The Pointe

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#triviatuesday - Who was the youngest player to ever appear in an MLB game?

Play ball!!!

This Thursday, March 28, is not only professional baseball’s “Opening Day.” It also marks the 150th anniversary season of the Cincinnati Reds,* the 100th birthday of the downtown BB season opening event, the Findlay Market Parade,...**

...and the final Reds Opening Day radio broadcast by longtime announcer Marty Brennaman.***

Steeped in baseball history, Cincy and its Reds are the perfect topic for today’s TriviaTuesday question:

“Who was the youngest player to ever appear in an MLB (Major League Baseball) game?”****

Answer : Affectionately known in his later years as “the Ol’ Left-Hander,” a 15-year-old Hamilton, Ohio, native named Joe Nuxhall made BB history on June 10, 1944, when he “pitched two-thirds of an inning for the Cincinnati Reds. That was his only appearance that season and for several more years…Nuxhall resurfaced in the major leagues in 1952. This time he stuck around for 15 years and won 135 career games.” ****

At the time young Joe couldn’t have foreseen that he would become one of the most beloved fixtures on the ball diamond, let alone a radio broadcasting legend. Thousands of Reds fans grew up listening to Joe and Marty, his longtime booth companion, calling the games. To faithful listeners, their broadcast was like a front porch-chat with old friends on a summer night.

To report his death in 2007, newspaper editors invoked Joe’s signature broadcast closing line in their headlines. Fans still know it by heart:

“This is the Ol’ Left-Hander, Rounding Third and Heading for Home…”

Earlier this year Marty announced his intention to retire from broadcasting. 2019 will have been his 55th season as a broadcaster and his 46th year with the Reds.***

But baseball, like life, will go on. The Great American Ballpark will continue to welcome the devoted. New players will assume their role in history. Sportswriters will chronicle games while authors dig deep for new angles.

And fans will enjoy a Reds radio broadcast on a warm summer night, rooting for the home team while passing Reds lore on to a younger generation. They’ll savor a “cold one” on the front porch swing as Little Dipper & friends provide light from above. And all will seem right with the world...

Except that two old friends won’t be there.


* “Reds 150 Anniversary”

** “Findlay Market Opening Day Parade -- Our 100th anniversary parade -- Cincinnati Reds 150th”

*** “Reds Hall of Fame Broadcaster Marty Brennaman Retiring After 2019 Season: Social Media Reacts” by John Boyle of the Dayton Daily News. Published January 16, 2019.

**** “Baseball Trivia” by Brian Howell. Published in 2016 by Abdo Publishing. Available for check-out at MidPointe Library.

Accompanying photos of…

Young Joe Nuxhall (top left and top right) can be found in “Joe -- Rounding Third and Heading for Home” by Greg Hoard, published in 2004 by Orange Frazer Press of Wilmington, Ohio. Available for check-out at MidPointe Library.

Newspaper image :

“Nuxhall Brings Out Child in Golfers” by Rick McCrabb. Published in the Middletown Journal, May 24, 2005. Available on microfilm at MidPointe’s Middletown location and online via MidPointe’s website (see below).

Using your free MidPointe Library card, you can enjoy past newspaper articles like the one above. Just go to: > eLibrary > Research Databases > Magazines and Newspapers > Newspaper Archive.

Whether you’re at MidPointe or at home, you can also search for numerous baseball-related items at: > Catalog Search > Baseball (or) Cincinnati Reds

No library card? No problem! Stop by your convenient MidPointe location and sign up for a card today! You’ll find branches in Middletown, West Chester, Trenton, Monroe and in Liberty Township on the second floor of Liberty Center.

Good Luck, Reds!