The day Red Sox fans had been dreading finally came on Sunday when Don Orsillo called his final game for the New England Sports Network, a.k.a. NESN. Unlike previous games when there was no mention of Orsillo’s unceremonious departure from NESN or of his hiring in San Diego, Sunday’s game against Cleveland was loaded with Orsillo’s greatest calls over his 15 year career as the TV voice of the Boston Red Sox.
As the final innings passed, Orsillo broke out some of his favorite catchphrases “by way of the K” for strikeouts or “had a meeting with himself.” Orsillo and partner Jerry Remy had plenty of laughs as it marked the last time they would work together. After a brief humorous video montage between the 8th and 9th inning, things got serious as Don was given the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans who have seen him behind the mic for three World Series teams and plenty of great moments between 2001 and 2015.
“I thank you for your incredible support and your loyalty. I heard all of you and never forget your words as they touched me so very deeply. Thank you for letting me into your homes and into your families for the last 15 years. Last Sunday at Fenway will be my greatest memory of my life. I can tell you that right now. Your tribute to me, I will never forget, ever. I’ve been asked many times over the last six weeks how I would like to be remembered. To be remembered at all is enough for me. Thank you.”
Noticeably absent from Orsillo’s statement was any mention of NESN management or Red Sox ownership in particular, Tom Werner who was mostly responsible for not renewing his contract and allowing him to depart for San Diego.
And at the end of the game, the Red Sox flowed out of their dugout at Progressive Field in Cleveland to say their own goodbye to Orsillo showing the respect they have for the man. How many teams would do that?
His last words: “Orsillo rounding third and heading home.”
Update, July 2021: This clip has been taken down.
NESN’s director Mike Narracci who worked with Orsillo throughout his time with the Red Sox shared this photo of their last time working together.
Directed my last game with Don Orsillo today. 17 years and 2000+ games. It was a wild ride. Gonna miss my brother. pic.twitter.com/vBy1rz3ecA
— Michael Narracci (@mnarracci) October 4, 2015
Now as Orsillo closes his Red Sox career, he’s ready to move to San Diego and start his Padres chapter of his life.