- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Cincinnati Loses Big
I awoke to sad news this morning that Joe Nuxhall had passed away in the night. Joe was the youngest player in Major League history when he started pitching at the age of 15. Later he was an announcer for the Reds along with Marty Brenneman.
Everyone loved Joe. I don't believe I have ever head anyone say they didn't like him. A good description of Joe detailing the reasons he became a much loved part of our city can be found here. His passing will be a huge loss for the city, but that's not why I'm writing this. Yes, I'll miss him. A lot. Listening to Red's games isn't the same since he left the announce booth and now that loss is final.
Joe lived in Hamilton, the town where I live, and occasionally I would run into him. One time was a bit embarrassing. Maybe for both of us.
My kids were very small and I babysat a few other little ones in my home during the day. I would often make trips to Kroger with at least 4 boys under the age of 5 in tow.
On one particular day I was at the check out trying to pay for my groceries and watch 4 little boys at the same time. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that all of my boys were wandering off and that an old man seemed to be calling them over to him. Wondering what that old man wanted with my kids, I stopped what I was doing and in a firm voice, demanded the kids come back over to where I was, scolding them for talking to "strangers". The cashier smiled and said, "Oh, that's Joe Nuxhall". I looked again in that direction and indeed it was Joe. He was sitting at a table signing autographs and had spotted my boys and thought they might like his autograph. I hadn't paid attention to the old man at all but had been flustered by keeping my eye on the kids and trying to get my groceries paid for.
Suddenly, I remembered Joe's niece Jody, who I had lost contact with and had been concerned about because she was a missionary in the Middle East. As we walked toward the door I stopped at the table where Joe was sitting and I eased around to the back of the table and asked him how Jody was doing and if he had heard from her. We talked for a while about her and how worried about her we both were. Then I gathered up the kids and we left. Not until after I walked out of the store did I realize that I had not asked for his autograph nor had I allowed the kids to get one. In fact, I hadn't even mentioned baseball to him at all. I hadn't said "Oh I just love you", or "You've always been my favorite" or any of the things I suppose people normally say when they meet their favorite sports icon. I hadn't talked about him at all. I had just asked about his niece, my friend. I wondered if I had offended him. Somehow I doubt it. Joe never struck me as someone who thought he was any different than anyone else because of his celebrity status.
I did however send Brian back with his Joe Nuxhall baseball card to get an autograph. :)
Joe you will be missed. You were one of the good guys.