,500 games together.
From the start, Nuxhall made Brennaman feel comfortable and showed him how to be a big leaguer.
“He was great to me, which meant whole lot,” Brennaman said. “He taught how to treat the fans from Day 1, how you have to be on 24/7, how to extend respect and attention fans deserves.”
The relationship was always good, but it got better in 1995 when Brennaman took up golf.
“We talked the other day about all the good times we had together playing golf on the road,” Brennaman said.
When Greg Hoard wrote Nuxhall’s biography, he compared to Marty and Joe as “an old married couple.”
Brennaman had no problems with the analogy.
“It’s pretty accurate,” he said. “One of us will be talking and we’ll stop, and the other will finish the sentence.”
Brennaman says you cannot overestimate Nuxhall’s place in the local sports echelon.
“With all due respect to all great sports figures in this area, no one is as widely loved as Joe,” Brennaman said. “People talk about Pete Rose. He isn’t even in Joe’s class.”
“It’s unbelievable. I’ve been blessed to have known him and work with him all these years.”
Brennaman has a great relationship with his current partners – his son, Thom, and Jeff Brantley – but it’s not quite the same.
“I’ll never have a new relationship – as good as it is with Thom and Jeff – to equal that one. The relationship has been incredible.”
And, Brennaman says, his old partner was one incredible man.
“I’ve never had one person say a negative thing about him,” Brennaman said. “I don’t care how good a person you are -- somebody is going to have something bad to say about you. But through all my travels in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, I never had anyone say anything negative about him.
“The way he related to people was just outstanding. He put everyone at ease.”
I, along with all of Reds nation stand in mourning. He was a terrific player, and a terrific man.
-LTlabnerIf you can't build a winning team with that core a fire-sale isn't the solution. Selling the franchise, moving them to Nashville and converting GABP into a used car lot is.
It feels as though I've lost a close relative. I never met him other than to get his autograph at a caravan stop a few years ago. I felt as though I've know him my whole life. Up until last season, I didn't get a whole lot of chances to watch games, so I was always listening to games with Joe and Marty. I'll miss hearing him...
"Six outs to a full inning. In a major league game, you're going to play 8½ or 9 innings. That is never going to change. The money changes. People change. But the game itself is never going to change. … The people who designed this thing are brilliant."-Jamie Moyer
You will be missed Ole Lefthander. I too listened to WLW today and heard the wonderful accolades attributed to Joe. As I'm writing this I'm thinking of those great Marty and Joe Kroger commercials. There's so much Joe has done for the Reds, Hamilton, Fairfield and Cincinnati too but it seemed to me his true passion was helping children to better themselves.
Joe Nuxhall was always one of the things that was right in/with baseball.
Rest In Peace, Joe.
You always exemplified dignity, character and class!!!
Many have made the observation that losing Joe is as if we had lost a member of our family. This is very true for me. I have listened to the Reds on Radio since I was very young. Before the advent of ESPN or Fox Sports Net--Marty and Joe were daily companions for me during the summer. Going to a Reds game meant a portable radio was mandatory. Even as television coverage became more prominent; I still made sure I turned the TV down and listened to the radio--even if the two didnt always sync up. Listening to Marty and Joe work the "Banana Phone" or go back and forth on the "Hot Stove League" are as enjoyable as game highlights for me.
While today was a tragic day for Reds fans and fans of baseball on radio--it was also a very heartwarming day being able to listen to all of the tributes and highlights of Nuxies career. The two things that stand out was during the eleven o'clock hour when WLW played an interview Bob Trumpy had with Joe to commerate his 50 years in baseball. And while I havent listened to Gary Burbank in years--I made sure I did today--he played a bit called "Joe Nuxhall Remembers" that was a fun break from the sadness of the day.
I had met Nuxie twice--during a book signing in Lima and during a Winter Caravan in Columbus--both times he treated everyone like old friends--sharing stories and laughs with everyone. I will also admit to shedding tears when first hearing the news and throughout the day. Unfortunately, I probably wont be able to make Tuesday's public viewing--but am thinking about coming down to see Joe's statue at GABP during the weekend. RIP "Old Lefthander"--I will definitely miss you.
I remember listening to one of the games Joe did this season with Thom. Junior smoked one and Joe screamed "Swung on and deep! Get up! Get outta here! GOODBYE BASEBALL!".
It felt really good to hear that one last time... God bless, Joe. What a career it was.
Feels like a little piece of my childhood has passed or more accuratley it feels as though I lost a family memeber. RIP Joe we love ya.
Last time I spoke with Joe was the final game, riding down on the elevator with him. I can't imagine spring training, the press booth, all these places I could always talk to him. His spirit filled every part of the Reds organization.
I wrote this song on the drive in yesterday...
We'll Miss you Joe
Joe, you were a warm voice in the night for me when I was a youngster, and as I've grown up, I understand that you are an even better person than you were a baseball man. My son, AJ was born on Friday, November 16th, just hours after you passed away. His name was originally going to be Andrew Jeremy. It's going on the birth certificate as Andrew Joseph in honor of you. RIP.
Thanks to some family connections, I had the great fortune of spending time with Joe on multiple occasions. By no means was I a household name to him, but you would never know it by the way he would greet and speak with me each time we got together. Whether it be for dinner, golf, or just at a celebrity event, he was as genuine as it gets.
Joe: Like many before me have stated, you kept me up nights - late, I might add - throuhgout my childhood. I didn't realize then what I do now which is I wasn't alone listening to you call the west-coast games at 1 AM Eastern (but I sure felt like you were just talking to me, I swear.) The memory of your voice will never fade in my lifetime and is part of my core as an eternal Reds fan. Baseball isn't the same anymore, we all know that. So I feel truly blessed to have experienced the genuine game as told by you for so many years. You made my life more enjoyable and there is no way to thank you for that. My own tribute to you will have to be in the form of something that was enjoyable to you - a Canadian Club Manhattan. A toast to a man who is one of very few that I can call a hero.
A flute with no holes is not a flute. A doughnut with no holes is a danish. -- Zen Philosopher Basho
www.OnCampusSports.com -- college sports covered by college students
Been out of town and it floored me to hear this. Joe is one of those guys that almost seemed indestructible. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
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.