Marty Brennaman told it like it was for 46 seasons as the radio voice of the Cincinnati Reds. He never hid his emotions. It was no different on his final day on the job.
» PHOTOS: Marty’s last day
Brennaman called his final game Thursday at Great American Ball Park. A man who witnessed World Series triumphs in two of his first three seasons as “This one belongs to the Reds” became his trademark saw the Reds lose their final home game of the 2019 season 5-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers.
This game didn’t belong to the Reds. Neither did the season. But the day belonged to Brennaman.
After Brennaman said goodbye on air, wiped away tears and hugged his radio partner Jeff Brantley, he headed to the dugout and then walked a red carpet, with fans lining each side, to a stage near the pitcher’s mound. Thousands of fans crowded around the stage. They held up signs reading, “Thank you, Marty.” Those not close enough to the ceremony sat down in the outfield to watch the scene on the scoreboards.
» RELATED: Hal McCoy on Marty
Reds fans showed Brennaman love, and he returned it.
“Thank you so much for coming today,” he said. “Thanks for your love. Thanks for your loyalty. And thank God you call Cincinnati home. I love you all.”
Brennaman’s family, including his wife Amanda, and son Thom, who calls Reds games on Fox Sports Ohio, joined other family members, including one grandson making sandcastles in the dirt, at the ceremony. Brennaman had a special tribute for his wife.
» EMOTIONAL DAY: Highlights from Brennaman’s final broadcast
“She said a million times, if you want to work until you’re 100 years old, you work until you’re 100,” Brennaman said. “If you want to retire, you retire. I did this of my own volition, but the fact that she’s my best friend and my partner had a lot to do with it because we have places we want to go and things we want to do, and thank God, I’m healthy enough to be able to do them.”
Also present was the family of Brennaman’s former colleague, the late Joe Nuxhall. Brennaman saved his final thanks for the Nuxhalls.
» MORE McCOY: Last game belongs to Marty
“I hope you know the 31 years I spent with your dad, there was nothing more special,” Brennaman said. “He could have made it very difficult for me when I came here in 1974, but he welcomed me in and it created inroads for me immediately. The longer we went together, the closer we got — so close as I’ve said a million times I could stop a sentence in the middle of it and he could finish it. We used to get mail addressed to ‘Marty and Joe, Cincinnati, Ohio.’ No address or nothing. They knew where to send it.”
Brennaman listened to his colleagues, Jeff Brantley and Jim Day, speak about him. Earlier, he saw the Reds players wave to him from in front of the dugout before they headed to the clubhouse and then the airport for a flight to Pittsburgh for the final series of the season.
» RELATED: Nuxhall family on Marty’s retirement
Brennaman also heard from members of the Big Red Machine. Joe Morgan and Pete Rose were shown speaking in videos on the scoreboard.
“It will be unbelievable to me to watch a game and not hear, ‘This one belongs to the Reds,’ because that belongs to you,” Morgan said.
“You’ve entertained millions of us fans for many years,” Rose said, “and we’re going to miss you at the ballpark. We’re going to miss you on our radio. We’re going to miss you on the road trips. We’re just going to miss you because you’ve been so important to this organization and this city for such a long period of time.”