Jerry Remy, a longtime player and broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox, died Saturday night following a long battle with lung cancer, the team confirmed. Remy was 68 and would have turned 69 on Nov. 8.
Red Sox owner John Henry released the following statement about Remy's passing:
We are saddened by the loss of a beloved player, broadcaster, and 13-year cancer warrior. Jerry's love and connection to baseball didn't allow anything to stand between the game and him, including for many years cancer. He devoted his entire career to baseball and whether from his seat in the clubhouse or his perch above the field in the broadcast booth, he took generations of rising Red Sox stars and a multitude of fans along for the ride with him. During his lifetime, he witnessed great triumphs and terrible tragedies handling all of it with grace, dignity, and a huge heart. He left an indelible mark on this club and on an entire nation of Red Sox fans.
Remy was first diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and over the years several follow-up scans showed the cancer had returned, most recently in 2018. He stepped away from a broadcast on June 11 this year as a precaution after experiencing a shortness of breath, and on Aug. 4 he announced a leave of absence to undergo cancer treatment.
"A fun person to be around and incredible human being just left us," Red Sox legend David Ortiz said in a statement. "We are going to miss you, brother. Thank you for calling me Big Papi on air -- l will never forget that. Miss you already, Rem Dawg."
Remy's most recent public appearance was earlier this month, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch to prior to the AL Wild Card Game at Fenway Park on Oct. 5.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora also released a statement:
Like everyone else in Red Sox Nation today, I'm absolutely devastated by Jerry's passing. I will miss all of our conversations about the game and just passing time together throughout the years, whether in the clubhouse or dugout. Jerry was so passionate about the Red Sox and even though he had to step away for treatment late in the season, he was with us every step of the way—especially in October. We kept in touch just about every day and encouraged each other to keep fighting. It was great seeing him at Fenway when we started our run; he was a source of inspiration for so many of our players. My condolences go out to his wife, Phoebe, and his children and their grandchildren. We will miss you, Rem!
A Massachusetts native, Remy broke into the big leagues with the Angels in 1971, then was traded to the Red Sox in Dec. 1978. In seven years with Boston he hit .286/.334/.334 as a classic bat control, speed-and-defense second baseman. Remy was an All-Star in 1978 and injuries forced him into retirement in 1985. He was as a career .275/.327/.328 hitter with seven home runs in 10 seasons.
"In baseball, he was a very, very hard worker. He made himself an outstanding player. He carried those same work habits over to the broadcast booth," Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, Remy's former teammate with the Red Sox, said in a statement. "We were a couple of lockers down from each other so we would talk a lot. We became very good friends. This is a sad day."
Following his playing career Remy got into broadcasting, covering Red Sox games for the New England Sports Network in 1988. In 2008, the Red Sox held Jerry Remy Day at Fenway Park to honor his time with the team and 20 years in broadcasting. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2017.
"Jerry Remy drew up in Massachusetts rooting for the Red Sox and lived his dream as a player and beloved broadcaster with the team," the MLB Players Association said in a statement. "He forged a personal connection with Boston fans and inspired many with his fight against cancer. The Players Association joins Jerry's family, friends and fans in mourning his loss."
Remy is survived by his wife, Phoebe, and their three children, Jared, Jordan, and Jenna.