Following Thursday’s Reds game vs. the Brewers, iconic radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman will be retiring after 46 seasons behind the microphone.
Brennaman, 77, has called many memorable games during his career. The list includes the Big Red Machine years, the 1975-76 World Series winners, the '90 World Series champions, Pete Rose becoming baseball’s all-time hits leader and so much more. It’s among the many reasons he was named the 2000 Ford C. Frick Award winner in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But he's also touched the lives of countless fans, listeners, media members, players, coaches and managers -- and not just in Cincinnati, but around the league.
For a special farewell column on MLB.com, Brennaman had a conversation in his radio booth with Reds beat reporter Mark Sheldon about where his mind is ahead of his three final games as he prepares to step aside for good.
I’m not second-guessing my decision.
All of this attention, I’m very uncomfortable with. I’m very honored that people think enough of me and my career that they feel compelled to do something out of the ordinary. But I would have been just as happy to do the last game of the season and then announce the next day that I’m not coming back and that would’ve been it. That’s not the way it played out.
I will wake up Friday morning and the largest chapter in the history of my life will be over with. I’m good with it. Somebody said to me two or three months ago, “Do you know how many games you’ve broadcasted?” I’m not wrapped up in numbers, but this club wanted me to work until I had 50 years in. I said, “I’m going to be 81 years old, that’s not going to happen.” This fellow told me, “You’ve broadcast between 6,500-7,000 baseball games.” My response to him was, “Now I know that I’ve seen enough.” I’m good for it.
I don’t really know how much baseball I will see in person. My wife, Amanda, and I have talked about it. Come next year, just to give you an example, if we had something set for months and the date comes and it’s Sept. 21 and that night all of a sudden -- and I hope it happens -- where the Reds are playing the Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates or Brewers where this game is huge in terms of this club’s chances of getting into the postseason, I wouldn’t change my plans to stay home and watch it. I believe that. It has nothing to do nor does it minimize the importance or impact that this team and ownership and the city that has meant in my life.
Nobody has had a better gig than I have. To be in the same city for 46 years, doing what I enjoy doing and being one of only eight guys to have spent at least 45 years broadcasting big league baseball with every one of those years with the same team, I can’t ask for anything more than that. Especially having it happen in this town.
This town, it doesn’t get any better than this town.
Those of us who have a better feel for how important it is to live in this city, we have a better idea from having come from somewhere else than the people who were born and raised here and never lived anywhere else. They take it for granted. I’ve lived in a number of different places. There’s nowhere I’ve ever lived that can even come close to giving you the quality of life in almost every respect that the city of Cincinnati gives you.
All of the importance and attention I have gotten this season, I feel like I should be repaying somebody and not them repaying me.