The voice of Jerry Remy has been a mainstay in New England living rooms for more than two decades, so his extended absence in 2009 was a major blow to Red Sox fans. Most of those who filled in for Remy did a great job — as did Don Orsillo — but to many, there was just something missing from each Red Sox game.
This year, with his health restored, Remy is ready to man the booth for the full season, beginning with Sunday night’s season opener against the Yankees.
“I’m going to feel a hell of a lot better than I did Opening Day last year,” Remy told the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
Remy’s passion for the game of baseball is obvious, so when he said that his experience battling cancer and depression last season couldn’t have enhanced his appreciation of the sport, it makes sense. It did, however, change his outlook on life.
“For a while, I felt like I aged 10 years when I was going through this,” Remy told the newspaper. “Does it change you? Yeah, it changes you. But to say that it made me appreciate my job more and this more and that more … I always appreciated my job, so I can’t say it’s made a difference that way. But mentally, it does change you, because you could have been dead.”
During his absence, the letters of support flew in, and upon his return, Remy was greeted with as loud an ovation as Fenway Park could offer. It was a moment that was not lost on the New England icon.
“I didn’t know what to expect, because I’ve never been through anything like that in my life,” he said. “But it did mean that I’ve been doing something right for 22 years. It was a tremendous feeling for both me and my wife.”
Remy only returned for home games in the latter half of last season, but this year, he’s in it for the 162-game grind — or as he refers to it, “the soap opera.” Fortunately for Red Sox fans, Remy will have a starring role.