A Tribute to the ‘RemDawg’, A Boston Player-Turned-Broadcaster and Idol of Mine
I begin not with a clever headline, nor a fact or statistic, but rather, a video. A moment in time...
Here. Comes. The Pizza.
The slightly gravelly, heavily Northeastern voice you hear describing the scene to you is that of Jerry Remy. The Fall River, MA native played 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, accumulating over 1,000 games in total, with the California Angels and his hometown Boston Red Sox. A career .275 hitter, the diminutive Remy never hit for much power, but made up for it with his speed and defense.
While Remy enjoyed a modest playing career, it would end up being nothing compared to his career as a broadcaster, and an ambassador for what would end up being called "Red Sox Nation".
Beginning in 1988, Remy would serve as the color commentator for Boston Red Sox games on NESN. His voice would serve as the soundtrack for a number of memorable moments, both serious, and not so serious.
I could do this all day, but I'll allow you to go down the rabbit hole on your own time.
Plainly and simply put, Jerry Remy meant a lot to me as a Boston Red Sox fan. No matter what was happening on the field with the team; no matter how good, how bad or how ugly of a season the team was having; Jerry Remy was always a constant. He'd bring insight to the game, but more importantly, he'd bring a charm and humor that made each broadcast stand out.
I give the broadcasting duo of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy a lot of credit. I truly believe that each individual along with the chemistry between the two, had a big influence on why I wanted to cover sports for my career. I watched the two of them have the time of their lives with one another on NESN, and said "hey, I want to do that, too."
Things were not always perfect in the life of Jerry Remy. He was a smoker for decades, and dealt with cancer (I believe) seven times in total in his life. Unfortunately, by the time he came out onto the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during this year's playoffs, it already seemed a bit grim.
I won't go into the specific details, but he's had a lot of trouble with his family, as well, as his kids have run into some legal trouble during their lives. No matter what was happening, however, he remains the consummate professional, and ushered in countless generations of new Red Sox fans.
Jerry Remy lost his fight with cancer over the weekend. While he is gone, his impact on multiple generations of Boston Red Sox fans, young and old, will not be forgotten.
Thank you, Jerry Remy. May you rest in peace.