Jerry Remy
1978 Boston Red Sox Photocards Jerry Remy.jpg
Remy with the Boston Red Sox in 1978
Second baseman
Born: (1952-11-08)November 8, 1952
Fall River, Massachusetts
Died: October 30, 2021(2021-10-30) (aged 68)
Boston, Massachusetts
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 7, 1975, for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
May 18, 1984, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.275
Home runs7
Runs batted in329
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Gerald Peter Remy (November 8, 1952 – October 30, 2021) was an American professional baseball player and sports broadcaster. Remy played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a second baseman for ten seasons—three with the California Angels (1975–1977) and seven with the Boston Red Sox (1978–1984). After retiring from professional play, he served for 33 years as a color commentator for televised Red Sox games until his death.

Remy began commentating with the cable channel New England Sports Network (NESN) in 1988, and later expanded to over-the-air television in 1995. A native of Somerset, Massachusetts, Remy was a popular local figure, known for his exuberance, humorous non-sequitur game commentary, and thick New England accent that endeared him with Red Sox fans. He was given the nickname "RemDawg" and was elected "President" of Red Sox Nation in 2007. Remy also owned restaurants in the Boston area, and wrote books about baseball.

Early life

Gerald Peter Remy was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, on November 8, 1952, and grew up in nearby Somerset.[1][2] He attended Somerset High School and Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.[3] He was of French Canadian descent.[4]

Playing career

Remy was selected by the Washington Senators in the 19th round of the 1970 MLB draft, but he did not sign. He was then selected in the 8th round of the January supplemental phase of the 1971 MLB draft (129th overall) by the California Angels, and signed with the team.[5]

Minor leagues (1971–1974)

Remy played four seasons in the Angels' farm system: 1971 with the rookie league Magic Valley Cowboys, 1972 with the Class A Stockton Ports, 1973 with the Class A Quad City Angels (.335, 4 home runs and 36 RBI in 117 games), and 1974 with Double-A El Paso Diablos and the Triple-A Salt Lake City Angels, where he hit a combined .323 with 4 home runs and 67 RBI. Overall, Remy appeared in 421 games in Minor League Baseball, batting .275 with 12 home runs and 152 RBIs.[6]

California Angels (1975–1977)

Remy made his major league debut with the Angels on April 7, 1975. He hit a single off of Steve Busby of the Kansas City Royals in his first at bat and was subsequently picked off.[7] With the 1975 Angels, Remy played 147 games (145 starts) as the Angels' second baseman, batting .258 with one home run and 46 RBIs. He had 34 stolen bases, but was caught stealing a league-leading 21 times. The following year, his average rose slightly to .263, although with no home runs and 28 RBIs. In 1977, he had a career-high four home runs, along with a .252 average and 44 RBIs; he was named team captain of the Angels in June, becoming only the second captain in the team's history.[8]

Overall, in three seasons with the Angels, Remy played in 444 games, batting .258 with five home runs, 118 RBIs, and 110 stolen bases. On December 8, 1977, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Don Aase and cash considerations.[9]

Remy in 1977
Remy in 1977

Boston Red Sox (1978–1984)

Remy was the Red Sox's starting second baseman in 1978 and was selected for the MLB All-Star Game, although he did not play in the game.[10] Overall, with the 1978 Red Sox, he batted .278 with 44 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 148 games. He also had two home runs, the last ones of his career. In the 1978 American League East tie-breaker game against the New York Yankees, Remy was on base in the ninth inning when Carl Yastrzemski made the final out;[11] it was the closest Remy came to the postseason in his MLB career.[3][12]

Remy continued as Boston's starting second baseman for the next six seasons, although he was often hampered by injuries. In 1979, he played in 80 games and batted .297. In 1980, he batted a career-high .313 but was limited to 63 games; he also appeared in the outfield for the only time in his career, playing the ninth inning in right field during a May loss to the Cleveland Indians.[13] In 1981, Remy played in 88 games while batting .307. On September 3–4, 1981, he accomplished the rare feat of collecting six hits in a game, going 6-for-10 in a 20-inning game against the Seattle Mariners.[14]

In 1982, Remy appeared in a career-high 155 games while batting .280; in 1983, he batted .275 while playing in 146 games. In 1984, a knee injury limited him to 30 games for the season, during which he batted .250; he made his final start at second base on May 5,[15] and his final MLB appearance on May 18 when he flied out as a pinch hitter.[16] Remy was released by the Red Sox on December 10, 1985, and he retired during spring training in 1986.[17] Overall, in seven seasons with the Red Sox, Remy played in 710 games, batting .286 with two home runs, 211 RBIs, and 98 stolen bases.[3]

During his ten-year MLB career, Remy batted .275 with seven home runs, 329 RBIs, and 208 stolen bases in 1154 games. Defensively, he had a .981 fielding percentage.[3] Bill James, in his Historical Abstract, rated Remy as the 100th greatest second baseman of all time as of 2001.[18]

Post-playing career

Broadcaster

Jerry Remy
Jerry Remy May 2019.png
Remy at the White House in 2019
Years active1988–2021
Sports commentary career
Team(s)Boston Red Sox
Genre(s)Color commentator
SportsMajor League Baseball
EmployerNew England Sports Network

After 1988, Remy found success in broadcasting, working for the New England Sports Network (NESN), as the regular color commentator for NESN's Red Sox broadcasts. Initially paired with Ned Martin through 1992 and Bob Kurtz from 1993–2000, from 2001 through the end of the 2015 season, he teamed with play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo; starting with the 2016 season, Remy worked with Dave O'Brien. Beginning in 1995, he also replaced former color commentator Bob Montgomery on the over-the-air Red Sox broadcasting team, paired with Sean McDonough for those broadcasts through 2004, when Orsillo took over for McDonough on the over-the-air games as well. He also ran a website, The Remy Report, which covered Boston Red Sox news and information.[19][20]

Restaurateur

Remy owned a hot dog stand, RemDawg's, a nod to the nickname he held amongst Red Sox fans, located just outside Fenway Park, as well as Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill in Terminal C of Logan International Airport.[21] There were three other Bar & Grill locations: one behind Fenway Park on Boylston Street that opened March 9, 2010, which was reported closed in March 2015,[22] and subsequently became a Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill (named after another former Red Sox player, Tony Conigliaro);[23] a second in the Seaport District of South Boston, which in December 2016 also became a Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill;[24] and a third in Remy's birthplace of Fall River that opened in October 2012, which in March 2018, The Herald News of Fall River reported would be closed.[25]

Author

Remy wrote three books about baseball, and several children's books about Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, which began as an idea based on Remy's storytelling while broadcasting Red Sox games.

Wally the Green Monster series

In 2012, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, then-Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia authored a sixth book in the series, Wally The Green Monster's Journey Through Time.

Charity work

Remy worked extensively with The Jimmy Fund, a charity that supports the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute. He was known to invite cancer patients in the broadcast booth, visit with patients in hospitals, and participated in their annual telethon.[26]

Health

In November 2008, Remy had surgery to remove a "very small, low-grade cancerous area" from his lung, most likely a result of years of smoking cigarettes.[27] During his recovery from the surgery, he suffered from an infection as well as a bout of pneumonia. Due to fatigue and depression, Remy took an indefinite leave of absence from his broadcast duties for NESN, starting April 30, 2009.[28]

On August 12, 2009, Remy went to Fenway Park and attended Red Sox manager Terry Francona's pre-game press conference. He told both NESN and The Boston Globe that he had every intention of returning to broadcasting Red Sox games during the remainder of the 2009 season. He entered the NESN's broadcast booth during the top of the second inning during the night's game to speak with broadcasters Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley. It was the first time he had been in the booth since he took his leave of absence in April. In between the top and the bottom of the second inning, Remy, still in the booth, was shown on Fenway's center field scoreboard display, to which he received a standing ovation from the crowd attending the game. He revealed during the visit that he had suffered from depression following his physical problems of 2008 and that he was receiving therapy.[29] On August 19, 2009, Remy released a statement announcing his return to commentating on August 21, 2009, against the New York Yankees. He stated that he would likely skip some road trips. He returned full-time for the 2010 baseball season. In April 2013, he announced that he had suffered a relapse that offseason when cancer was found in a different spot on his lungs during his regular six-month CT scan that January. [30]

Remy took time off starting May 28, 2013, due to a bout of pneumonia. He returned to the booth on June 25, 2013.[31] On August 16, 2013, he announced that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence after his son was arrested for murder; Remy did not return to the broadcast booth until the beginning of the 2014 season.[32] He had another leave during the 2016–17 off-season, missing most of the 2017 spring training.[33]

On June 12, 2017, Remy announced that his lung cancer had returned.[34] In January 2018, he announced via Twitter that he had completed treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).[35] A fourth diagnosis of cancer was announced on August 7, 2018.[36] After undergoing treatments, Remy announced in early November 2018 that he was cancer-free.[37]

On June 11, 2021, Remy left Fenway Park during the third inning of a game he was commentating on, due to shortness of breath, and was admitted to MGH.[38] He was released from the hospital five days later,[39] and returned to broadcasting on June 20.[40] On August 4, Remy announced that he would be stepping away from NESN for lung cancer treatment.[41] On October 5, he appeared at Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the AL Wild Card Game, in what ended up being his final public appearance.[42]

Remy died of lung cancer on October 30, 2021, nine days before his 69th birthday.[43] A public wake was held in Waltham, Massachusetts, on November 4.[44]

Legacy

Red Sox fans with Jerry Remy masks at Fenway Park in 2008
Red Sox fans with Jerry Remy masks at Fenway Park in 2008
Patch worn by the Red Sox in memory of Remy during the 2022 season
Patch worn by the Red Sox in memory of Remy during the 2022 season

Remy and broadcast partner Don Orsillo won four New England Emmy awards,[45] and Remy was voted Massachusetts' favorite sports announcer in 2004 by Sports Illustrated.[46] Remy was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006,[47] and elected honorary President of Red Sox Nation in 2007.[48] NESN and the Red Sox celebrated Jerry Remy Day at Fenway Park on June 24, 2008, in honor of Remy's 20 years of service for the network.[49] He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2017.[50]

After his death, Joe Buck, veteran sports broadcaster, called Remy's sports broadcasting career "legendary" and called him a "force in the booth", noting "If Red Sox Nation had an emperor, the ‘RemDawg,’ it would be him." Broadcaster Sean McDonough, who of his own accord has worked with at least 160 different broadcast partners, said of his time with Remy: "nothing felt as special as the nine years I spent with Jerry".[51]

On April 15, 2022, the date of the home opener for the season, the team issued a Tweet showing that the NESN broadcasting booth at Fenway Park was now named the Jerry Remy Booth, in his memory. The booth has also been adorned with a memorial plaque honoring Remy.[52] The team held a ceremony to honor Remy prior to their home game of April 20, including appearances from former teammates Dennis Eckersley, Carl Yastrzemski, Rick Burleson, Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, and Bob Stanley.[53]

Family

Remy and his wife Phoebe had three children, Jared, Jordan, and Jenna.[54] Jared worked for the Red Sox as a security guard, but was fired in 2008 after another guard told the State Police that Jared had sold him steroids.[55] On August 16, 2013, Jared was arrested in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, a charge he pleaded guilty to on May 27, 2014. Jared Remy was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.[56][57] Jordan was selected by the Red Sox in the 49th round of the 1999 MLB draft,[58] but he did not play professionally.[59]

See also

References

  1. ^ Alice, Lynette (May 15, 2009). "Jerry Remy". Sporting Life 360. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Goldstein, Richard (October 31, 2021). "Jerry Remy, Red Sox Player and Longtime Commentator, Dies at 68". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "Jerry Remy Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  4. ^ "The other side of Jerry Remy". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Angels sign Allietta, Remy". The Boston Globe. January 26, 1971. p. 27. Retrieved August 7, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Jerry Remy Minor League Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  7. ^ "California Angels 3, Kansas City Royals 2". Retrosheet. April 7, 1975. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  8. ^ Newhan, Ross (June 29, 1977). "Angels Have a New Leader—He's 24". Los Angeles Times. p. 61. Retrieved August 7, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Transactions". The Boston Globe. December 9, 1977. p. 46. Retrieved August 7, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "National League 7, American League 3". Retrosheet. July 11, 1978. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "New York Yankees 5, Boston Red Sox 4". Retrosheet. October 2, 1978. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  12. ^ "Boston Red Sox Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  13. ^ "Cleveland Indians 3, Boston Red Sox 1". Retrosheet. May 18, 1980. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  14. ^ "Seattle Mariners 8, Boston Red Sox 7". Retrosheet. September 3, 1981. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Chicago White Sox 8, Boston Red Sox 5". Retrosheet. May 5, 1984. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Minnesota Twins 8, Boston Red Sox 3". Retrosheet. May 18, 1984. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Remy, Jerry. "Jerry's Page". Archived from the original on July 26, 2009.
  18. ^ James, Bill (May 11, 2010). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon and Schuster. p. 537. ISBN 9781439106938.
  19. ^ "The Remy Report - For all things Red Sox and Remy".
  20. ^ "Remy Report : Case Study". Crystalvision. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  21. ^ "Restaurants". massport.com. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Stewart, David (March 3, 2015). "Reports: Jerry Remy's Restaurant in Fenway Shuts Down". Boston.com.
  23. ^ Hatic, Dana (April 22, 2016). "Jerry Remy's Closes in Fenway and Tony C's Takes Over". boston.eater.com. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  24. ^ Hatic, Dana (December 5, 2016). "Tony C's Takes Over Another Jerry Remy's, This Time in Seaport". boston.eater.com. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  25. ^ O'Connor, Kevin P. "Fall River Jerry Remy's closing, will be replaced by Barrett's Waterfront". The Herald News, Fall River, MA. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  26. ^ "The Jimmy Fund remembers Jerry Remy". November 1, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  27. ^ "Message from Remy". May 7, 2009.
  28. ^ Jerry Remy Takes Leave of Absence to Recover From Cancer Surgery Archived May 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Remy visits TV booth during tonight's game
  30. ^ "Jerry Remy is facing another battle with cancer". Boston.com. August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  31. ^ Jerry Remy says he will return Tuesday Chad Finn, boston.com, June 19, 2013
  32. ^ LoGiurato, Brett (January 27, 2014). "Jerry Remy to return to Red Sox broadcast booth". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 1, 2021. Longtime Boston Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy, who took a leave of absence last August after his son Jared was arrested and charged with murder, told reporters Monday that he will return to the broadcast booth this season.
  33. ^ Smith, Christopher (March 9, 2017). "NESN's Jerry Remy arrives at spring training after cancer relapse". masslive.com. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  34. ^ "Red Sox analyst Remy tweets cancer relapse". ESPN.com. June 12, 2017.
  35. ^ "Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy finishes cancer treatment". ESPN. January 16, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  36. ^ "Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy again diagnosed with cancer". ESPN. August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  37. ^ "Jerry Remy announces he's cancer-free". The Boston Globe. November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018 – via Boston.com.
  38. ^ Smith, Christopher (June 12, 2021). "Jerry Remy leaves Boston Red Sox NESN broadcast Friday because of shortness of breath, 'resting comfortably' at Mass. General". MassLive.com. Retrieved June 14, 2021 – via MSN.com.
  39. ^ Finn, Chad (June 16, 2021). "Jerry Remy resting at home after being released from hospital". Boston.com. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  40. ^ Smith, Christopher (June 20, 2021). "Jerry Remy to return to Boston Red Sox NESN broadcast Sunday for series finale vs. Royals". MassLive.com. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  41. ^ Randall, Dakota (August 4, 2021). "Jerry Remy Steps Away From NESN Red Sox Booth For Cancer Treatment". NESN.com. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  42. ^ "Jerry Remy Throws Ceremonial First Pitch Before Red Sox-Yankees Wild Card Game". CBS Boston. October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021 – via MSN.com.
  43. ^ "Longtime Boston Red Sox broadcaster, former player Jerry Remy dies of cancer". WCVB. October 31, 2021. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  44. ^ Anderson, Travis; Brinker, Andrew (November 4, 2021). "Mourners attend public wake for Red Sox Hall of Famer and longtime broadcaster Jerry Remy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  45. ^ "Remy, NESN extend contract". ESPNBoston.com. July 21, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  46. ^ "Jerry Remy to Return to the NESN Broadcast Booth on Friday, Aug. 21". August 19, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  47. ^ "Red Sox Hall of Fame". MLB.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  48. ^ "Red Sox - Mr. President". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. October 4, 2007. p. 6. Retrieved August 9, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  49. ^ Lefort, David (June 24, 2008). "Jerry Remy night at Fenway". Boston.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  50. ^ Peery, Lexi (June 15, 2017). "Broadcasters to be inducted into Hall of Fame". The Boston Globe.
  51. ^ Reimer, Alex (November 1, 2021). "Joe Buck delivered a touching eulogy about Jerry Remy during the World Series". WEEI. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  52. ^ @NESN (April 15, 2022). "Forever and always the Jerry Remy Booth ♥️" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  53. ^ McWilliams, Julian (April 20, 2022). "'He was a joy to be around.' Six months after Jerry Remy's passing, the Red Sox honored his life Wednesday". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  54. ^ "The Other Side of RemDog". The Boston Globe. April 19, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  55. ^ "Sox fired two in steroids case". The Boston Globe. August 2, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  56. ^ Moskowit, Eric; John R. Ellement (August 16, 2013). "Jared Remy, son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, under arrest for fatal stabbing in Waltham, an official says". Boston.com. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  57. ^ Johnson, O'Ryan (August 16, 2013). "Jared Remy arrested for killing girlfriend". Boston Herald. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  58. ^ Edes, Gordon (June 4, 1999). "Here's a homer pick: Fla. State's McDougall". The Boston Globe.
  59. ^ "Jordan Remy Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 31, 2021.

Further reading