Say it ain’t so, Marty

January 21, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Earlier last week, Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman stunned Major League Baseball when he announced that 2019 would be his last season as the radio voice of the team.

The broadcaster’s son, Thom Brennaman, who works TV games for the Reds on Fox Sports Ohio, was part of the Reds Caravan East Tour stop Saturday at the Huntington Mall.

Following his father’s announcement, there was speculation that Thom Brennaman might step in to take over when the 2019 season ends, but he seemed to diffuse those rumors during a question-and-answer portion of the caravan visit.

“I think it’s good for the organization and I know it’s good for me and all the parties involved, staying on the television side for a while,” he said. “You know, I had a buddy of mine that said, ‘There’s no way the Reds would go hire some triple-A announcer, would they?’ I said, ‘Well hold on a minute now. Marty Brennaman was a triple-A announcer in 1973. That was 47 years ago. That hire turned out to be okay.’

“Whatever direction the Reds go in, I’m sure they are going to get a very talented person and that job will be there - good Lord willing, they’re healthy - a long, long time.”

Marty Brennaman was on the South Tour of the Reds Caravan last week, but his impact on the Reds - and his announcement - was felt throughout all tiers of the caravan.

Phil Castellini, the president and chief operating officer of the Cincinnati Reds, said that while Brennaman is retiring from the broadcast booth, he will still be a fixture within the organization.

“We plan on continuing with Marty being one of the faces of the franchise, so continuing with sponsorship, spokesperson-type relationships and one of the things we’re most proud of having Marty’s name on is our Reds Community Fund golf outing and so he definitely plans on continuing that as well, which we’re really happy about,” Castellini said. “Trust me, you’re still going to see plenty of Marty Brennaman and hear from him and we’re blessed that he’s agreed to do that and continue that relationship.”

Thom Brennaman said the first conversation that he heard of his father even mentioning retirement came a couple of years ago on a road trip in Milwaukee, but he had not heard anything more about it since that time until late in 2018.

After last season, Marty Brennaman and his wife Amanda, an Ashland native, took some time and got out of town for a while, but once they returned he sat down with Castellini and discussed the future.

“At the end of this year, I could tell that something was going on and he was flirting with that a lot more than he had been at other times,” Thom Brennaman said. “Then, when he went out of town for a little while, he came back and sat down with Phil Castellini and talked about it and Phil was the one who talked him into not just going through the season and just quitting at the end of the last game -- to announce it ahead of time -- so Phil deserves a lot of credit for that.”

While the discussions were taking place, Thom Brennaman said he tried to talk his father out of retiring.

“I didn’t want him to retire and I get a little concerned about what he’s going to go do, like a lot of people,” Thom Brennaman said. “Your dad, your mom, anybody out there working and, all of the sudden, they retire. What are they going to go do? Everything sounds great for a little while. There was a concern there, but if he’s excited, then I’m going to be excited.”

With Marty Brennaman’s announcement already public, the 2019 season is shaping up to be a celebration of the veteran broadcaster’s career that has spanned five decades. Brennaman will be in his 46th season with the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. The year is also the 150th in the history of the organization.

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