Marty Brennaman kisses one of the kids from the Dragonfly Foundation, August 3, 2012; The Enquirer / Jeff Swinger

As you are most likely aware, Marty Brennaman shaved his head Friday night for part of his bet that the Reds wouldn’t win 10 games in a row this season. But he turned what could have been an internal, clubhouse spectacle into a large charity event.

One of the charities was the Dragonfly Foundation.

The Dragonfly Foundation provides distractions from the psychological, emotional, physical and financial toll of cancer and blood diseases. We also work to establish connections at a time when patients, siblings and caregivers feel the most alone and isolated. Through our efforts, numerous Dragonflies have been distracted from the physical and emotional pain of treatment, as well as the post-traumatic stress associated with the diagnosis of a serious illness.

The Enquirer published a an article that includes more details about the Foundation, and their hopes to expand to Dayton and Indianapolis hospitals. It’s a great story about how the whole thing came together; much of that part of the event was ad-libbed and unknown to the organization’s volunteers.

[John] Burns can’t remember exactly how Brennaman’s hair-shaving came up, but he said a girl mentioned that the broadcaster would soon look like her and the other patients. Burns mentioned the conversation to Brennaman and asked if he’d wear a Dragonfly shirt to give the foundation some attention. Brennaman agreed.

He didn’t think Brennaman would say anything about the shirt or the group. But Davidson had put some information about Dragonfly in a bag of the T-shirts.

They didn’t know whether he was going to wear their shirt or that he would say anything about their organization. So, when he was on the field and getting shaved in his Reds jersey, they had no idea that he had their t-shirt on underneath.

“It was a Clark Kent moment. As much as he was beloved before, he became Superman to us.”

At 16:20 in the video, Brennaman is done getting shaved, and his first course of action was to take off his jersey. The emotional, heartfelt reaction was shared on the Foundation’s blog:

In case you missed it, Marty Brennaman shaved his head last night to fulfill a promise. The event, along with Marty’s 70th birthday, was celebrated last night at the Reds Stadium! At the end of the event, Marty took his Reds jersey off to reveal The Dragonfly Foundation’s I’m Still Me shirt!!!!! (WE STARTED CRYING!!!) Then our kids ran over to him and hugged him on their own accord!!!!! (WE STARTED SOBBING!!!) The crowd went wild when he explained how one of our Dragonflies said that now Marty will look like them.

The entire event, including the all the aforementioned charitable activities, was broadcast live on the Reds post-game show and can be found in the embedded video. He gets out of his chair and reveals his t-shirt at the 16:20 mark.

[mlbvideo id=”23595863″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. (I had a lengthy comment here, complimenting the Reds organization for their non-baseball operations. But I decided it deserved a stand-alone post and didn’t want to hijack the Marty event thread. You can read it when you are done commenting on Marty.)

  2. I have been a huge Reds fan since I was a little league catcher and Johnny Bench was redefining the position. I have watched countless games on TV (and thank goodness for Extra Innings), and I have listened to countless more on WLW over the night time airwaves after dark, even though I’ve never lived closer to Cincinnati than Boston or Atlanta. I have cheered and I have cried with Reds teams good and bad. I read Redleg Nation every day, and though I have been tempted to comment many times (some of you guys and, I hope, ladies, too know a lot more about baseball and the Reds than I do, and a few of you sometimes say the dumbest things) I have rarely been as proud to be a Reds fan as I have been in the last week, but this last week and Friday’s celebration have finally coaxed me to comment. Barry Larkin represents so much about what makes this kids game we love America’s true pastime (sorry football fans), and we should all consider ourselves lucky that we can call him our own. I have cheered many times this year as the Hall of Fame balloting was announced and then as induction day arrived. And I cheered again throughout his emotional words as he made Cincinnati fans everywhere proud. And though Marty Brennaman has his faults as an announcer, he is clearly also one of the finest men to ever sit behind the play by play microphone and we are lucky too to have listened to him and the Old Lefthander for so many years. A tip of the cap westward to Mr. Scully as is always his due, but I will listen to Marty any time the airwaves bring his signal my way. I was out of town this weekend so didn’t get to see the replays from Friday night’s post game ceremony until yesterday afternoon. The concept of the poufy haired sideshow seemed a little self centered to me, but Marty handled it brilliantly and with great generosity. It was fun, yes, but it was a fine example of why Cincinnati and the Reds organization is so easy to root for. In making his trip to the barber all about the Reds Community Fund and the Dragonfly Foundation in such a graceful and heartfelt way without any self promotion and in a truly generous spirit Marty did it right. So thank you Mr. Larkin for showing us all how beautiful baseball can be, and how fine a role model our dearest athletes can be, and thank you Mr. Brennaman for showing us all how beautiful community can be, and how an ordinary man with an extraordinary job can do extraordinary things. Thank you from a proud Reds fan, – CFD

  3. I agree, Steve, the Reds organization is total class from top to bottom. My family loves going to games over there. There is something for everyone. And although we often complain about some of Dusty’s moves on the field, he is a complete gentleman and always represents the team well. I have talked to him a couple of times at Reds Caravan, and would love to sit down with him for a whole day to hear some more ‘war stories.’ And that moment with Marty sure did choke me up. I sure am proud to be a Reds fan. Thanks to Redleg Nation for all that you do also.

  4. @Steve Mancuso: I agree with you 100%. Being born in 1991, I grew up with a Reds team that could barely find ways to make it to .500 not to mention make the playoffs. However, I never lost faith in the organization because I felt that they always were trying hard to find ways to win. I love the Reds now as much as I did as a 9 year old with an Adam Dunn poster in my bedroom. Yet, it’s nice to be winning and being awesome 2 out of the last 3 years!

    However, I’m not a Bengals fan because I feel like it’s the opposite scenario. They have have some success recently but they have such a little connection with their fan base it’s absurd. All they seem interested in is money and the ownership seems even more disconnected than Randy Lerner was in Cleveland.

    There is a reason people talk poorly about Mike Brown a lot and there is an equal and opposite reason why people don’t talk that way about Bob Castellini.

    Nonetheless, Marty is awesome, Go Redlegs

  5. Marty is just a great human being.

    The old lefthander is watching from above and very proud of his buddy.

    Also – Reds managment is outstanding. They are trying their best to compete and be a leader/example for the community.

    The boss man is right there with Marty and Joe.

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