‘Marty and Joe Field’ represents legendary friendship

On Monday, June 28, Fairfield Youth Baseball Association field No. 1, formerly field No. 7, was dedicated to honor the best of friends — Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. Nuxhall died in November 2007.

The dedication took place between the field’s backstop and in front of the Nuxhall Pavilion statue. A podium was flanked by two bleachers full of Butler County Reds Rookie Success League players. Spectators, community leaders and Reds fans surrounded the bleachers.

“If this field epitomizes anything ... it really epitomizes a special friendship,” said Kim Nuxhall.

The Reds Community Fund, with the Fairfield Youth Baseball Association and city of Fairfield, led the charge to dedicate this field — which Kim Nuxhall played on as a youth player — in honor two men simply known as “Marty and Joe.”

Reds Community Fund executive director Charley Frank said Reds fans invited Brennaman and Nuxhall “into our homes, becoming parts of our extended families.”

“How lucky we are to have had that and enjoy that experience all those years,” Frank said.

Fairfield Mayor Ron D’Epifanio said Brennaman and Nuxhall “were great together.”

“When I try to think of a word to describe Joe Nuxhall and Marty Brennaman, it’s ‘real,’” the mayor said. “They’re real people, they don’t turn their backs on anybody.”

Next to his children and grandchildren, the greatest blessing in Brennaman’s life was to replace Al Michaels in 1974 as the Reds’ lead radio announcer, which directly led to his friendship with Nuxhall, a Hamilton native and long-time Fairfield resident.

“The thing I’m proud of is we were the longest-running regular tandem in the history of Major League Baseball broadcasting,” Brennaman said of his three-decade partnership with Nuxhall. “The only person I get emotional over and break up is Joe Nuxhall.”

Monday’s dedication “is a bigger thrill,” Brennaman said, than having a field named for him in Anderson Twp., where he resides.

“To have my name associated on a field that will be here for all time, and attached to Joe’s name — that’s a very special thing for me,” he said.

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