Brennaman says goodbye, leaves history behind


base images from; photoshopped collage by Jack Langen '20

Marty Brennaman has been a Cincinnati staple for nearly half of a century.

SEP. 26: It was a disappointing 5-3 loss, but 27,774 cheering fans still stood on their feet, as they said their goodbyes to Marty Brennaman.

The 77-year-old broadcaster signed off of the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network for one last time. Over an illustrious 46-year career, the Hall-of-Fame broadcaster has made some Hall-of-Fame calls.

Among those calls include Hank Aaron’s 714th career homerun, Tom Seaver’s no-no in ’78, Pete Rose’s 4,192th hit, and Tom Browning’s perfect game, to name a few.

While these are some of the moments baseball fans may first think of and historians may call attention to, Marty has a few favorite calls of his own. In an interview with mlbnetwork, Brennaman said that two of the calls that really stood out to him were Ken Griffey Jr.’s 500th home-run and Jay Bruce’s home run to clinch the NLCD title in 2010.

Marty on the call for Bruce’s walk-off. (Photo courtesy of

In fact, Brennaman revealed, Griffey Jr. requested that Marty be on the call for his 500th. This posed a challenge as Marty would not be on the mic for the third, fourth, or seventh innings, but Griffey was insistent. Griffey worked to draw up a statement saying that he wanted Marty to be calling play-by-play during each of his at-bats no matter the inning. Marty was clear that he did not want to take a moment away from another commentator, and made sure that his objections were made clear before agreeing. The Kid got his wish, and Marty immortalized the moment in words. The same thing happened when Griffey was nearing the 600 mark.

Marty has his head shaved for charity. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo)

One of the Marty Moments that I remember the best happened back in 2012, when the Reds won their tenth game in a row and Brennaman shaved his head. This fell on his 70th birthday celebration, and he did this for childhood cancer research, representing the Dragonfly Foundation. A touching moment, this raised over $50,000 for charity.

It isn’t just Cincinnati that will miss Marty. Fellow broadcasting legend Bob Uecker of the Brewers was in town for the series, joining Marty in the booth and talking to the media about their friendship. “I’ll miss Marty; I think everyone will—I mean the guy’s in the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greats in the game ever. My friendship with Marty has been as good as any that I have, and I’m proud of that.”

Even though Marty will be missed over the airwaves, he will not be missed around the city. Brenneman expressed over his last week as a Reds’ broadcaster the sentiment he has grown with the city. Teary-eyed, he told Reds fans over the airwaves, his last words on the radio, “I love you all. Thank you.” With that, he shared that he will stick around the city and extended the invitation to stop him on the street and chat.

Pullquote Photo

I love you all. Thank you.”

— Marty

In addition, the Marty Brennaman Golf Classic will continue in years to come. This year, it raised over $230,000 for the Reds Community Fund. He will also be working as an ambassador for the club, so we will see him in the Opening Day Parade and at Reds Fest, and he will still play an active role in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

While he will still be around town, I admit that it will be strange to tune into 700 WLW and not hear Brennaman’s voice. It has been a constant in all my life, and after every Reds victory—seldom as they may be—I will still hear in my head Marty saying “and this one belongs to the Reds.”