The Boston Red Sox enjoyed a magical 2018, winning 108 games in the regular season, on their way to steamrolling through the playoffs and defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. It was also one of their most entertaining seasons, as in retrospect they seemingly cruised to the title right from the start. While many fans showed up to cheer on the team in person, many relied on television and radio broadcast to keep up. One of their favorite announcers was WEEI radio’s Tim Neverett, who recently shared his thoughts on being part of the Red Sox’s historic season.
Neverett was hired by WEEI following seven years broadcasting Pittsburgh Pirates games. A native of Nashua, New Hampshire and a graduate of Emerson College, his New England roots run deep, making him an ideal fit for his job alongside long-time Red Sox announcer Joe Castiglione.
Like many in his field, Neverett worked his way up. He called minor league baseball, football and hockey games for a number of years and also did broadcast work at the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Olympics. Perhaps his biggest break came in 2009 when he was hired to do radio play-by-play by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He remained in that role until 2015 when he started his current job with WEEI and the Red Sox.
Keep reading as Neverett shares his thoughts and memories on his career and this year’s World Series winning team.
Tim Neverett Interview:
Who was your favorite player/team growing up and why?: My favorite team growing up was the Red Sox. I grew up in and still live in Nashua, New Hampshire, which is less than an hour drive from Fenway Park. I also followed the Celtics and Bruins a lot when I was younger.
What made you interested in a broadcasting career?: I became interested in a broadcasting career when I knew I probably wasn't going to play past my college days and wanted to still be in the game. I have broadcast a number of sports on both TV and radio and I figured that I would have a better chance for a longer career calling games than trying to play in them. We all play our last game and mine was a long time ago.
What is the most memorable game you have ever called?: The most memorable game I have ever called might be the National League Wild Card game in Pittsburgh versus Cincinnati in 2013. The Pirates had a long postseason drought and the atmosphere was still the best I have ever seen at a game. That includes a medal round Olympic Basketball game between the USA and Greece in Athens in 2004. That atmosphere was incredible. The USA eventually won, but Greece gave them a battle to the end.
At PNC Park the night of Oct 1, 2013 was the best it has ever been there before or since. The Pirates won then took the Cardinals to the brink in the NLDS, losing in 5 games. Also, the 18-inning Game 3 of the 2018 World Series. I have done games 18 innings or more in the past, but never one that took 7 hours and 20 minutes to complete.
Who is the most interesting player/coach you have interacted with during your career?: The most interesting player might have been former right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. I know, random, but this is a guy who almost scored perfect on his SAT exam, went to Princeton and did very well there. He would read western novels while sitting in the dugout during the afternoon and interned one off season with the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. I was on a White House visit with him in 2009 and he asked the Secret Service most of the questions and they were questions that you would never, ever think of asking. His intelligence was on another level, but he wouldn't let you know it.
Of course, Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, who is not only one of the best players I have ever seen, but he bowls perfect games on the pro circuit and can solve the Rubik's Cube in two minutes or less. He is a great person, also. Many other interesting people in this game; too many to mention.
What are your thoughts on the recent 2018 Red Sox season and World Series victory? How did they pull this off?: The 2018 Red Sox won the World Series with great pitching out of the bullpen during the postseason, timely offense and with the exception of one potential game ending play in the 13th inning of Game 3, played exceptional defense. Steve Pearce provided much needed offense when Mitch Moreland was not 100% health wise. Pearce picked up the slack and then some. Jackie Bradley Jr.'s bat came to play at the right times, also.
What is something about this year's team that many people may not know or realize?: Something about this team that people may not know is how quickly they were able to shake off losses or bad performances. That started with the manager and was contagious. Alex Cora was the same guy in April as he was in October, win or lose. I spent a lot of time in his office with him and observed him after big wins and difficult losses. He was never different and I think that translated to the players in the clubhouse. The biggest example is being walked off in Game 3 of the World Series. Cora told the team how proud he was of them after the game and then they showed up after a short night and won Game 4 decisively, effectively putting the World Series away.
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