And this one belongs to…

26 09 2019

Marty!

Today is a bittersweet day for me.  It kind of snuck up on me, because I didn’t realize that Marty wasn’t calling the last 3 games (in Pittsburgh) until a few days ago.  So tomorrow is it.  Growing up in the northern burbs of Cincinnati so many years ago, there was a constant in Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall calling Reds baseball.  Nuxhall semi-retired in 2004, a few years after I finished college, and continued on occasion until his death after the 2007 baseball season.  But Marty kept calling ballgames afterward.

A couple of weeks ago, I became closer to my 40th birthday than my 39th.  There aren’t nearly as many things that remind me of my childhood as there used to be.  But there are some things that you tend to take for granted.  Some are still there.  The bakery and meat market I walked to as a kid is still there when I visit my parents, and they don’t look too much different from when I visited them.  The blanket and the 2 bears I had as a kid are still up in the attic of my parents house (my room growing up) are still there but a bit more dusty I’m sure.

Some things stay the same but change as well.  The Emperor still dies at the end of Return of the Jedi, but supposedly he’s coming back.  My baby sister is back in Cincinnati suburbs, but she’s not in Wyoming – she’s living in Indian Hill with her husband.  Marty is calling games on 700 WLW, but not with Joe the past decade-plus.

Some things are completely different.  After tomorrow, Reds radio broadcasts will fall into that category.  46 years. All 39 years of my life.  Something I have admittedly taken for granted and now am a bit despondent it’s ending.  Good for the man himself – Marty has earned a happy retirement and then some.  He’s shown loyalty to Cincinnati that I can’t say I have done myself.  But it doesn’t feel completely exaggerated to say that a part of my youth is gone tomorrow.  I had a walkman/radio combo with some seriously crappy headphones as a kid.  I’d burn out the batteries at least once a week in the summer.  I miss the nights when my parents would put us to bed, I’d wait until they’d close the door and turn off the lights – then sneak that walkman from under the sheets to listen to Marty & Joe call the Reds.  It’s weird, but it reminds me a little bit of when my dogs died.  I moved away from home so I didn’t see them (or listen to Reds radio) as much as I used to. But they were still home so I could go see them whenever I wanted to, right?  And then they weren’t, and it made me both appreciative of the so many times I had with them but sad I maybe hadn’t seen them a few more times.

I’ll be listening to Marty one last time tomorrow for sure (don’t tell my job), and thinking about the old lefthander, too.

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