BOSTON -- When Joe Castiglione started broadcasting Red Sox games on radio, Carl Yastrzemski was playing his final season. A young Roger Clemens was the Red Sox's top pitching prospect, still one year from making his Major League debut. In Castiglione's rookie year, Wade Boggs won the first of his five batting titles.
Castiglione has clearly stood the test of time, still in the booth some 30 years later. Prior to Wednesday's game vs. the Yankees, the Red Sox held a ceremony to honor Castiglione.
Only the late Ned Martin (32 years) had a longer continuous tenure behind the microphone for the Red Sox. But Martin never got to experience the thrill of announcing a World Series championship for the Red Sox, something Castiglione got to do in 2004 and '07.
Castiglione's signature phrase -- "Can you believe it?" -- has become a staple of New England summers.
Red Sox owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president/CEO Larry Lucchino all attended the ceremony, as did several of Castiglione's family members. Former manager Joe Morgan, who is one of Castiglione's closest friends, sat next to him.
As part of the tribute, some of Castiglione's most memorable calls were replayed, including the second 20-strikeout performance by Clemens, the end of Pedro Martinez's magnificent Game 5 of the 1999 American League Division Series vs. the Indians, Jon Lester's no-hitter in 2008, the legendary steal by Dave Roberts in the 2004 AL Championship Series and, of course, the last outs of the '04 and '07 World Series.
Castiglione was presented with a golden album of his greatest hits, as well as a vacation to a destination of his choice. Castiglione addressed the Fenway faithful wearing a red Jimmy Fund uniform top with the number 30 on the back.
"God really has blessed me with a chance to watch the best of the best for 30 seasons, from the best seat in the house and talk to the best fans in baseball," Castiglione said. "For 24 of those 30 years, I've had a winning team to broadcast, including 12 postseasons and two world championships. And I know we'll be back to that forum very soon."