Dennis Eckersley Calls It a Career
Tonight marks the end of an era in Red Sox nation. While there are many fans letting out a sigh of relief that this disappointing season ends tonight, there is still a reason to tune into tonight’s game. Tonight is the final night that former Red Sox Pitcher and Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley, will be in the booth for the Red Sox broadcast. Eck gave the announcement of his departure in August, and it has been an emotional past couple of nights as his tenure in the NESN booth is coming to a close.
Dennis Eckersley was part of some of the most iconic Red Sox moments over the years. One of the most memorable moments being Mookie Betts’ 13-pitch at-bat that ended in a grand slam, in which Eck hollered “It’s time to party!”. Eck also gave us some of the best terms to use to describe pitch speeds, such as “easy cheese” or “salad”. We now call anyone who strikes out looking a “pair of shoes”. Or my personal favorite, calling a three-run home run a “three-run johnson”.
Last October, we said goodbye to Red Sox icon, Jerry Remy, who lost his battle with cancer. But only weeks before he passed, he made a surprise appearance and threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before the AL Wild Card game. And who was there to catch his first pitch? None other than Dennis Eckersley himself. Remy and Eckersley shared the booth for years, bringing us some of the most enjoyable moments as fans that we could ask for. Remy’s first pitch last year was one of the most memorable moments of the 2021 season, and it only seems right that Eck was there for it.
Eckersley Leaves Some Big Shoes to Fill
The future of the NESN broadcast booth is bright, however. We have seen many new faces in the booth this season. Some familiar names include Kevin Millar, Kevin Youkilis, and Will Middlebrooks. Eckersley recently gave some warming advice to newby, Will Middlebrooks. Eck told him, “Ultimately be who you are, and it’s scary because if you are who you are you can’t be afraid to be who you are.” This advice is exactly why we love Eckersley behind the mic. He isn’t afraid to be himself and say what he’s thinking about the game.
As a fan, it’s bittersweet to see such a likable personality like Dennis Eckersley leave the broadcast. Especially when our favorite Red Sox moments include him behind the call. But it’s nice to see Eckersley ride off into the sunset on his own terms. We’re not always granted a chance to appreciate someone before they depart. So on behalf of Red Sox fans: Thank you, Eck! Enjoy retirement.
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