By Sterling Pingree
I love Joe Castiglione. I’ve always loved Joe Castiglione. As a kid growing up in western Maine, he was the narrator of every ride home from little league games and cookouts long into the night. On weekends, from before I could remember until high school my family and I went up to camp every weekend. I can’t stress that enough, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there wasn’t a weekend spent at home. Now our camp is a true Maine camp. No running water. No electricity. Sun bag for showers, 5 gallon Poland Spring jugs to drink and cook, gas lights and wood stove. Absolutely zero television, we read and listened to the radio. Which consisted of country music on Q106.5 all day, until the Red Sox started. It felt like I spent every weekend of my childhood listening to Joe Castiglione and Jerry Trupiano.
Trup left several years ago and I indeed do miss him, but Joe has been the constant since I’ve been conscious of what baseball is. Times they are changing no matter how much we wish they wouldn’t, but the recent retirement of WABI-TV5’s Tim Throckmorton got me to thinking: what will happen when Joe Castiglione retires?
For a long time this was an unthinkable notion. Joe can’t retire, he has to continue. In a world full of change, Joe is the constant. 7:10pm “and with the play by play, here’s Joe Castiglione!” “Thank you very much (insert partner name here) it’s a beautiful night here at Fenway Park, 72 degrees at first pitch. A light breeze but a very comfortable night for baseball. Chris Sale is on the mound and he delivers strike one.” (I could keep going for an entire inning and probably also add in this week’s Shaw’s specials. Shaw’s and Star Market: the official supermarket of the Boston Red Sox.)
The last few seasons we’ve seen a revolving door for Joe’s partner but this year takes the cake: Josh Lewin, Mario Impemba, Will Flemming and even Chris “back back back” Berman will be calling games alongside Joe this season. But the name that peaked all Sox fan’s interest was Sean McDonough. McDonough has done a few games this season and was spectacular. His voice is familiar, he’s funny, entertaining and doesn’t try to be an announcer, he just calls the game.
McDonough has had a tremendous national career, but fans of my generation remember him calling weekend Sox games on TV-38 alongside Bob Montgomery. Son of the legendary Globe columnist Will McDonough, no matter where Sean’s career has taken him, he’s always felt like “one of us”. I’m not sure where his career will go or at 56 years old, what his aspirations even are. Heck the guy called Monday Night Football with Jon Gruden, he could be a step away from being the GM of the Raiders for all we know. But if Castiglione retires, the only name that could ease the pain would be Sean McDonough.
Sterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree on Twitter) is a co-host of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at 929TheTicket.com. Follow us on Twitter @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.