June 11, 2013
Our springtime look at Cincinnati Reds radio announcers of the past concludes with the longest tenured announcer—Marty Brennaman. Franchester Martin Brennaman was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1942. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in the mid-1960s, Brennaman got into broadcasting sports, including the 1970 Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association, and the Norfolk Tides which—the New York Mets' AAA baseball affiliate. When Al Michaels left the Reds job after the 1973 season, Brennaman was chosen after a nationwide search. Marty's first big league game, Opening Day 1974, featured Atlanta's Hank Aaron belting record-tying home run 714. Marty's tag line, after a Reds victory, is: “and this one belongs to the Reds!” He gained a reputation for his eloquence at the microphone, particularly coming up with appropriate and succinct statements following major plays.
For 31 years, “Marty and Joe” became baseball's longest running baseball broadcast team, communicating to listeners the “highs” (Big Red Machine era of the 1970s) and “lows” (1982's 101-loss team) of Cincinnati Reds baseball. The pair witnessed World Championships in 1975, '76 and '90; Pete Rose's 4192nd base hit; and the return of hometown legend Ken Griffey, Jr. After Nuxhall's retirement, Brennaman was teamed with Steve Stewart, Jeff Brantley, Jim Kelch, and his own son, Thom Brennaman. This season will be Brennaman's 40th season in the Cincinnati Reds' booth. Marty won the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award in 2000 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2005. Given his accomplishments, there's little doubt Brennaman has a job in Cincinnati for as long as he would like to continue.
This is the final entry in our series, see the whole collection of stories here: Cincinnati Reds Broadcasters