© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer

Marty Shaped My Thinking And My Career At A Very Young Age

Bill Michaels
January 16, 2019 - 10:27 pm

It was the summer of 1975.  I was 9 years old.  “Get to bed Billy” my mom would yell. 

I was more than happy to head upstairs and climb under the covers. I would pull the chain on my baseball bat lamp and my dog Georgie curled up on the end of my bed.

With my window open, I could hear the summer breezes in the nearby trees and the light wind-chimes my mom had hanging just below on our front porch.

Relaxed and tucked in, now I would slide my hand between the wall and my mattress to grab my hidden transistor radio and white, bulky earpiece.  I would whisper to Georgie, "Time for Marty and Joe on Reds Radio".  I followed every hit, every pitch, ever out made by the Big Red Machine.  The mental pictures were painted via the Rembrandtlike voices of Marty Brenneman and Joe Nuxhall. 
Pitch by pitch, I would hear the strategies and statistics.  In between each pitch Marty's friendly voice would take you inside Riverfront Stadium so clearly that I could almost smell the hot dogs.  Joe's colorful description made you feel the passion of each moment within the inning.  Sometimes the stories, the laughter and the carrying on was so wonderful, the game almost got in the way of the yarns my "friends" were spinning.

I’m 52 years old yet I can remember it like it was yesterday.  Only now, I can pick up my phone and text or call Marty just to say hello or ask him about his golf game, how his wonderful wife Amanda and family are doing, maybe dinner when we’re in town or anything else that comes to mind.

I have never told him that he’s been my idol since I first realized what radio was. I have never expressed my thanks to him for paving the path for my own career.  I just remember his advice when I started my own radio network almost 9 years ago, “It’s not the size of the signal, it’s the size of the personality and credibility behind the mic, the audience will find you Bill, I believe that."

A better more genuine human being has never been made.  

Congratulations on your retirement Marty, you deserve nothing but joy in your life.  Afterall, you have been giving all of us joy for 46 years now.