CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Joe Nuxhall, who pitched his first game for the Reds as a 15-year-old during World War II and became the team's beloved radio broadcaster, passed away last night. He was 79 and had been battling cancer for several years.
The morning Cincinnati Enquirer delivered to my home carried not a word about the old lefthander's death just before 11 p.m. There was time to get the story in the paper, and in another era it would have been there. But somebody balked or dropped the ball. The link above about Nuxhall's death is from the Cincinnati Reds' portal. And there's more about Joe at today's The Cincinnati Nation.
[UPDATE: 4:22 pm -- There's a great tribute to Joe at Weapons of Mass Discussion now. It captures the man, it captures what he was like, and it explains what he meant to the people of southern Ohio. Thanks, WMD.]
Nuxhall grew up in Hamilton. He never forgot his Ohio roots. He was homespun in the broadcast booth, definitely not slick or polished, and was a pure delight to hear. He made summer nights better -- it was glorious to have a radio, the Reds, a cold brew and Nuxy doing the play-by-play. People never lost the habit of standing on their patios or sitting on their porch steps when Nuxhall and his partner, Marty Brennaman, were on the radio. Nuxhall especially was part of the fabric of life in Cincinnati and all across southern Ohio. The tagline he used to end his shifts in the booth was, "The Old Lefthander is rounding third and heading for home." Well, he's been called home. No doubt he's safe and there's a crowd cheering him at the pearly plate.