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Remembering Jerry Remy, player, broadcaster, and first President of Red Sox Nation

A Massachusetts native, Remy played for the Red Sox starting in the late 1970s. In 2007, fans elected him the first official President of Red Sox Nation.

BOSTON — Longtime Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy died Saturday at age 68. The beloved New England icon was a fan-turned-player, then player-turned-announcer, and finally a local legend. The Red Sox announced his death on Sunday.

Remy was being treated for lung cancer, a disease he had battled since 2008, with some extended absences from the broadcast booth. 

In his last public appearance, Remy threw out a ceremonial first pitch to playing and broadcasting teammate Dennis Eckersly before an American League Wild Card game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on October 5th. 

RELATED: Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy undergoing treatment for lung cancer

A Massachusetts native, Remy played for the Red Sox starting in the late 1970s.
He spent 10 seasons in the majors, the first three with the California Angels and the last seven with Boston. He was named to the All-Star team in 1978, but did not play. The Red Sox ended that season tied with the rival New York Yankees, and lost to them in a 1-game playoff, a classic Red Sox heartbreaker.

In 2015, he told FOX61:
First of all, it was the greatest game I ever played in, even though we lost.
Would I like a do-over? Of course, I would! That was my only opportunity to get to post-season play....I can remember it like it was yesterday.

And I felt, quite frankly, that the Red Sox and the Yankees were the two best teams in baseball that season, and whoever did win that game was going to win the World Series. And they did go on to win the World Series.

In his later career, Remy struggled with knee injuries. He retired after the 1985 season. In 1988, he became a Red Sox television announcer.

Teammate and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski said on Sunday that Remy worked hard at being a player, and he took that work ethic into broadcasting. But Remy quickly made it look like no work at all, with easy wit, the insights of a pro player and the enthusiasm of a hometown fan. He was generally credited with rooting for the Sox and still accurately describing mistakes and lucky breaks. 

He won the hearts of fans, gave color analysis for the infamous "Pizza Incident" and called the games with a tiny Wally the Green Monster mascot perched in the window of the Fenway Park broadcast booth. He laughed at his own fumbles, often hysterically.

He wrote some books, about the game he loved, about the Red Sox, and about Wally. In 2019, he spoke at a luncheon and booksigning in Cromwell, taking questions from the crowd. He talked about his struggles with cancer, and with family tragedy and depression.But mostly about the sport he loved and for which he proved to be a hugely successful ambassador. He told the crowd in Cromwell, "It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get my book out there, but it’s also a nice opportunity to be around people who love baseball. I enjoyed the questions very much."

▶ WATCH On-Demand: Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with MLB Boston Red Sox Commentator Jerry Remy http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=16649

Posted by Connecticut Network (CT-N) on Friday, August 30, 2019

The team's dedicated fans, spread out across six New England states and beyond, had adopted the name "Red Sox Nation".  In 2007, the team decided to make it an official fan club, and held an election for club president. 

The result was never really in doubt. Remy won in a landslide.and was officially sworn in as the first President of Red Sox Nation. Unofficially, he was known to fans and friends as "the RemDawg", a nod to both his tenacity and how beloved he was by generations of fans, here in Connecticut and throughout "The Nation".

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