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Don Orsillo (born December 16, 1968) is the play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres on Fox Sports San Diego. Orsillo was the television voice of the Boston Red Sox on NESN from 2001 to 2015. He was then hired by the Padres to replace broadcaster Dick Enberg upon his retirement at the end of the 2016 season.
|Other names||Announcer Boy, Donny O|
|Sports commentary career|
|Team(s)||Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Boston College Eagles, Providence College Friars|
|Sports||Major League Baseball, College Basketball, Beanpot Hockey|
Early life and careerEdit
Orsillo was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, where he often dreamed of being a broadcaster for the Red Sox. He moved to and grew up in Madison, New Hampshire, and was educated at John H. Fuller Elementary School. At the age of 12 he attended Kennett Junior High School in nearby Conway, New Hampshire. Don's family moved west just before high school. He is a 1987 graduate of Miraleste High School in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where he played on the Marauder basketball and baseball teams.
Before doing Major League Baseball games, he worked in the minor leagues announcing Pawtucket Red Sox games on the radio from 1996 to 2000, having previously done games for some of the New York Mets minor league affiliates. Don started with the Pittsfield Mets of the New York–Penn League for the 1991 and 1992 season and then moved up within the organization.
Boston Red SoxEdit
He was NESN's play-by-play man since the beginning of the 2001 season (his first game included a no-hitter thrown by then Red Sox pitcher Hideo Nomo against the Baltimore Orioles). He also called Cal Ripken Jr.'s final game, as well as the no-hitters thrown by Derek Lowe in 2002 and young Sox pitchers Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Originally, he only called the team's games which aired on NESN, with longtime Red Sox announcer Sean McDonough taking Orsillo's place alongside Jerry Remy for games which aired on local stations WFXT (2001 and 2002) and WSBK-TV (2003 and 2004). For the 2005 season, Orsillo did games on both NESN and WSBK, working with Remy.
Starting in 2006, NESN took over all Red Sox local telecasts, and until 2015, Orsillo worked with color commentator and former Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy. In 2009, Remy was out due to health problems, and Orsillo worked with various color commentators, including Dennis Eckersley, Nick Cafardo, Sean Casey, Dave Roberts and Frank Viola. He was sometimes referred to by fans as "announcer boy," after he was given that nickname by Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield in a NESN commercial.
On August 25, 2015, NESN controversially announced that Orsillo would no longer call Red Sox games following the 2015 season, and would be replaced in 2016 by Dave O'Brien, who had called games for the Red Sox Radio Network since 2007.
San Diego PadresEdit
Orsillo joined the San Diego Padres for 2016, to be the successor of Dick Enberg upon his retirement after that season. During the 2016 season, Orsillo worked select Padres games for television and radio broadcasts.
Other announcing dutiesEdit
In addition to his Red Sox duties, Orsillo has called the Beanpot hockey tournament and Boston College Eagles men's basketball on NESN. He is also the play-by-play announcer for Providence College men's basketball for Cox Sports. Orsillo has also called Big East basketball for the Big East Network which is run by ESPN Regional Television. He was also a Springfield Falcons (AHL) broadcaster and voice of the Falcons from 1994 to 1996.
From 2007 to 2013, Orsillo was one of the voices of the Major League Baseball Division Series on TBS. He was one of four play-by-play men to work each of the years TBS had exclusive rights to the Division Series. His first call was the 2007 National League wild card playoff between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres, with Joe Simpson serving as his color man. After working with Harold Reynolds in the 2008 Division Series, Orsillo had Buck Martinez as his color commentator. His most recent Division Series assignment was the 2013 series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics. As recently as 2017, Orsillo has been calling select Sunday afternoon regular season games for TBS. Also in 2017, he began calling select Saturday afternoon regular season games for Fox and FS1.
In 2018, Orsillo called national broadcast games for FS1 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, as well as the season finale game on September 30 between the Yankees and Red Sox on TBS. He also returned to calling the MLB Division Series games on TBS in 2018 due to Ernie Johnson unable to work the games following a diagnosis of blood clots in both of Johnson's legs.
- Mayer Pohlod (2016-10-03). "Padres Broadcaster Dick Enberg Retires". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
- Mike Axisa (2015-09-30). "Padres hire Red Sox announcer Don Orsillo to replace Dick Enberg". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- Neff, Andrew. "NESN's Orsillo gets 3-year extension". Archived from the original on 2007-03-18.
- "With Don Orsillo news, Red Sox drop the ball again". Boston Globe. August 27, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- "Emotional Jerry Remy salutes fired Don Orsillo: 'I love him'". ESPN.com. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Red Sox Nation outraged after team-owned TV network fires announcer Don Orsillo". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- Finn, Chad (August 25, 2015). "Don Orsillo will not return on Red Sox telecasts next season". The Boston Globe.
- "Dave O'Brien Named NESN's Red Sox Play-By-Play Voice For 2016 Season". NESN.com. August 25, 2015.
- Lin, Dennis (15 Apr 2016). "Don Orsillo begins new chapter with Padres". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- "Don Orsillo joins Padres broadcasting team for 2016". sdnews.com. 30 Sep 2015. Retrieved 22 Nov 2016.
- Yomtov, Jesse (1 October 2018). "Announcer Ernie Johnson will skip MLB playoffs due to blood clots". USA Today. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "Don Orsillo, ex-Boston Red Sox NESN announcer, gets remarried, shares photo on social media".
- "Don Orsillo makes new home with Padres". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- "Don Orsillo begins new chapter with Padres". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2016-04-15.