Emerging From The Darkness

I’m not ashamed of anything. People deal with cancer all the time with depression. I’m not embarrassed by that. If there’s any way I can help anybody, you know, what the hell?  (Remyspeak.  Jerry Remy to WCVB, Boston.)

Jerry Remy showed up at Fenway Park Wednesday night.  It made him feel better, and it made his fans feel better, too.

Jerry Remy

Jerry Remy

When someone who’s been treated for lung cancer drops out of sight for an extended period of time, you fear the worst.  But it turns out it wasn’t physical illness, but mental illness, depression, that has kept him out of the broadcast booth.

Throw in his son‘s very public involvement with steroids, and it’s been a hellish year for a guy who’s become a cult figure in Red Sox Nation.

Earlier this year, this in-depth profile of Remy appeared in the Boston Globe Sunday magazine.  It was published before he revealed his lung cancer treatment, and apparently just as depression was starting to darken his world. 

It uncovered a shy, very private man.  A man who bears little resemblance to the popular “RemDawg.”  That’s what makes his revelation that he’s battling depression all the more impressive and courageous.

I hope he’s back in the booth with Don Orsillo soon.  But not until he’s good and ready.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Health, People, Sports, TV Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Emerging From The Darkness

  1. I went to the NESN web site today. Several stories about Remy, but all references to illness were associated with his recovery from lung cancer surgery. No mention of the mental illness he talked about so bravely last night at Fenway.

    My hero growing up was Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall, who suffered from bipolar disorder ( It was called manic depression back then ) They made a movie about Piersall’s experience ( You know you’re in trouble when they pick Anthony Perkins to play you in the story of your life ) But as far as I know the Sox organization never said anything that explained in any way Piersall’s occasional bizarre behavior on the field.

    Some progress has been made re the stigma of mental illness. But we have a way to go.

    • Gerry says:

      NESN…setting the standards for sports journalism.

      Sometimes lost in the Jimmy Piersall story is that the guy was a damn fine ballplayer. But watching Perkins swing a bat was painful. For the younger crowd, it was like watching Matt Damon swinging a golf club in “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

  2. True. If I had been the director of ” Fear Strikes Out ” ( awful title ) I would have coached Tony to think of the bat as a knife. And imagine the pitcher’s Janet Leigh.

  3. Barb says:

    I totally thought back to that Globe Magazine article, too.
    He is such a private man, and absolutely could have blamed his absence on his illness — no one would have been the wiser. Which makes what he did very brave, indeed.

  4. Graham says:

    I think we should all take a page from Jerry Remy and be honest with ourselves and others. He was an “honest” player day in day out and I love him in the booth.
    Here’s hoping he’s back and feeling great soon!

  5. Kathryn D. says:

    Gerry,

    Thank you very much for this excellent post. I thoroughly enjoyed the Globe magazine article and I appreciate the links you provided as well.

  6. Gerry says:

    I think the common thread of our comments is that Jerry Remy comes across as an “everyman,” and we can all identify with him in one way or another. I think his honesty will help others who have had trouble talking about it.

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