Marty Brennaman

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Marty Brennaman
Marty Brennaman.jpg
Born (1942-07-28) July 28, 1942 (age 72)
Portsmouth, Virginia
Occupation Radio Announcer
Spouse(s) Amanda Brennaman
Children Thom, Dawn, and Ashley

Franchester Martin "Marty" Brennaman (born July 28, 1942 in Portsmouth, Virginia), is an American sportscaster and has been the radio voice of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds on the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network since 1974. Known for his opinionated, zealous, and sometimes contentious style,[1] Brennaman has been named Ohio Sportscaster of the Year and Virginia Sportscaster of the Year multiple times. In 1999, Brennaman was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Early childhood[edit]

Brennaman attended Randolph-Macon College and the University of North Carolina, graduating from the latter institution with a communications degree in 1965. He began his broadcasting career at WGHP-TV in High Point, North Carolina, and followed with stints in Salisbury, North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1971, Brennaman began his career as a baseball radio announcer for the Tidewater Tides (now Norfolk Tides), the then-New York Mets' affiliate in the International League (Class AAA).

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

Brennaman joined Joe Nuxhall on the Reds radio team in 1974. "Marty and Joe" became an institution in the city, appearing together in numerous radio and television commercials. Brennaman's trademark call of a Reds victory ("And this one belongs to the Reds!") was coined during his second game with the team. This same phrase was expected to be placed in lights, outside of the Reds new Great American Ball Park in 2003, but interference from Hamilton County officials nixed the idea, citing that the ballpark "belongs to the taxpayers" and not the Reds.[2] Instead, only Joe Nuxhall's traditional phrase of "...Rounding third and heading for home." was used.

Famous moments[edit]

Highlights of Brennaman's broadcasting career include these calls:

In 2000, Marty Brennaman won the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster "for major contributions to the game of baseball".

The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) has named Brennaman as Ohio Sportscaster of the Year twelve times and Virginia Sportscaster of the Year four times, for his versatility in calling baseball, football, and basketball games on both the collegiate and professional levels. In addition to the Virginia Squires and the Norfolk Tides, he has called games for the Indiana Pacers, Virginia Tech, and William and Mary, as well as NCAA men's basketball tournament games.

In 2005 Brennaman was inducted into both the NSSA Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Controversial moments[edit]

In 1988, Brennaman and Nuxhall appeared before National League President Bart Giamatti at the NL office, in New York in regards to accusations that Brennaman incited the crowd to cause a delay of game after an altercation between Reds manager Pete Rose and umpire Dave Pallone. After Rose was ejected from the game and Brennaman criticized Pallone during the live radio broadcast, fans littered the field with debris, leading to a game delay. Brennaman had this to say regarding the incident.

"I still maintain we were right", Brennaman said. "I'll never apologize for that. They accused us of inciting a riot. I don't think we did then and I don't think we did now."[3]

On June 12, 2007, Brennaman made an on air apology during the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network broadcast for a comment he had recently made comparing an upcoming road trip to the Bataan Death March. The Reds, who at the time held the worst record in the National League, were set to face the Oakland Athletics, the Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies on the road trip.[4]

On April 17, 2008, during the top of the eighth inning of a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Brennaman made comments about Cubs fans and the Cubs team.[5] This occurred after then-Reds player Adam Dunn connected for a home run. Cubs fans customarily throw the opposing player's ball back onto the field. In this case, the field was littered with multiple balls thrown by fans onto the field, resulting in a game delay as the field crew recovered the debris. Brennaman's statements were aired over the Reds Radio Network broadcast of the game.

"This is the kind of thing, quite honestly, right now, that makes you want to see the Chicago Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans, and I can't attest to the Yankees or Red Sox, because we don't see them with any degree of regularity unless it's inter-league play, but far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball, in this league, are those who follow this team right here. Throwing 15 or 18 balls onto the field, there's absolutely no excuse for that, and that is so typical of Chicago Cubs fans. It's unbelievable."

"You simply root against 'em. Y'know, I've said all winter they talked about this team winning the division, and my comment is they won't win it, because at the end of the day, they still are the Chicago Cubs, and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up."[6]

On April 18, 2008, Brennaman appeared in an interview on Chicago sports radio station WMVP-AM 1000 in which he reinforced his position on Cubs fans, and compared Chicago Cubs fans to rival St Louis Cardinals fans.

"If they can't understand what happened Wednesday night was completely over the top, then I'm sorry", Brennaman said. "I said how tough it is to root for the Cubs. I think a lot of people feel the same way I do, but they won't articulate it. I'm not afraid to say what I think."

"[Compared to Cubs fans] Cardinals fans are hands down the best in baseball. They respect the game. They don't go to the game to do stupid stuff."

"The Cubs have some great baseball fans. But the ones who act like idiots (ruin) it for people like me."[7]

On February 5, 2010, Brennaman was chastised for commenting that Marshall University's president must be "queer" for softball at the university's baseball banquet and fundraiser. Brennaman stated, "I probably could have made a better choice of words, but in no way does that reflect my opinion about gays at all. It's just a comment I made about the president of the university." [8]

Personal life[edit]

Brennaman has three children. His son Thom and daughter, Dawn, are children from his first marriage. He also has a daughter, Ashley, from his second marriage. He has five grandchildren. He is married to Amanda Ingram. Thom, also a broadcaster, had worked with the Reds, the Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, and was the number two baseball play-by-play man (behind Joe Buck) on Fox Sports' Major League Baseball broadcasts. On October 4, 2006, the Cincinnati Reds re-hired Thom to join his father in the radio booth as well as do play-by-play on television starting with the 2007 season.[1]. After years of making good-natured fun of his longtime broadcast partner, the late Joe Nuxhall, for playing golf, Brennaman is now an avid golfer himself and speaks of the sport often during his broadcasts. The Marty Brennaman Golf Classic takes place annually at Belterra Casino.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Cincinnati Enquirer, 07/23/2000 "Brennaman is outspoken, on the ball and fun", By Scott MacGregor Retrieved June 15, 2012
  2. ^ Erardi, John; Andrews, Cindi. "County balks on putting Brennaman's refrain on ballpark". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2008-07-28. "The response from the county was, 'No, you can't put that up there. It doesn't belong to the Reds. It belongs to Hamilton County.' " 
  3. ^ CNNSI.com, Reds announcer Brennaman elected to Hall of Fame Retrieved on April 18, 2008
  4. ^ ESPN.com, Brennaman apologizes for comparing road trip to Bataan Death March Retrieved on May 27, 2008
  5. ^ MLB.com, Piniella defends Wrigley Field faithful Retrieved on April 18, 2008
  6. ^ Chicagosports.com, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman rants about Chicago Cubs fans Retrieved on April 18, 2008
  7. ^ Chicagosports.com, Brennaman maintains criticism of Cubs fans Retrieved on April 19, 2008
  8. ^ Cincinnati.com, Reds announcer Marty Brennaman Remark doesn't reflect opinion about gays Retrieved on February 9, 2010

Bibliography[edit]

Preceded by
Al Michaels
Cincinnati Reds Radio Announcer
1974–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent