Friday, November 16, 2007

Say goodbye to the Ol' Lefthander.. Joe Nuxhall

The Cincinnati Reds baseball organization has been shaken to its core today upon learning of the death of Joe Nuxhall, the Ol' Lefthander.
Joe was, and still is, the youngest MLB pitcher to ever play the game. He was only 15. One day he's pitching to kids; the next day... Stan Musial. Can you imagine it? Holy smokes.. my son is a 10-year-old pitcher. I just can't imagine him stepping onto the mound at The Great American Ballpark in 5 years, but Joe did. His parents let him sign the contract after he finished up the school year- junior high, mind you, not high school or college.

He went on to play and announce for the Reds, right up until Spring Training this year. He succumbed to pneumonia last night, at the age of 79, following several years of declining health due to cancer and heart problems.

I never met the man, nor did I ever see him play, but I've heard him call countless games, including several World Championships. I already miss his low, husky voice and down-home style of calling games. It is a sad day here in the Queen City.

Tonight the lights at the ballpark will go dark, except for the permanent sign in the park honoring his traditional game signoff, "This is the ol' lefthander, rounding third and heading for home", and a couple of spotlights shining on his statue out in front of the stadium.

See ya' at Home, Joe. Whenever that may be.


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