Fans of Red Sox Hall of Famer and beloved television broadcaster Jerry Remy had the opportunity to pay their respects Thursday during a public wake in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Mourners from Red Sox Nation gathered over six hours at the Mary Catherine Chapel of Brasco & Sons Memorial Funeral Home, many wearing Red Sox jackets and hats.
Wayne Brasco, the owner of the funeral home, knows why so many showed up to say goodbye.
Simply put, Brasco said, “He is Red Sox Nation.”
And in fact, Remy was elected by fans as first president of “Red Sox Nation” late in the 2007 season. While he spent 10 seasons in the majors — the last seven with Boston — before retiring after the Red Sox released him in 1985, it was Remy's work in the broadcast booth that really captured the hearts of fans across New England.
A tribute to Remy filled the memorial chapel Thursday where bouquets of flowers, baseball cards, bats, a Boston uniform and hat, a No. 2 representing Remy's jersey number, a pair of headphones and more were on display.
At the front of the room was a picture of Fenway Park and a painting of Remy from his playing years. It was framed by his hall of fame plaque. Beneath that, there was a home plate. There were also two TVs on each side of the casket playing a loop of signature RemDawg moments.
It was the hall of fame plaque next to the coffin that most struck Joe Cabral, who skipped work Thursday to attend the service.
“That’s incredible,” Cabral remarked.
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While the All Star second baseman was inducted into Boston's hall of fame, many who gathered Thursday said he'll be remembered most as an iconic broadcaster.
“I watched the Red Sox. I love listening to him. He was great. Told stories and everything and I’m going to miss him,” Alfonso Cimino said.
Jesse Diamond said Remy was special and in his element in the booth.
“It's really wonderful when you see someone who was a natural at something and besides being a wonderful ball player he was just a natural commentator,” she said.
And Bonnie Raines point out Remy's sense of humor was there for all to see.
“He was funny. He was always funny doing things and he showed everybody what’s going on in the game," she said.
George Koslowski fondly remembered his time listening to Remy call games.
"It was like sitting down and having a beer with your buddy while you were watching the Red Sox," he shared, "and what better way to spend an afternoon or evening?”
That personality wasn’t reserved only for the broadcast booth, either. Nancy Brown recalled meeting Remy in a long line of people waiting to get his autograph.
“When I got there my husband said to me, 'why don’t you ask him if you can have a picture?' and he was so gracious with all these people waiting behind me and I have that picture in my kitchen, in my calendar, and it comes back every year,” Brown said.
A private gathering for family and close friends will be held Friday. Remy's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.
Remy died Oct. 30 following a long battle with lung cancer. He was 68.