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Marty Brennaman announces he will retire following 2019 season

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This will be the play-by-play announcer’s 46th season calling Reds games.

San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds - Game Four Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Longtime Cincinnati Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman took some time on Wednesday to announce that he will be retiring following the 2019 Major League Baseball season.

Brennaman, 76, first joined the Reds’ radio team alongside Joe Nuxhall in 1974, and has been the voice of the team’s broadcasts ever since. He is a Ford C. Frick Award winner, a 17-time Ohio Sportscaster of the Year, and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.

The Portsmouth, Virginia native replaced Al Michaels in the Reds’ radio booth following two years of calling Virginia Tech football and basketball games and one year of calling Tidewater Tides AAA games. Over the next four and a half decades, Brennaman became a polarizing figure in both Reds and baseball circles, drawing plenty of adoration from fans for having a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is approach to covering the team, while also drawing plenty of ire for his apparent eagerness to overly criticize the team’s most successful players.

He has been just as polarizing outside of calling Reds games. For more than 10 years, Brennaman has hosted an annual golf classic, which raises money for the Reds Community Fund, and has become something of an ambassador for the Dragonfly Foundation, an organization that benefits children with pediatric cancer and their families.

But his “tell-it-like-it-is” approach to covering games has also landed him in trouble several times over the years. He has had to apologize for comparing a Reds road trip to the Bataan Death March, and for saying that Marshall University’s president must be “queer” for softball. Most recently, his relationship with fans took a hit before the 2017 season, when he went on a tirade about what the Reds were paying Joey Votto — the franchise’s all-time leader in OPS.

No replacement has been announced for Brennaman in 2020, though it would seem that Jim Day could be considered a frontrunner for the spot. Day has hosted Fox Sports Ohio’s “Reds Live” show since 2000, began play-by-play announcing on TV in 2011, and jumped onto the radio to fill Marty’s role for a number of games during the 2018 season.