It's been well over 24 hours since the news broke, but if you've somehow missed it, Red Sox Hall of Famer and broadcaster since 1988, Jerry Remy, passed Saturday night after a 13-year battle with lung cancer. He was 68 years old.
I went to a Halloween party at my friend's up in Boston Saturday night and was on my way home Sunday morning when I found out the horrible news. Your boi was in no shape to give such a legendary figure around these parts the respect he deserves.
But that tweet wasn't hyperbole (and yes, I'm grossed out by the "we're" typo). If I had to rank voices I heard the most between 2003-2019, Jerry Remy's is close to, if not at the top of the list; even with the time he missed due to cancer treatments. I used to be a never-miss-a-game Red Sox fan and spent countless nights watching them alone with Don and Jerry.
Growing up, they were the soundtrack to my fandom. I didn't realize how lucky we were, I assumed all fan bases had their own Don and Jerry, but that'd be impossible. The duo was unmatched. Their insight and hilarious banter undoubtedly factored into my obsession with the Sox. I'd bet that's not exactly a unique perspective, as thousands, if not millions of New Englanders are probably in the same boat, but that speaks to how much Jerry meant to us. He was Mr. Red Sox and was beloved by the fans. I've met multiple people with dogs named Remy, and it wasn't because of Remy Martin!
Not to make this all about my fandom status, but the Mookie trade was simply the straw that broke the camel's back. Breaking up Don and Jerry was the first in a line of indefensible moves by the Red Sox organization. Despite Don moving on to the San Diego Padres, their bond remained.
I watched this during what was supposed to be my common planning time at work today and had to fight back tears listening to what Don (and his other two NESN partners) had to say about Jerry.
Honestly, I'm still fighting them back writing this, and this could just be me being overly hard on myself like always, but I apologize if this blog sucks because this news has me fucked up. I had an uncle pass away Friday, and it's sad, but the death of a man I never met is hitting me exponentially harder. I spent more time with Don and Jerry than with some of my closest friends and family. It feels like losing a grandfather-type figure, not just some color commentator.
It's hard to wrap your head around not one, not two, but seven bouts with cancer. Still, Jerry was able to battle back time after time after time. When he made an appearance at Fenway to throw out the first pitch for the Wild Card Game, I assumed he'd be back again in 2022, just because that's what Jerry always did, fight back.
Unfortunately, his 7th bout did him in, but as the late Norm Macdonald told us, cancer doesn't win, it's a draw, and Jerry racked up six wins before tying with cancer. 68 is young by today's standards, but what a life Jerry Remy got to live. He touched the hearts and funny bones of an entire (Red Sox) Nation. I'm glad the local Somerset guy got to see his Red Sox beat the Yankees in a one-game playoff after he was on the wrong side of one in 1978 in what ended up being his final public appearance.
I don't know what else to say other than I genuinely love Jerry Remy. He was a true New Englander and touched the lives of millions. There are too many hilarious moments to recall, but I'll link in some of the best that we all know and love at the end. It was nice to see the Patriots-Chargers and World Series broadcasts take a moment to pay tribute to him.
At times, baseball can be a boring game, but nobody brought more life, joy, and laughter to the broadcast than the RemDawg. The Red Sox broadcast will never be the same without him. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. R.I.P. Jerry Remy. Buenos noches, Amigo.
I'm not much of a book guy, but you better believe I read Watching Baseball: Discovering the Game Within the Game. Jerry wrote about how he was lucky that he only hit 7 career home runs because someone like Mark McGwire couldn't recall them all with as much detail as he did. I'm like 84% sure I read the book in one sitting on the last day of summer for a reader's choice summer selection in like 8th or 9th grade.
As is tradition.