‘Emotional day’ for Marty Brennaman as Reds fall to Brewers in his final game

Longtime broadcaster wraps up 46-year career with Reds

Marty Brennaman, the radio voice of the Cincinnati Reds for the last 46 seasons, broadcast his final game Thursday in the last game of the 2019 season at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds dropped a 5-3 decision to the Brewers as Milwaukee swept the three-game series. Brennaman won’t broadcast the Reds final three games of the season this weekend in Pittsburgh.

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Brennaman started the broadcast by saying, “It’s been a very emotional day for me, and I’m sure it’s going to be that way throughout the entire afternoon and into the night.”

The 12:35 p.m. game came on what Brennaman described as a “very, very unseasonably warm” day. The Reds played the Milwaukee Brewers, who clinched a wild-card spot Wednesday. While the Reds fell out of contention long ago, fans filled Great American Ball Park to say goodbye to Brennaman.


The day was all about Brennaman, who shared a moment with his partner in the booth, Jeff Brantley, early in the broadcast.

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“As far as yours truly is concerned, I’m sure many of you know after 46 years, this wraps up my career.,” Brennaman said. “It’s here at home as it started back in April of 1974, and Jeff Brantley, right out of the chute, 13 years together, and they have absolutely been a labor of love.”

“We’ve had a lot of laughs, big boy,” Brantley said.

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“We’ve had a lot of laughs,” Brennaman said. “I’m afraid today there are going to be a lot of tears. This is a very emotional day for me. Having spent all the time I have with you and with Yiddy (Dave Armbruster) and Thom (Brennaman) and Chris (Welsh) and Jim Day and Jeff Piecoro and Brian Giesenschlag and the list goes on and on, it’s going to be very difficult for me in the months ahead.”

Here are some other highlights of Brennaman’s last game:

Brantley on Brennaman's future: "You may be stepping away from the mic, but you're not stepping away from your buddies. It's not like you're leaving here and shutting it down forever. You've got your health. You're going to be able to do whatever you want to do when you want to do it, and as we used to say when we were playing, now you get to pick your own friends."

Brennaman tells a story: "The day started for me driving down to the ballpark. I got a phone call from (former Yankees manager) Joe Girardi. He's always been one of my favorite guys but never more so than taking the time to give me a call today. He rendered me in tears in my car. I will forever be indebted to him and have a sense of gratitude about Joe Girardi because it was a very thoughtful call."

Brennaman calls a home run: "Here is a high deep drive down the left-field line. If it's fair, it's good, and it is and it is. High towering drive that made it into the second deck in left field. Aristides Aquino with home run No. 18 on the year, all of them coming by the way since Aug. 1, and the Reds take a 1-0 lead off Anderson and the Brewers in the first inning."

Brennaman on scene at GABP: "Good crowd on hand. The weather could not be any better at this time of the year."

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine visits the booth: "It is great to be here. I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done. I don't know anybody who's traveled much more around the state than I have, and there's been many a night, Marty, for the last few decades where you've kept me company coming home. Late nights, 8, 9, 10 o'clock at night, I would tune you in, and I'm going to miss that. I'm going to miss that a lot."

Brennaman to DeWine: "I tell people all the time: those who listen to our broadcast at home, especially kids. I run into a lot of people who said, 'Back when I was a kid, I'd take my radio to bed and put it under my pillow and listen to the broadcast.' My response to that is no one has put more people to sleep than Jeff Brantley and I, especially when the club is on the west coast."

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

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