Jim Corsi, former Red Sox pitcher, dies

Massachusetts native spent parts of three seasons with hometown team

January 4th, 2022

BOSTON -- Former Major League reliever Jim Corsi, who pitched for the World Series-winning Athletics in 1989 and his hometown Red Sox from ’97-99, died on Tuesday at the age of 60 following battles with liver and colon cancer.

Corsi’s death came two days after a poignant feature on him aired on WBZ Channel 4 in Boston.

One message Corsi wanted to get across to viewers was that he made a mistake not getting a colonoscopy when he was younger.

“I made a mistake when I was younger,” Corsi said as he fought back tears. “I should have done it. If you’re out there, don’t wait. Don’t be stupid. I was a professional athlete. I thought I was invincible, strong.”

Jim’s daughter Julianne was originally scheduled to get married in October 2022. This past October, the family held an emotional ceremony so Jim could walk his daughter down the aisle.

“It was the most important thing he could have done. It was just so meaningful and special. It was amazing,” Julianne said in the Channel 4 feature.

The native of Newton, Mass., pitched for five teams during a 10-year career, notching a 3.25 ERA in 368 games.

“We were saddened to hear of Jim’s passing after his courageous battle with cancer,” said Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy. “Jim’s heart was so big and full of love that his legacy goes far beyond his playing career and World Series championship. The affection he showed his family, this region, and every fan he encountered was incomparable.

“For me and so many others, he was the embodiment of that childhood dream to someday play for the hometown team. We were lucky to have had him as part of our Red Sox family, and extend our deepest condolences to his children, and all who knew and loved him. We lost a great one today.”

After making his first 11 MLB appearances for the pennant-winning Athletics of ’88, Corsi had a 1.88 ERA for the ’89 World Series champs. One of his closest friends from that team was Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley, a teammate in Oakland and Boston.

Recently, Eckersley placed a video call to Corsi, part of which was played on Channel 4.

“All I’ve been thinking about is you,” Eckersley told his friend. “You have the most wonderful family in the world. You’ve been gifted with that family. We’re all for you. We love you.”

As exhilarating as it was for Corsi to earn that World Series ring in ’89, he was just as thrilled to put on the Red Sox uniform late in his career. Corsi pitched in 59 games for the ’98 Sox and had two scoreless appearances against Cleveland in the American League Division Series.

Corsi did some work for NESN early in his post-retirement career and kept a close affiliation with the Red Sox for the rest of his life. He was known for his warm personality.

“I could always count on Jim,” said Red Sox senior vice president of community, alumni and player relations Pam Kenn. “His love and passion for the Red Sox, as well as his easy manner, constant willingness to help, and gift of great storytelling made him such a perfect representative for our organization. He brought so much to so many, with an infectious love of baseball, humor, and boundless energy and heart. We lost a great player today, but more importantly, a great friend.”

Corsi is survived by his four children, Julianne, Jenna, Mitch and Joey.