I am a baseball nut. Specifically, I am a Cincinnati Reds nut. I grew up in southeastern Ohio in the 1960s and 70s, and some of my fondest memories are tuning into WHIZ-AM radio in Zanesville, Ohio and listening for hours on end to Reds broadcasts with Joe Nuxhall and his broadcasting partners (who, over the years, included Al Michaels and most famously, Hall of Famer Marty Brenneman). “Marty and Joe on the Radio” became a pleasant time of relaxation, listening to their game calls. My Dad and I spent hundreds of hours together listening to baseball while we did other father-son activities.
For 62 years, Joe Nuxhall was associated with the Cincinnati Reds. He was the youngest player in Major League Baseball history, making his Reds debut at the age of 15. FIFTEEN!! Yes, it was during World War II and the big leagues were decimated by players who had left to join the military, but Nuxhall’s accomplishment may stand forever. He spent parts of 15 years with the Reds before taking up the airwaves.
To paraphrase his radio partner Brenneman’s famous catch phrase, “Joe Nuxhall has rounded third and is heading home.”
Goodbye to Joe Nuxhall, and good-bye to another piece of my childhood, so much of which is slipping away. Memories…