Wednesday, August 31, 2011
'56 of the month: Joe Nuxhall
Just under the wire again, eh?
Anyway, the no-talent buffoon who delivers the sports scores on our local news has this "blog" on the station's website. It's the worst blog I've ever read. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a blog. I don't know what it is. Vacant, obvious observations that everyone already knew by the age of 4, I guess. That about sums it up.
But the thing that irks me the most is the way he signs of each of these blog "posts." The fact that he has to even have a "sign-off" for that piece of drivel is evidence enough that the station manager is about 20 years too late in firing his sorry ass.
But the worst part is the content of his sign-off.
Tell me if you recognize it. Here it is: "This is (stupid hack broadcaster's name), rounding third and heading for home."
Now, if you are a Reds fan, you know exactly who this idiot is plagiarizing. But, for a long time, I didn't know. I just knew he was ripping off somebody, because the guy hasn't had an original thought come out of his mouth since I've been watching him. Every catch phrase has been lifted from one announcer or another from the past 40 years.
Eventually, I figured it out. The phrase was the original sign-off of the "Ol' Left-Hander" Joe Nuxhall. The former Reds pitcher, a broadcaster for Cincinnati for almost 40 years, was known for saying "this is the Ol' Left-Hander, rounding third and heading for home," on his broadcasts. He was beloved for it.
The bastard buffoon stole Nuxy's catch phrase!
I've always been interested in Nuxhall (not "Nuxall as the front of his 1956 Topps card reads) because, to me, he had the best career ever.
The guy was around baseball his entire life. Virtually his entire 79 years. He was most famous as a player for getting called to the major leagues as a 15-year-old, the youngest player to ever participate in a major league game. The game was June 10, 1944. The Reds were getting crushed by the Cardinals. It was the ninth inning. Nuxhall, who was signed because players were hard to find during the war, was called into the game. He faced nine batters, walked five, hit another, threw a wild pitch, allowed two hits and five runs. A 13-0 game became an 18-0 final.
Nuxhall was sent down after the game, but re-emerged with the Reds in 1952. He'd pitch in the majors until 1966. Then, as soon as he retired, he went directly to the broadcast booth and called games until 2004. Now, that is The Life. Play the game and then watch it. For 79 years. There is nothing better than that.
There are other baseball lifers, like Don Zimmer and George Kissell, who played baseball and then stayed in uniform, coaching and teaching. That's great if you like that kind of thing. But I'll never be confused for a teacher. I don't have the patience. To me, Nuxhall did the ultimate.
He played the game and then he watched it. And got paid for both.
The Ol' Left-Hander got it right. He was an original.
Unlike the local sports television hack.