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Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley Announced Decision on Broadcasting Future

Photo: Jared Wickerham

Baseball Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley told the Boston Globe that he plans to retire from his position as a color commentator for New England Sports Network's Boston Red Sox broadcasts at the end of the season.

Eckersley, 67, who has worked for NESN since 2003, said he's mulled retirement for a long time, but said he ultimately decided he wants to move back to the Bay Area to be closer to his grandchildren during their formative years.

The Red Sox will play their final regular-season game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on October 5.

"I've been thinking about this for a long time. I really have," Eckersley told the Globe via NBC Boston. "Not that it matters, but it's kind of a round number, leaving. I started in pro ball in '72, when I was a 17-year-old kid right out of high school. Fifty years ago. And I've been with NESN for 20 years, even though it doesn't feel like that because I didn't do much my first four or five years. So it's time."

Eckersley was elected as a first-ballot Hall of Fame pitcher in 2004 with 82.2% approval, having played 24 seasons for five MLB teams, most notably the Red Sox (1978-84; 1998) and Oakland Athletics (1987-95), which included winning the 1992 American League MVP, 1992 AL Cy Young Award, two AL Rolaids Relief Man Awards (1988, 1992) and two seasons as the MLB saves leader (1988, 1992).

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