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Tommy Thrall Named New Voice Of The Reds

“Prior to joining the Reds radio team in 2019, Thrall served as the play-by-play voice of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.”

Brandon Contes

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A broadcasting legend, Marty Brennaman called his final game for the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday, retiring after 46 seasons as their play-by-play voice.  Replacing Brennaman in the radio booth for the 2020 season will be Tommy Thrall.

Thrall was informed of the decision last Thursday, but he never expected Brennaman to mention it on-air amid all the celebrations for his final day as the Reds radio voice.  Brennaman wanted his last game with the Reds to be a home game, which is why he concluded his 46-year tenure with the team on Thursday.

“As big of a deal as that was for Marty (Thursday), it was an incredible day for him, I didn’t even dream my name would even be brought up,” Thrall told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “As far as Marty is concerned in his career, I feel like I’m insignificant for him in the grand picture of everything that he’s accomplished. There are so many people that have been around him longer. It was pretty crazy. Hard to wrap your head around it.”

Thrall joined the Reds radio team for the 2019 season, with many people viewing him as the leading candidate to succeed Brennaman.  Thrall was added as the team’s pre and postgame host, also working as a fill-in play-by-play announcer.  Prior to joining the Reds radio team in 2019, Thrall served as the play-by-play voice of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.  The Blue Wahoos were the Reds Double-A affiliate for the last decade, but entered a two-year deal with the Minnesota Twins beginning in 2019.

“You don’t replace somebody like Marty Brennaman,” Thrall told Nightengale. “You may follow him. You may be the next guy. But you can’t replace him. He is going to be synonymous with this organization forever. The sheer volume of iconic calls and moments that he’s been a part of and he’s voiced, those moments live on with the team forever.

“All you can do is show up and do the best job you can do day in and day out. Be the best version of yourself and see where that leads.”

Thrall will partner with Jeff Brantley in the booth, who remains the lead analyst for the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network.  Brantley, a former MLB All-Star and Reds reliever, joined their radio team in 2007.

“To have somebody like Jeff that is comforting and uplifting like he is, he is always very positive and encouraging, extremely helpful, kind of helps show you the ropes on the road a little bit,” Thrall said. “On the air, as a broadcast partner, as good as they come. It’s invaluable really. You can’t put into words how important that is.”

Thrall’s predecessor, the 77-year old Marty Brennaman will be the sole inductee for the class of 2020 into the Reds Hall of Fame which will take place with an on-field ceremony Saturday, April 25, prior to a home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Marty Brennaman joined the Reds radio booth in 1974 replacing Al Michaels, having never called a Major League Baseball game when he was hired, launching a 46-year Hall-of-Fame career.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

The dawn of a new sports radio signal in Dallas has come and the station’s first voice to be heard belongs to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 the Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

He would go on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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Sports Radio News

Jake Chapman Named Orlando Magic Radio Play-By-Play Voice

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Jake Chapman has been introduced as the new radio play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

Chapman is beginning his 10th overall season with the franchise. He has previously served as the pre-game and post-game host for the team, as well as the radio producer. He joined the club as in intern in 2006 before becoming a producer in 2009. He then joined the Detroit Pistons Radio Network in 2014 to become its pre-game and post-game host as well as executive producer. He later joined 92.3 The Fan and the Cleveland Browns Radio Network as a producer. He returned to the Magic in 2019.

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brandon Kravitz will serve as co-host for pregame, halftime and postgame. The network pregame show, Magic Tonight, will hit the air 30 minutes prior to tip-off. Magic Tonight is scheduled to premiere on October 11.

96.9 The Game is the radio flagship of the Magic Radio Network.

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