Rest In Peace and Pizza, RemDawg

Monday, November 1st, 2021

Yesterday, news came of the death of Boston Red Sox fan favorite Jerry Remy. Remy played 10 years in the bigs, including 7 years with Boston in the ’70s and ’80s. However, he’s much better known for his 34 years calling Red Sox broadcasts on TV. A tremendous announcer, he became the voice of the team as they won four World Series since 2004. He will be dearly missed.

The Boston Globe posted a wonderful overview of his life, as well as collection of fond reactions from those who knew him. Though Remy was first diagnosed with cancer way back in 2008, he managed to work for much of the next 13 years. It’s worth appreciating all that additional time we got to share with him.

Back in 2011, I had the good fortune of meeting Jerry and his then-broadcast partner Don Orsillo before a flight to Cleveland. Somehow their travel had gotten rearranged such that they weren’t flying on the team’s plane, and I wound up on the same commercial flight.1 The pair was gracious enough to pose for a picture, one that’s brought a smile to my face since I heard this news.

Jerry Remy, your truly, and Don Orsillo
[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

Around that time, I made a special note to myself to appreciate that I was in the midst of the good old days when it came to Red Sox broadcasts. Jerry was terrific, and hearing him each night was a special treat. The pairing of Remy and Orsillo in particular was tremendous. The duo was so beloved that they even got their own bobblehead:

Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo as bobbleheads
You can also enjoy a video of them acting as real-life bobbleheads.

After the 2015 season, management made the regrettable decision not to renew Don’s contract. Nevertheless, the duo can still be seen in many, many hilarious clips on YouTube.2 And of course, Jerry continued to do stellar work working alongside play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien, as well as with his former teammate Dennis Eckersley and other colormen.

He had a long tenure in the broadcast booth, but around these parts, Jerry’s single most notable call is the wonderful “Here Comes the Pizza”. When I first heard it live in 2007, I knew it was something special, and I’ve done my best to keep it alive in the memories of Red Sox fans. Since news of Remy’s passing broke, the video I posted to YouTube has been viewed tens of thousands of times. I’m gratified to know that people can find a bit of joy in the face of this sad news. I think Jerry, with his sense of humor, would appreciate it too.

Jerry made his final public appearance at Fenway Park on October 5. He threw out the first pitch ahead of Boston’s win-or-go-home playoff game against the Yankees, a contest that echoed one he’d played in 43 years earlier. Unlike in 1978, however, the Red Sox were victorious in 2021. It was a fitting farewell for a Red Sox legend. Jerry, you will be missed.


Footnotes:

  1. As I recall, Jerry was in first class, while Don was not. I chatted with Don for a few minutes, and we joked that they make the play-by-play guy ride back in coach with the rest of us plebes. ↩︎

  2. Jerry had countless great moments on air, but “Jerry loses a tooth” has to be near the top of any ranked list. Look, at 162 games, the baseball season is long. There are bound to be at least a few stinkers, games that are blowouts, or just plain boring. Jerry always made it fun. ↩︎


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