Oakland trip reminds Brennaman of '90 champs

May 9th, 2019

OAKLAND -- For Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, returning to the Oakland Coliseum conjures inevitable and indelible memories of the 1990 World Series, which Cincinnati captured by sweeping the Oakland A’s in four games.

“The A’s were prohibitive favorites,” recalled the popular Brennaman, who plans to retire after this season, his 46th behind the mic. “And then it was over in the blink of an eye.”

After the Reds won the first two games in Cincinnati, they maintained momentum by whipping Oakland in Game 3, 8-3, as Chris Sabo homered twice. Cincinnati mercifully ended the Series one night later, with a 2-1 victory as Jose Rijo retired 20 consecutive batters at one juncture.

Encountering retired Reds second baseman and Bay Area product Joe Morgan in the Reds' clubhouse after the game, Brennaman recalled the Hall of Famer saying, “Do you know what the most amazing thing about this is? They could play every day from now until Christmas and the A’s still wouldn’t win the World Series.”

As Brennaman related, that’s because the A’s were susceptible to power pitching. And no group of relievers threw harder than Cincinnati’s “Nasty Boys” -- Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers.

The club’s camaraderie was just as matchless as its bullpen, in Brennaman’s view.

“That's my favorite team of all the years I’ve been around,” said Brennaman. “The guys had the best chemistry of any team I’ve been around. Whether you were black, white or Hispanic, it made no difference. Everybody had everybody else’s back.”

Reds owner Marge Schott was not nearly as charmed. Amid talk that she was upset at being denied additional profits had the Series lasted longer, she declined to organize a victory party for her triumphant team. As Brennaman recalled, the team’s “celebration party" -- “That’s in quotation marks,” he said -- congregated in a vacant banquet room at San Francisco’s Parc 55 hotel. Brennaman, outfielder Billy Hatcher and coach Tony Perez walked across the street to a fast-food restaurant to buy burgers and fries for everyone.