BOSTON, Mass. (WGGB) – His voice has been the sound of summer for Red Sox fans all across New England and beyond.
Joe Castiglione has been the radio voice of the Red Sox since 1983 and he shows no signs of slowing down.
It’s the call the resonated across Red Sox Nation – the final out in 2004 World Series game four against St Louis. For the first time in 87 years, the Sox were world champions and Joe Castiglione was behind the microphone.
Castiglione says, “Well, I think just being at the right place at the right time thanks to the blessings of God to be there, because I was the first one, the only one to call a world championship on a Red Sox network because there was no radio in 1918.”
And he got to do it all over again in 2007.
Western Massachusetts played a big role in Joe’s road to the Fenway broadcast booth.
“In the summer of 1967 doing news and the Sunday afternoon DJ a one man band at what was then WDEW in Westfield, 1570 on your dial”, Castiglione remembers. “The first baseball game I ever did was for the Westfield, Mass. state championship in 1967. It was Westfield against Holyoke at MacKenzie and Westfield won and then the next week we went to the Cape for Westfield’s state championship game, which they won.”
Joe was anchoring sports in Cleveland in the mid 1970′s, but his dream was to always call games. There were few minor league teams back then where he could get experience to he would go to Cleveland Stadium, home of the Indians, to practice.
“Sit up in the stands with a tape recorder and record play by play. I had plenty of empty seats in that 80 thousand seat stadium because it was huge and we had a bad ball club, so just me and the pigeons, they were the only ones that heard me”, says Castiglione.
And that practice led to his first professional play by play job with the Indians – Opening Day 1979 at Fenway Park. He had stints calling the Brewers in Milwaukee and back with the Indians before he came to the Sox in 1983, 31 spring seasons ago.
Last September, the Red Sox held Joe Castiglione Night to mark his 30th season of calling Red Sox games and next year, Joe will match Ned Martin’s 32 years behind the microphone at Fenway.
Joe shows no signs of slowing down. He says, “I really have no plans Dave. You try to take this year by year. I’ve been blessed with good health. I remember Curt Gowdy told me when I first started with the Red Sox, to do what you do, you’ve got to have good health, you have to have an understanding wife and you really have to keep the stress level low.”
And the more the Red Sox win, the less that stress will be.
Joe has one more Western Mass. tie. You may remember his son Duke on the air at ABC40 in the late 1990′s. Duke is sports director at WNYW-TV, FOX 5, in New York City, but he and his wife Kiki, whom he met at ABC40, still call Wilbraham home.