Someone once told Marty Brennaman he has broadcast 6,500-7,000 baseball games in 46 seasons.
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“That’s enough,” Brennaman said. “I don’t need to do anymore.”
Brennaman, who announced in January he would retire after the season, won’t miss the game. He will miss the people he sees at Great American Ball Park and around baseball. That will be the toughest thing for him to overcome next season.
A radio career that began in 1965 and moved to Cincinnati in 1974 — just in time for the glory days of the Big Red Machine — will end in September unless the Cincinnati Reds rally to make the postseason. They had a 3 percent chance entering the weekend, according to FanGraphs.com. Even if the Reds have fallen out of contention by the final week, fans will have a reason to tune in to the games on the radio because it will be their last chance to hear Brennaman calling games.
On Friday, the Reds announced Brennaman will be their sole inductee into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2020 and also revealed their plans for honoring him in his final season. Here's a rundown of what to expect:
Sept. 3, 4 and 7: Brennaman will visit with fans on the concourses before games on these dates.
Sept. 20: Brennaman will broadcast a full game against the New York Mets in a temporary radio booth behind section 119 in Gapper’s Alley.
Sept. 24-25: Brennaman will return to the temporary radio booth for pre-game broadcasts during the final regular-season series at home against the Milwaukee Brewers. Gates open at 5:40 p.m. for the 6:40 p.m. game.
The first 20,000 fans at the Sept. 24 game will receive a replica ticket from Brennaman’s first broadcast on April 4, 1974.
Brennaman's son Thom, the voice of the Reds on Fox Sports Ohio, will join Marty for the entire radio broadcast on Sept. 25.
The first 20,000 fans at the Sept. 25 game will receive a print celebrating Brennaman’s 2020 induction into the Reds Hall of Fame.
Sept. 26: This will be Brennaman's final game behind the microphone if the Reds have been eliminated from the playoff race. If they still have a chance, he will call the final series in Pittsburgh Sept. 27-29.
The first 20,000 fans at the Sept. 26 game will receive a Reds transistor radio so they can hear Brennaman broadcast the game.
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“We are grateful to our partners at 700 WLW who are eliminating the delay for Marty’s final game,” said Phil Castellini, Reds President and COO, “which will allow fans in the park to hear Marty’s calls in real-time as they are watching the plays live.”
After the game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 26, the Reds will invite fans onto the field for a special program honoring Brennaman. He will be on a stage at the pitcher’s mound with Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster Jim Day.
Brennaman got emotional talking about the weeks ahead during a press conference Friday at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
"I never dreamed when I started at a 1,000-watt radio station in 1965 that this would happen," he said. "You can't expect this."