America lost a sports icon this weekend with the death of Boston Red Sox fixture Jerry Remy.
A beloved broadcaster to generations of fans and former player on the team, Remy died from lung cancer on Saturday, Fox News reported. He was 68.
Before his legendary career as the voice of the Red Sox, Remy played as a second baseman for the California Angels starting in 1975 and then the Red Sox from 1978 to 1984, according to ESPN. He was an All-Star in 1978.
In 1988, he started his broadcasting career at New England Sports Network (NESN).
Don Orsillo, who commentated games with Remy from 2001 to 2015, shared fond memories of his time working with Remy, who he called a genuine man and a true New Englander.
“He was New England as New England gets. He was the most real person I know. The most genuine person I know. You always knew where you stood with Jerry,” Orsillo said, according to CBS Boston. “He was a very real, real person and I’m going to miss him so much.”
In 2008, Fox said, Remy had a “very small, low-grade cancerous area removed,” but the cancer returned over the years. His health started failing again this summer, and he was forced to step away from broadcasting in August.
Red Sox’s “voice”
In October, Remy returned to Fenway Park to throw a ceremonial pitch at the Red Sox’s American League wild-card game against the New York Yankees, to a standing ovation, Fox reported.
Over the course of his life, Remy received numerous honors for his importance to the Red Sox. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame, and according to ESPN, fans chose him to be the first president of Red Sox Nation.
Remy’s family said he was grateful to have spent his life doing what he loved most, first as a player for the Red Sox, and then as the team’s voice. They also thanked the fans for supporting Remy over the last 13 years in his cancer battle.
“Jerry lived and breathed Red Sox baseball. Playing for his hometown team was a dream come true, and to have the opportunity to have a second career as the voice of the Red Sox was all that he could have asked for,” a statement from the family read, as ESPN reported.
He is survived by his wife and three kids.