Youngest Player and Longtime Reds Broadcaster
On June 10, 1944, with the major league baseball players fighting in World War II, Joe Nuxhall became the youngest player in modern history to ever step onto a major league baseball field. He was 15 years, 10 months, 11 days old. Imagine that. Pitching in the majors when most of your friends are in school. He was big for his age (at that time at least) 6' 3", and could throw 85 mph. The Reds offered him a contract and he joined them after junior high classes. Most of the time, he spent in the dugout waiting for his moment, then when the Reds were trailing 13-0 in the 8th against the St. Louis Cardinals, manager Bill McKechnie put him in the game. He was very nervous and tripped on his way out there. He walked one and got two outs before looking over and seeing Stan Musial and realizing where he was, and perhaps, who he was compared to someone like Musial. He gave up a single to Musial, and then unraveled and gave up 5 runs thereafter.
The Reds sent him to the minors where he could develop at a normal pace, and he came back to the majors 8 years later and played 15 of the next 16 years with the team that he would always be identified with during and after his career.
He then went on to broadcast for the Reds for 28 years, during those years, he teamed up with Marty Brennaman to call two of the "Big Red Machine" World Series games. Spending nearly 60 years in baseball, Joe was known for his signature phrase, "This is the old left-hander, rounding third and heading for home."