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'Month of Marty': Reds to honor Brennaman

@m_sheldon
August 16, 2019

CINCINNATI -- As the 2019 regular season winds down, the Reds have made sure that fans will get plenty of time to say goodbye to broadcasting icon Marty Brennaman throughout home games in September. “We’re about to celebrate the month of Marty,” Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini said on

CINCINNATI -- As the 2019 regular season winds down, the Reds have made sure that fans will get plenty of time to say goodbye to broadcasting icon Marty Brennaman throughout home games in September.

“We’re about to celebrate the month of Marty,” Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini said on Friday. “What a fitting way to end a great celebratory year than to have an appropriate sendoff of Marty’s epic and historic career.”

The Reds announced that Brennaman will call his final game on radio on Sept. 26 vs. the Brewers to wrap up his 46 seasons for the club. In addition, the Reds Hall of Fame revealed that Brennaman will be the lone inductee in its 2020 class in April.

“His body of work, the history he represents, is almost a third of that 150 years warranted him being the sole inductee next year,” Reds Hall of Fame executive director Rick Walls said.

Brennaman, 77, has been in talks with Reds executives and the Hall of Fame about how the club wanted to send him off. Even though he announced in January that he would retire after the 2019 season, the emotion of Friday still caught up with him.

“I never dreamed when I started at a 1,000-watt radio station in 1965 that this would happen,” Brennaman said.

There will be a lot of moments next month where Brennaman and the fans can connect and celebrate. They include:

• Brennaman will welcome fans on the concourses of Great American Ball Park before the games on Sept. 3, 4 and 7.

• There will be a temporary radio booth with Brennaman set up at Gapper’s Alley behind section 119 for three games. That will include a full game broadcast on Friday, Sept. 20 with pregame broadcasts on Sept. 24-25.

• During the final regular-season series, Reds television play-by-play voice Thom Brennaman will join his father to call a game on Sept. 25. For the games on Sept. 24 and 26, Brennaman will be working with regular partner Jeff Brantley.

• The first 20,000 fans on Sept. 26 will receive a Reds transistor radio and earbuds so they can listen to Brennaman call his final game while at the ballpark. The seven-second delay will be eliminated by WLW-AM, so they can hear the call in real time.

• Following the game, all fans will be invited on to the field for a “Marty Party,” with Brennaman and Jim Day on a stage over the pitcher’s mound.

• If the Reds can claw into postseason contention by the end of the month, Brennaman would only call more games during the final regular-season series at Pittsburgh and any potential postseason games.

• The 2020 Reds Hall of Fame induction and gala weekend for Brennaman will be held on April 25-26 next season.

Brennaman, the 2000 Ford C. Frick Award winner in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is one of a kind in the industry for his candid assessments of plays and news as they unfold -- both positive and negative.

“I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long,” Brennaman said of his career. “I know it’s going to be a lot more quiet for ownership after I’m gone in September, because they don’t have to sit at home at night and cringe over something that I might have said, and look askance and say, ‘What the hell is he still here for?’ I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate everything.”

Brennaman has received accolades and tributes on the road from other clubs while visiting their ballparks for the final time. He’s often moved by the gestures and realizes some of the most emotional moments are coming in Cincinnati and they will be difficult to get through.

But he has no regrets about retiring. Brennaman and his wife, Amanda, plan to do a lot of traveling to Europe. He will still work for the Reds as an ambassador in future seasons.

“I’ve never looked back and questioned whether or not I made the right decision,” Brennaman said. “The one thing that I’m going to have to overcome -- and I’ve known this since the day I announced it in January -- I’m not going to miss the game. But I sure as hell will miss the people. I will miss people like this, people who work here in the ballpark. That’s going to be the hardest thing I have to overcome. Once I get beyond that, I will be good to go.”

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.