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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Niehaus, not Nuxhall

Seattle play-by-play man Dave Niehaus was named the 2008 recipient Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

That means Joe Nuxhall failed to get, despite getting majority of the fan vote to make the ballot of finalists.


at 2:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all rigged anyway. The voices and votes of the fans do not matter. Typical.

at 2:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hall of fame voting is as bad as the electoral college. Its a good thing the history of baseball is a well documented thing or else some great people and events would never be known over the NewYork Boston Big Market hype.

at 2:18 PM Blogger Haystacks Calhoun said...

Pitiful....the members who voted this year should absolutely be ashamed of themselves....

There is nothing else to say.

at 2:24 PM Blogger IndyCat said...

We all agree that the Old Lefthander should have been elected. Having said that, Niehaus wasn't exaclt undeserving of election. He has been the voice of the Mariners their entire existence. He also had been a Frick finalist like 5 time before. Good for him.

The thing to do is to put Nux on the final ballot again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, until the Hall wakes up and elects him.

at 2:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can email them your displeasure (for what it's worth)

at 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We knew it, but this recent vote just proves it - the Hall of Fame is a sham!!
Holds absolutely no interest for me any longer. HOF - totally irrelevant

at 2:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all loved Joe the man. We tolerated Joe the broadcaster because we loved Joe the man. The Hall of Fame stands for excellence in playing/broadcasting. As much as it pains any of us to admit it, Joe the broadcaster was not excellent.

at 3:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Nuxhall deserves induction not in the broadcaster wing, but in the regular Hall voting for his lifetime of contributions to the game.

If a guy like Joe can't make it for what he gave to the game, nobody should.

-- Red at the Beach

at 3:14 PM Anonymous Kramer1 said...

Exactly, Anon 2:52. Hell of a nice guy. A Cincy icon. Not a HOF broadcaster.

Our fans like to use the same love affair with Concepcion to try and warrant his induction. Davey is not HOF caliber, either.

at 3:43 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

From the WWW;

Dave Niehaus (born February 19, 1935 in Princeton, Indiana) is an American sportscaster. He has been the lead play-by-play announcer for Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners since their inaugural season.

Niehaus graduated from Indiana University in 1957, entered the military, and began his broadcasting career with Armed Forces Radio. He became a partner of Dick Enberg on the broadcast team of the California Angels in 1969. While there he began using his signature phrase of "My, oh my!", a variation on Enberg's exclamation of "Oh, my!" Later he would also add to it for home run calls, "It will fly, fly away!" Niehaus also broadcast the Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), and UCLA Bruins football and basketball during this period.

In 1977, Danny Kaye, part-owner of the expansion Seattle Mariners, recruited Niehaus to become the franchise's radio voice. Here he developed his most distinctive catchphrase, used whenever a Mariner player hits a grand slam: "Get out the rye bread and the mustard, Grandma, it's grand salami time!" As of the end of the 2007 season, Niehaus had called 4,817 of the 4,899 games the Mariners had played since thier inception.[1] Heart problems forced Niehaus to undergo two angioplasties in 1996, causing him to give up smoking and change his diet.

As an announcer, Niehaus has the reputation of being somewhat of a "homer" and cheering on the team in his broadcasts. Despite working for a franchise that was long abysmal, his talent was recognizable, and Niehaus was considered one of the few attractions for Mariner fans. Even in the period before the team's memorable 1995 season, the Mariners were regularly one of the leading major-league teams in terms of the percentage of radios in use.[citation needed]

Niehaus has become immensely popular in Seattle, twice being named Washington Sportscaster of the Year. The team chose him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the opening of its new ballpark, Safeco Field, on July 15, 1999.[1] In 2000, he was the second figure to be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.[1] In 2008, Niehaus was named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, which recognizes career excellence in baseball broadcasting and is considered the highest baseball broadcasting honor.[1]

In 1999 for Nintendo 64, Niehaus was added to Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest as an announcer during gameplay.

Joseph Henry Nuxhall (July 30, 1928 – November 15, 2007) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played most of his career for the Cincinnati Reds. He held the team's record for career games pitched (484) from 1965 to 1975, and still holds the team mark for lefthanders, though he was long most remembered for having been the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game in the modern era, pitching 2/3 of an inning for the Reds on June 10, 1944 at the age of 15 years, 10 months, and 11 days due to player shortages during World War II. Long known as "The Ol' Lefthander," he compiled a career earned run average of 3.90 and a record of 135-117 during his 16-season career, with all but 5 of his victories being earned with the Reds. After retiring as a player, he became a broadcaster for the Reds from 1967 through 2004. Nuxhall died in 2007 after a long bout with cancer.

Contents [hide]
1 Wartime roster
2 Teenage debut
3 Minor leagues
4 Return to "The Show"
5 Second career
6 His book and character education fund
7 Community remembrance
8 References
9 Footnotes
10 See also
11 External links

[edit] Wartime roster
Nuxhall was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio. During World War II, many regular baseball players were unavailable while serving in the military. Meanwhile, Nuxhall was the biggest member of the ninth grade class in nearby Hamilton, Ohio at 6' 2" and 190 pounds -- a left-hander with a hard fastball, but not much control. He had already been playing in a semipro league with his father for a few years. Scouts looking to fill out the Reds' depleted roster were following Orville Nuxhall, Joe's father, in 1943. But they were informed that the elder Nuxhall wasn't interested in signing a professional contract because of his five children. The scouts then became interested in the son, who was only 14 at the time. After waiting until the following year's basketball season was over, Nuxhall signed a major league contract with the Reds on February 18, 1944. General manager Warren Giles intended to wait until school was over in June to add him to the team, but more of his players were inducted into the service in the spring. With permission from his high school principal, Nuxhall was in uniform with the team on Opening Day.

[edit] Teenage debut
β€œ I was pitching against seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders, kids 13 and 14 years old... All of a sudden, I look up and there's Stan Musial and the likes. It was a very scary situation.[1] ”

On June 10, the Reds were playing the first place St. Louis Cardinals at Crosley Field and trailing 13-0 in the ninth inning when Manager Bill McKechnie called on Nuxhall to enter the game. He started well, retiring the first batter he faced, Cardinals shortstop George Fallon, on a groundout. But he was unable to get out of the inning, yielding five walks, two hits, one wild pitch and five runs before being relieved. He spent the rest of the 1944 season in the minor leagues. But unlike Jake Eisenhart, who made his debut for the Reds the same day and got the last out of the frame, Nuxhall would return to pitch in the majors.

Nuxhall remains the youngest person to play in a major league game in the modern era (since 1901). In 1887, 14-year-old Fred Chapman pitched five innings in one game, and is the youngest-ever participant in major league history.

[edit] Minor leagues
Following his appearance with the Reds, he was assigned to the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League, but pitched only a third of an inning there (he struck out his first batter, then allowed a hit, five walks, a hit batter and five runs). Nuxhall attended spring training with the Reds in 1945, but decided to remain home until he finished high school the following year. He regained his amateur status and played football, basketball and baseball for Hamilton High School as a senior in 1946, earning all-state honors in football and basketball. Over the next five years, Nuxhall played in the minor leagues with Syracuse, Lima, Muncie, Columbia, Charleston, and Tulsa before returning to the Reds in 1952.

[edit] Return to "The Show"

Statue of Joe Nuxhall at Great American Ball Park in CincinnatiNuxhall spent almost 15 of his 16 major league seasons with Cincinnati, where he was a two-time National League All-Star and led the league in shutouts in 1955. He also played for the Kansas City Athletics and Los Angeles Angels in the American League before returning to the Reds. In 1965 he broke Eppa Rixey's team record of 440 games pitched; his final mark of 484 stood until Clay Carroll surpassed it in 1975.

[edit] Second career
Nuxhall retired from the Reds in April 1967 and immediately began his second career as a Reds broadcaster despite his lack of broadcasting experience.

Part of his trademark radio signoff phrase - "This is the old lefthander, rounding third and heading for home" - is displayed on the outside of the Reds' stadium, Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003. A likeness of Nuxhall (see photo) is one of four statues that decorate the main entrance of the stadium. He was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1968, and officially retired from the Reds on October 3, 2004, 60 years after his pitching debut, though he still made guest appearances on some game broadcasts. Also, for many years after retiring as a player and during his broadcasting career, Nuxhall pitched batting practice for the Reds.

On June 10, 2007, the Reds honored Nuxhall, Marty Brennaman, and Waite Hoyt with replica microphones that hang on the wall near the radio booth. At Redsfest in December, 2007 the Reds announced Nuxhall will be honored throughout the 2008 baseball season - their uniforms will display a dark patch with the word "NUXY" printed in white.

[edit] His book and character education fund
In September 2004, Orange Frazer Press released Joe: Rounding Third & Heading for Home.[2] A portion of the proceeds from the book benefits the Joe Nuxhall Character Education Fund, which was established in 2003 to underwrite character development programs and projects for children.

[edit] Community remembrance
In the days following Nuxhall's death, several radio stations in the Cincinnati area devoted shows to him, and fans left cards, flowers and banners at the statue of Nuxhall at Great American Ball Park. A public visitation ceremony was attended by thousands of fans and several local and national sports and broadcasting personalities.

Hmmm... Joe Nuxhall was the youngest to ever play the game, did more for baseball, the community, and wasn't any more of a homer than Dave Niehaus.
Joe Nuxhall has an actual legacy in the game of MLB, while Mr. Niehaus doesn't (not that I'm aware of).
I'm sure that Mr. Niehaus is a great person, and that Seattle fans are happy for him.

That being said, Joe was robbed.

at 3:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooo....Nuxie's "bad" broadcasting doesn't merit being in the HoF, but Harry Caray's does?

at 3:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your gonna say that Hall of Fame stands for excellence in playing/broadcasting, then neither Harry Caray or Bob Uecker deserve to be in either. I hope Joe will be in someday, but it would have been nice if it was this day.

at 3:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


You speak of young arms, what about Sergio the Rule 5 pick? what is special about him that they take a chance like that?

at 4:33 PM Anonymous Noggy said...

Absolutely sad.... So Niehaus has been with Seattle for their entire existence....Nuxy has been with the Reds longer since he was 16!

Its rare for a person to stay with any company/organization for that long nevertheless a sports organization.

Nuxy recieving the award would have just felt right now, the year he died. It just won't feel the same if he wins next year. I don't think many other announcers would have had as much of a public reaction as Nuxy when he died. The amount of votes he recieved was outstanding. This is very disappointing

This voting is just as sad and pathetic as the Gold Glove and Hall of Fame.

at 4:56 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Joe was a great guy and deserves to be in a Cincinnati hall of fame.A true hero in our town

Yet..even when healthy ..listening to his broadcasting could be difficult on occasion.

at 5:05 PM Blogger mandatalksalot said...

I LOVE Joe Nuxhall, he made my life more pleasurable listening to his games, Im VERY sad he has passed....but do you all really think he DESERVED to be in the Hall of Fame? Not really the "best" (talent wise) announcer around. A great guy, a great heart, added ALOT of fun to the broadcast, but lets not give John Wayne the Oscar just because he has cancer.

at 5:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a travesty!

at 6:04 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

John, I have readed where Pierre is on the trading block. Would Baker attempt to trade for him? The Reds could move Pierre to left if the Reds decide to move Dunn after the June 15 deadline. No arm but speed. Signing Lofton or Patterson would be for one year. If the Dodgers would add a starting pitcher or money with Pierre, it could happened. I don't know why the Dodgers invest that kind of money for Pierre. Too much money for speed.
I would wait until the Reds see the young pitchers pitched to pull a trade.
John, any word on Fogg?

at 6:15 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Quite simply put mandatalksalot, if Dave Niehaus, Harry Caray, and Bob Ueker belong in the HOF, then you can be damn sure that Joe Nuxhall does.

at 6:48 PM Blogger Dan H said...

I enjoyed listening to Joe's unique style of broadcasting it complemented Marty's professional style. With that, it would be great if there was a section in the national baseball HOF for special contributions to the game of baseball. Joe definitely qualifies both as a player,broadcaster, and ambassador to the game both in Cincinnati and throughout the country for about 60 years. He'd be a shoo-in. John, hear anything on naming the pressbox at GABP after Joe?

at 6:50 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Best to my knowledge, the Frick Award has never been given to a "color commentator." I believe all have been play-by-play men, the people foremost in the front and center of the broadcasts.

Should Nuxhall have won the award by now. Sure. He and Marty should have gone in together in 2000.

But sorry, there's absolutely no way to argue against Dave Niehaus, THE voice of the Northwest.

at 6:55 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Sorry, but Harry Caray is in the same breath as Barber, Allen and Scully. Those guys are nationally recognized voices who had a profound impact on the sports broadcasting industry. Nuxhall is not in that league.

Perspective, perspective, perspective, Deez. C'mon.

at 8:03 PM Blogger David Hartman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 8:50 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 9:21 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Just heard from someone who watched the Dave Niehaus press conference. Apparently, Junior was one of the first to call with congrats. Niehaus also said Junior would his first choice to present him. Obviously, that won't happen, but it was a nice thing to say.

at 9:46 PM Blogger AFMike said...

Can't say I know much about Joe, but obviously he was well loved in Cincinnati. Being an Air Force guy that grew up in New Hampshire I only got to hear him after getting XM.

at 11:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once Joe died, the honor was mooted. He belongs in the HOF but Cincinnati doesn't need national affirmation to honor or cherish our beloved Nuxie.

I'm looking forward to when Gonzalez is up for induction into the IHOP HOF!!!

at 11:28 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

Joe Nuxhall might have been a monotone color anyalst ,but he was a great one.Joe & Marty just made listening to the games, a fun experience for reds baseball fans.

I appreciate what he did for all us Red's fans growing up.It was a voice from yesterday,when today's broadcasters took over it was a different style of broadcasting.Joe & Marty was & is a sound from yesterday.(What some like to call Old school) . Something that is a dying breed,but Joe & Marty will always have a speciall place in my heart as a red's fan.AS far as I am concerned,Joe is in the HOF.HOF for great people!!!

By the way fellas & gals,I'm in Cincy for the week.Feeling good.I've been by the chili parlor twice,eating larosas pizza,& hitting up UDF(Graeters is overrated,anyhow).As much as I can't stand some aspects of this city, I sure miss the thing's I really love about it.

Let's go Red's 08'

at 12:35 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

John, on the subject of HOF and Griffey not being able to present for Niehaus, does it make any sense the Hall inductions are done on a game day, in the middle of the season, when it's just hotter than mohair in Cooperstown?

If the Hall insists on induction day being in-season, why not do the festivities on a Monday, give all teams the day off, and allow players or team officials to attend?

NFL has induction day during exhibition season. Why can't MLB have Cooperstown during spring training and have a game or two on Doubleday Field? Especially now that they're doing away from the Hall of Fame game.

at 12:57 AM Blogger kingseyeland said...

This breaks my heart. I'm sure the other broadcasters are fine, but none of them is like Joe. The best thing fans can do is the same thing Joe would do after every disappointing Reds season. He'd say, "We'll get 'em next year."

at 7:21 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

"Quite simply put mandatalksalot, if Dave Niehaus, Harry Caray, and Bob Uecker belong in the HOF, then you can be damn sure that Joe Nuxhall does."

That's just absurd. Joe Nuxhall was popular. Joe Nuxhall was a Cincinnati institution. Joe Nuxhall was a great guy. Joe Nuxhall was also a mediocre broadcaster.

As Mr. Redlegs pointed out, guys like Harry Caray and Bob Uecker are nationally-known broadcasters, with signature calls that any baseball fan can recite off the top of their heads. I'm sorry, Reds Nation, but being "popularity in Cincinnati" is not one of the criteria for induction into the HOF.

at 8:53 AM Blogger Sam Cooke Night Beat 1963 said...

Well said, Al.

It's also important to remember that for the majority of Joe's broadcasting career he was "the color guy" simply adding some commentary and perspective to Marty's play-by-play call of the games.

Jilted fans of Joe should look at the list of Frick Award winners. Not a lot of old buddies on that list.

at 9:07 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Nuxhall wasn't simly a "color analyst." He did play-by-play every night -- not that his play-by-play skills were going to get him in Hall.

Also, I don't know if many you have heard Uecker do Brewers games, but he does very straight play-by-play. It's kind of odd, given how funny the guy can be.

at 10:18 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Okay, I'll re-word. . . .

The Frick Award has never been given to the secondary announcer on a broadcast team, whether he's a color commentator or someone who does a couple of innings so his partner can take a leak, rest his lungs, and BS in the pressbox.

The award has always gone to the lead guy, the one who predominately does the play-by-play and is front and center of the broadcast.

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