Friday, November 16, 2007

The Old Lefthander Heads for Home

As we get older, we find ourselves doing things we never thought we would - like glorifying moments of our youth.

But I couldn't help falling into that trap today when I went to the Cincinnati Inquirer website to find information about Wabash College's football opponent this weekend. And, there it was. Joe Nuxall, the 'ol lefthander', had died.

I'm not much of a baseball fan anymore. I guess all of the labor strife did me in back in the early 90s. And since moving away from Southern Indiana after college and into Central Indiana, there have been other diversions.

But as a kid I wanted to be a broadcaster and Marty Brennaman was my hero. He took over Reds' broadcasting chores in 1971 from Al Michaels. And of course, Joe Nuxall was at his side. He was a part of my youth. I spent many, many nights with a radio to my ear, sitting the living room watching TV. Or, I'd be up late lying in bed with the radio tuned to WLW 700.

I got an extraordinary opportunity in 1975. I was a senior at Northern Kentucky University and our radio-television instructor was a television producer for WLW. He arranged for me to sit in the booth with Marty and Joe. I don't have a lot of memories of that experience - other than awe. I remember Marty coming down to escort me up the elevator and offering some broadcasting advice. Nuxall left the booth when he wasn't calling the game.

I wish I had the two autograph a baseball. I'd treasure that. I didn't. But both of their signature calls resonate still today in my memory.

When the Reds win a ballgame, Brennaman gives his signature: "And this one belongs to the Reds!"

Nuxall would sign off his postgame show with: "This is the old lefthander rounding third and heading for home."


PS: The photo appeared in today's edition of the Cincinnati Inquirer

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