BOSTON — If the Boston Red Sox needed anymore inspiration for their game against the New York Yankees or the rest of their season, they got it Sunday from Jerry Remy in his first visit to Fenway Park since lung surgery in June.

“(I’m going to) be back in that booth next year when the Red Sox lift that pennant for another year,” Remy said near the conclusion of his speech that capped a pregame ceremony to celebrate his 30 years as a broadcaster.

Remy, who began as a color commentator for NESN in 1988, will start chemotherapy Tuesday as part of his fifth battle with cancer. He hasn’t worked any games since just before the surgery, and he has avoided watching games while he’s been out.

“It’s not because I’ve lost interest, it’s just I feel guilty when I’m not here doing my job,” Remy said. “So I kind of follow it through my phone, check the final scores, check the box scores. That’s how I’ve been following.

“They’ve been pretty exciting wins and it’s kind of got the makings of something big could happen here.”

Remy said he’s felt better the last couple weeks after feeling lousy for more than a month after the surgery. The 2006 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductee’s spirits were helped by the ceremony, which began less than 15 minutes before first pitch so that almost all of the 36,911 fans on hand could give Remy a rousing ovation.


“It means you’ve done something for a long time that people appreciate and like. It means that all the hard work you’ve put into your job has paid off in some way,” he said. “It just makes me feel like I’m part of the Red Sox for life. It really does. And that’s a special feeling.”

During his 30 years in the NESN booth, Remy has shared his on-field knowledge and his off-field trials and tribulations. His frankness has endeared him to the public in ways all broadcasters hope they can connect.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell joked that he only gets to hear Remy after he’s been ejected.

But Farrell has an idea why Remy appeals to Sox fans.

“The same can be said for my interactions with Jerry, is that he’s very real, he’s very candid,” Farrell said. “He doesn’t pretend to see something that’s not there. And he calls it like he sees it. … He’s got so much personal experience playing to draw upon, and I don’t think he takes himself too seriously. He has fun with it and that’s what makes him approachable … and real.”

The Red Sox presented Remy with a Waterford crystal vase, a new watch, a pair of Fenway Park seats (one red, one blue, both number 2) and a gigantic new television, which elicited a celebratory jig by Remy.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia presented Remy with an oversized autographed baseball glove, and the Mass. General Hospital staff that’s helping Remy with his fight was introduced. Then Remy, who admitted that he was nervous, made his speech and threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Now he’ll focus on his treatment and his attempt to be back for Opening Day 2018.

“It’s a new challenge in my life,” he said. “My life has been full of challenges, I totally expect to beat this again, and hopefully this treatment will wash it away for good because I am really tired of it, and I just want to get back to work.”

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