GUEST POST: The following appeared as a thread on Twitter authored by Kasey Leigh Fischesser (@KyRedsGal), a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. You may read more in-depth articles about the great Marty Brennaman, but you will not find one filled with more raw passion and emotion than this one. So, here’s to Marty and his final call for the Reds.
I’m usually fairly articulate and able to communicate well. I’m not sure today is that day, but I’m going to try. You see, it’s harder to express yourself properly when your heart is a little cracked. There have been so many well-written articles, blogs, tweets, posts, you name it, about what today is and what it means. I’m not special and I don’t have a better story than anyone else. But I’m going to try to explain why I’m a mess today. Hang with me.
Like I’ve mentioned, my sister was born with Spina Bifida. She’s 3 years younger than me. When she was born, my life changed completely. My parents all of a sudden had a lot more on their plates than just a new baby. Their lives were changed forever.
As you can imagine, the late 70’s and early 80’s didn’t have many if any of the resources available today for new parents coping with a baby with a ton of problems. So my parents were occupied a lot and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, my pony and my radio.
But on the days my dad was able to spend time with me, there were 2 things I remember. Him leading me around on my pony until I was able to ride myself. And listening to the Reds. Oh, we watched them too. But remember, that was rare. We had no cable and even if we did, baseball wasn’t televised like it is now. Not by a long shot.
My dad talked to me about the big Red machine. I felt like I’d watched Perez and Bench myself win 75 and 76. I felt like I’d seen Pedro Borbon bite a hunk out of his hat. I hadn’t. But I felt like I had. He taught me to appreciate hearing baseball. How it painted a picture. And honestly? I think it helps you learn the sport in a way today’s generation probably won’t get to.
My dad is a tough nut. But truth be told, he’s a little romantic about baseball. And he’d get as emotional as I would every time Joe Nuxhall would sign off “and this is the old left-hander, rounding third and heading for home.” And when Marty would exclaim “and this one belongs to the Reds!” It was a happy time.
We listened to a LOT of Reds baseball on the radio. The Grayson, KY affiliate was one of the oldest for Reds baseball. WUGO/WGOH. Still a private stop on the Reds caravan. Later we moved around a lot. We lived in WKY during the 90 season. We only got Reds news by box score in the paper and by tuning in to WLW after dark. Usually with me holding on to the antenna to get it to come in more clearly.
Over the years I spent a lot of time on the road, due to my career and a lot of other reasons. You know what my constant was from the end of March till the beginning of October? Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. I got to where I would absolutely yearn for baseball season because I needed something constant and familiar and their voices wrapped me up like a blanket. I could always count on them, even when absolutely nothing else was ok in my world.
I’ve always talked about how baseball can heal you. It did me. And those 2 men were a major part of it. When Joe retired, I was so sad. But I still had Marty. So I was ok, you know? Not everything was gone. I still had Marty.
But I knew somewhere deep that this day would come. And here we are.
I haven’t watched the MLB network piece yet. And I haven’t read all the posts and blogs and articles yet. I will. But I couldn’t do it yet because I could feel all this welling up inside. I know a lot of people will think this is way over the top dramatic. And maybe it is. But you can’t change something that’s meant so much to you for 44 years of life and not feel like a piece of your heart is bleeding a little.
So yes. I’m crying. And I likely will be if you see me at the game today. I usually do the last game of the season anyway, but today will be a little harder. Because things will never be the same again.
And even if the Reds don’t win and Marty isn’t able to say “and this one belongs to the Reds” one last time, it still does. And the Reds are winners because they’ve had him 46 seasons. # ❤️