When longtime Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman told bench coach Chris Speier he'd shave his head if they achieved a 10-game winning streak this season, he obviously didn't believe he'd have to back it up. But, sure enough, the Reds started warming up immediately after the All-Star break — even without superstar Joey Votto — and reached the threshold with their 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies last Sunday, forcing the 70-year-old Hall of Famer to follow through on his word.
But here's where it gets pretty cool. Not only did Brennaman part with his precious hair on Friday night, he upped the ante as the week progressed, challenging fans to donate $20,000 to the Reds Community Fund if they wanted to see the haircut take place on the field. Reds fans responded in a big way, raising over $50,000 for the charity, and so the shaving took place on the field immediately following Cincinnati's 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Here's some video of the postgame ceremony, which includes Brennaman being presented a cake for his 70th birthday that took place last weekend, as well as a presentation to the Reds Community Fund. The haircut itself begins around the 8-minute mark.
Brennaman obviously handled the entire situation with total class, but still, parting with one's hair, especially at his age, was not an easy thing to come to terms with.
"I think anybody who knows me knows there have been times when I've opened my mouth and inserted my foot, and this was another one of those occasions," Brennaman said. "I can tell you without fear of argument that there is no man on earth who has had a more passionate love affair with his hair than I have."
But all's well that ends with a worthy charity being recognized and rewarded.
"I never dreamed it would ever get this big, I truly did not," Brennaman said. "I'm thrilled to death that it's raised a lot of money for the Community Fund. If it's got to go, then thank God somebody is going to benefit from it."
Well played, Mr. Brennaman.
Well done, Cincinnati.