The Ashland Beacon
February 1, 1974, to September 26, 2019, 46 years of broadcasting Cincinnati Reds baseball came to an end by, in my opinion, the greatest to ever call a game. My husband, Marty Brennaman, signed off the Reds radio network for the final time. I was one of the lucky ones to be in the booth when this historic day happened and I couldn’t be more in awe. As a kid growing up listening to Marty and Joe never in a million years could I have imagined being able to be by his side when he called his final out. What an honor.
The last week has been an absolute whirlwind of activity for the Brennaman household. After Marty’s golf event, which raised over $230,000, I was so happy to have one final off day in the baseball schedule to spend at home before he would broadcast his final three games. I was so excited to give him my retirement gift, which I had secretly delivered last Monday. When Marty arrived home from his golf event, he was greeted with a brand new 1950s era Crosley Rocket jukebox that plays 45’s. The amazing folks at Crosley worked with me to provide just the perfect gift for him. From helping me decide on the right jukebox to loading the records that I found all over the last few months in record shops from Cincinnati to Seattle to creating the title strips to in house delivery, they were fantastic. We spent all evening playing some of our favorite songs while enjoying a night in with just the two of us.
Last Tuesday, Marty started his day at the ballpark off with a press conference where he fielded numerous questions from all of the local media and I spent time with a local network station at the ballpark talking about my thoughts on his retirement. That evening I sat in my regular scout section seats and listened to my husband work for the very last time. It was a bittersweet day to be sure.
On September 25, we both had an early day. I was on the local Fox morning show to discuss his retirement and then I met him at the Grand Opening of the new Kroger store in downtown Cincinnati where he served as emcee and signed autographs for this historic day. That evening we welcomed in all of our family to enjoy the game from a beautiful suite at Great American. Marty and his son Thom called the game together from the Gappers Alley temporary radio booth. Marty and Thom haven’t worked much together over the last several years but Marty really wanted one final game with his son. It was a great night.
Finally, Thursday, September 26 arrived. A day that had been circled on my calendar for well over a year. A day that seemed so far away. Marty wanted his day to be just a normal day at the ballpark, keeping to his normal routines and broadcasting what we all hoped would be a Reds victory. The day turned out to be anything but normal. The emotions were just too great and no one was acting business as usual. Starting with the larger than expected crowd gathering outside of GABP to celebrate his final day to the in-game comments and finally the after game activities, it was a day with so many emotions. We could have never anticipated the outpouring of love and respect we all received from so many fans, staff, players, coaches and just everyday folks living in Reds Country.
The activities and events that the Reds organization did to recognize his retirement was above and beyond and the after game on field ceremony was a first in Reds history. After the final out in a 5-2 loss to the Brewers, fans were able to come on to the field to celebrate and not just in the outfield but also the infield grass, pitchers mound and all points in between. It was a sea of Red and one of the most emotional days of our lives. We can’t thank Reds country enough for this unforgettable day.
As his wife, the words my husband said about me in his comments on the air and on the field will stay with me until my dying days. I’m not sure a spouse could be more proud than I was of him that day.
Now we start the next chapter of our lives together and while I’m going to miss him as a fan calling the play by play for my favorite baseball team, I’m going to love having him around for more normal hours every day. I can’t wait to see what all is in store for us.
As for the Brennaman Report, thank you to all who have read this column to follow along in our baseball lives. While we won’t be at as many baseball games next year, this Report will continue in some form. I hope you will continue to follow. It’s been some kind of a ride.
Until next time,
Amanda Ingram Brennaman