Kentucky Speedway is proud to present Hamilton, Ohio native, Cincinnati Reds broadcast legend and former pitcher Joe Nuxhall as the Honorary Starter of the 2004 "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers."

The former left-handed pitcher became an announcer for the Reds when he retired from baseball in 1967. Since, he has endeared himself to Reds fans as a valuable part of the most colorful and longest running radio broadcasting tandem in baseball. Nuxhall and partner Marty Brennaman, the recipient of the 2000 National Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award for his major contributions to baseball, will end their 31-year run when Nuxhall signs off for the final time at end of the 2004 season.

In all, "The Ol' Lefthander" has spent 38 years in the broadcast booth and experienced many exciting moments. He described the action during the Reds five World Series appearances and World Championships in 1975, 1976 and 1990. He also was heard rooting Pete Rose's historic 4,192nd base hit to the turf at Riverfront Stadium with his famous "get down, get down" call.

Nuxhall has broadcasted games from each of the three stadiums the stadiums the Reds have called home: Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field and the three-year-old Great American Ballpark. The words from his signature sign-off, "Rounding Third and Heading for Home," adorn the façade of Great American Ballpark for all of Cincinnati to see.

He became the youngest player to ever play Major League Baseball in 1944. On special permission from his Hamilton High School principal, the then 15-year-old pitcher signed a contract with the Reds. He yielded five runs and five walks while retiring two batters in major league debut.

Soon after, he finished high school and played in the minor leagues for five years before returning to the Reds in 1952. Three years later, he won a career-high 15 games and led the National League with five shutouts. Nuxhall was a two-time All-Star selection and pitched a total of 3-1/3 scoreless innings in those appearances.

Fifteen of Nuxhall's 16 seasons were spent with the Cincinnati Reds. He also played stints with the Kansas City Athletics in 1961 and the Los Angeles Angels in 1962. The lifetime .198 hitter with career 15 home runs, hit a career high .292 in 1961. After five games in Los Angeles in 1962, he returned to the Reds for the stretch run and was a sterling 5-0 in his starting role. In 1963, he was 15-8, with a career-low 2.61 ERA (Earned Run Average). Nuxhall went 135-117 in his 16 years as a pitcher. He ended his career with a lifetime 3.90 ERA through 2,303 innings pitched.

Nuxhall has been quick to share the benefits of his success with those that have made it possible.

He formed the Joe Nuxhall Scholarship Foundation to help defray college costs for Butler County (Ohio) students. Each Butler County high school is allotted $2,000 annually to benefit one or two graduating seniors. To date, the foundation has contributed more than $327,000 to education. In addition, he recently created the Joe Nuxhall Character Education Fund to benefit schools and nonprofit organizations in Butler County.