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For Nashua Native, Calling Games for the Boston Red Sox a Dream Fulfilled

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Rebecca Droke/Pittsburth Post-Gazette
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It’s a dream come true for lifelong broadcaster and New Hampshire native Tim Neverett, as he settles into his new job as play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox.

The Nashua High School graduate was named as the new announcer in December, beating out more than 200 applicants.

He called his first games on Monday, a double header from Fort Myers, Florida.

He joined NHPR’s Morning Edition.

Congrats on the new gig.

Thank you very much. It’s really a special assignment and I realize it. It took a lot to get me to leave my job with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where I was for seven years. I really enjoyed it. I think this was something that just was a position I could just not pass up when it was offered.

You actually got your start in broadcasting calling games for the AA Nashua Pirates back in the 1980s. Does this feel like your career coming full circle?

It does. The ironic thing is with interleague play and opportunities to broadcast in American League ballparks after working in the National League for so long, the only park I’ve not done a game from is Fenway Park, a place I used to live three blocks from for a number of years.

Come April, when you walk into Fenway for the first time to call a game, how do you think you’re going to feel?

Well, I’ve been there a lot. I lived in that neighborhood for a long time. I remember my first game when I was five years old. My dad took me and going into the concourse at Fenway and hearing the vendors and smelling the concessions and walking up the ramp for the very first time, seeing how green the grass was and how green the outfield wall was and how white the uniforms were. The sights, the sounds, the smells; at that age, I was just hooked on the ballpark. I have been to Fenway Park countless times as a member of the media and as a fan, but never as a team’s broadcaster. I get to go there on April 11, when the team opens their home schedule, and do it there for the first time, working alongside Red Sox Hall of Famer Joe Castiglione.

Being from New England, how would you compare the fan bases in cities like Pittsburgh and Boston? As you know, there are some rabid fans here.

That’s one way to describe it. There are multiple ways to describe the Red Sox fan base. I’ll give you an example. My first foray into that comparison was during spring training, my first couple of springs with the Pirates in Bradenton, Florida. Whenever the Red Sox were going to play the Pirates in Bradenton, we were guaranteed a sell out and most of the crowd was wearing red. Now that the Pirates are good again, it’s not that way. It’s harder to get tickets. Now the Red Sox, who always have sellouts at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, have such a tremendous following.

I understand the meaning of Red Sox baseball to New England sports fans because I lived it. I grew up with it, grew around it, so I think I get it more than most. And to be able to live it every single day now is something that is not lost on me. There’s a responsibility that goes along with it. It’s not just going to the park and watching baseball for 162 days.

You grew up a Red Sox fan, but I imagine anytime you come in as a broadcaster for a new team, there’s a fair amount of work to do in terms of research. How do you approach that?

To me, it’s like drinking out of a firehose, quite honestly. It is like starting over again. I do have personal relationships with some folks on the staff and with some folks on the field, but not nearly as many as I had in Pittsburgh. So it is like starting over again. The fans have to get used to me. And it does take a little while in baseball for fans to embrace change. I get that. I understand people just don’t like change in announcers in baseball. But after a while, if people are patient with me, get to know me and trust me, I think I’ll establish myself in Boston the way I did in Pittsburgh.