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.

6 comments:

  1. He still holds the record as the youngest major leaguer in history at 15 years, 10 months and 11 days of age. Of course, he made one appearance, pitched 2/3 of an inning and had an ERA of over 67. He wouldn't pitch in the majors again until 8 years later.

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  2. Is Mel Busler still doing that job at Channel 7? He's been there since I was a kid.

    Back in the 1980s, it seemed to me that he was trying hard to be like Chris Berman in his recaps.

    On the other hand, he used to set up at local card shows in Watertown. That was kinda cool for me at 15, talking with a guy I saw doing the sportscast on the local news.

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  3. Nuxy was indeed the bomb. We miss him dearly in Cincinnati. The guys in the booth now are not good. Even Marty doesn't sound good without Joe talking to him.

    That phrase is actually on GABP on the outside...lit up at night so you can see it while you're driving down the highway.

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  4. Joe...Nuxhall...

    Do...not...overuse...the... ...

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  5. Don't you live how I rehashes your post in my comment. It was late. I was tired.

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  6. I still miss Nuxhall. I used to hide my walkman radio under the covers when my parents put me to bed, wait about 3 minutes, then listen to the end of the Reds game. It'll never be quite that fun again.

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