BOSTON – Make sure to enjoy Dennis Eckersley’s unique dialect (yakker, cheese, gas, salad, paint, three-run Johnson etc.) and candor for the rest of the 2022 baseball season.
The Eck -- a Hall of Fame pitcher in his first career and a wildly popular announcer in Red Sox Nation in his second act -- announced Monday that this will be his final season of calling games on NESN.
After the season, the 67-year-old Eckersley will move back to his native California with his wife Jennifer so he can spend more time with his children and grandchildren.
However, Eckersley hinted that he will remain visible to Red Sox fans going forward.
“After 50 years in Major League Baseball, I am excited about this next chapter of my life,” said Eckersley. “I will continue to be an ambassador for the club and a proud member of Red Sox Nation, while transitioning to life after baseball alongside my wife Jennifer, my children and my grandchildren.”
In a 24-year playing career with Cleveland, Boston, Oakland and St. Louis, Eckersley originated as a starter and then emerged as one of the most dominant closers of all time. He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, enshrined in 2004.
He continued to perform at a high level on a different stage with NESN, and also did his share of work with TBS on national broadcasts over the years.
“I’m forever grateful to NESN, the Red Sox, my family and the fans for supporting me throughout my career and through this decision and I look forward to remaining engaged with the team in a variety of capacities for years to come.”
Listening to Red Sox games without Eckersley’s descriptions will be an adjustment for fans, in much the same way it was following the passing of Jerry Remy last fall. Remy was an analyst on NESN for 30 years and had a cult following.
Eckersley started his broadcasting career in the studio for NESN in 2003 and got his first taste of the booth in ’09 when he was called on to fill in for Remy.
“We are fortunate that Dennis has been a part of our Red Sox coverage on NESN for 20 years. His unbridled passion, nuanced insights and Eck humor will be dearly missed and we are thankful for his many contributions to NESN,” said Sean McGrail, NESN president and CEO. “We wish him the best as he embarks on this next chapter of his life as a grandfather, father, husband and member of Red Sox Nation.”
When the Red Sox open their homestand against the Braves on Tuesday night, Eckersley will be in the booth alongside Dave O’Brien and Kevin Youkilis.
It will mark the beginning of his final stretch doing Sox games.