Marty Brennaman. The Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame radio announcer called his last Reds game today; he’s retiring after 46 seasons behind the microphone. Unfortunately, the Reds couldn’t send him off with a win (and the opportunity to deploy his catchphrase “And this one belongs to the Reds!”, but that’s not all that unusual, I guess — over that 46-year span, he got to welcome three World Series championships, none of which came in the last 29 seasons.
I moved to the Cincinnati area when I was not quite 13, in the summer of 1978, just after the Reds’ golden era. I became a fan when we got there — I had never been in a major league market before, and had previously pulled for the Cardinals, as I had cousins living in Kirkwood, MO. Brennaman had joined the broadcast team in 1974, and so he has been the team’s voice for the entire time that I’ve followed the team, paired with the late Joe Nuxhall for decades, and Jeff Brantley in more recent years.
When we first moved to the area, my folks took my brother and me to the Florence Mall, where I would later get my first real job. They were buying school clothes, but the only thing I can remember them buying was a T-shirt for my brother, with the team’s Wishbone C, an image of mascot Mr. Red. . . and Brennaman’s signature phrase.
I live in Braves country now, I guess, but I don’t follow baseball as closely as I once did. Still, in the part of me that will always be from the Cincinnati area, the part that has found its way into my memory and my fiction, I pull for the Reds, and the voice on the soundtrack is that of Marty Brennaman.
May his retirement be long and happy. So long, Marty — thanks for the games.