A baseball icon passed yesterday. Cincinnati Reds announcer and symbol Joe Nuxhall headed home to glory after a long bout with cancer. He was 79. Joe’s was one of the voices that ushered me into the world of baseball, as I listened to him every summer from my 10th birthday. He was the youngest man to ever play Major League Baseball, coming to his hometown Reds at the age of 15 during WWII. For more than 60 years, he was a faithful representative of the game and team he loved. Together with his Hall of Fame partner Marty Brennaman, he brought the game to life each and every night. By all accounts, Joe was one of the finest men alive and had dedicated himself to helping troubled youth. He was the heart and soul of baseball in Cincinnati in a way that only Peter Edward could rival, but unlike Rose, he never failed us, never let us down. The Old Left Hander is a man that ought to be inducted into the Hall of Fame under the new Buck O’Neil Award. He was an amazing ambassador for the game, and world is lesser place without him. His passing signals the passing of an epoch in both baseball and American life that can not be retrieved. The world is moving on.
I cried as I wrote this. O Dischordia. O Loss. Thanks, Nuxy.
“Oliver bounces it….FAIR! DOWN THE THIRDBASE LINE…BILLY BATES WILL SCORE AND THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS!”