Sox Broadcaster returns to where it all began

by Matt Couture / Beacon Staff • October 26, 2016

Tim Neverett speaks to students in the Walker Building on Monday.
Tim Neverett speaks to students in the Walker Building on Monday.

Red Sox radio broadcaster Tim Neverett visited campus Monday following a weeklong trip to Vermont that, by design, left him with no internet and no cell phone service. But he encouraged students that “no” should not be in their lexicon when it comes to sports broadcasting.

The alumnus, who graduated with a mass communications degree in 1988, spoke to a small group on the second floor of the Walker building, and also visited sports communication and sports reporting classes.

Neverett detailed his path to the Fenway Park radio booth, which stretched across the world. Once, Neverett even had to pinch hit as the solo broadcaster for a preliminary soccer match between Iraq and Portugal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens on 10 minutes notice. He was in Greece to call baseball, softball, and basketball.

Neverett said persistently saying yes to assignments, regardless of the sport, gained him experience and connections. 

“You have to have the utmost confidence in your ability, number one,” Neverett said in an interview. “Number two, the timing may not be right for you to be in that position, so if they say no, it’s not the end of the world. Go down to the next door, knock on that one. You’ve got to keep knocking on doors until someone gives you the opportunity. The more opportunities you get, eventually people will knock on your door. That’s where you want to get to.”

While working in the Denver market prior to landing his first big league play-by-play job with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Neverett’s calendar was filled to capacity. He said he sometimes worked multiple sports in different cities on the same day. One Saturday, Neverett recalled broadcasting a volleyball match in Wyoming at noon and then driving back to Denver to sit behind the mic for a 6 p.m. hockey game.

“I’m thinking to myself at one point, this is crazy,” Neverett said. “The hours I was keeping, the travel I had; I was constantly back and forth to the Denver airport. It was nuts. And I loved it. Loved every second of it.”

Neverett spoke highly of his training at Emerson, and encouraged those assembled to get hands-on experience while completing coursework. Following his freshman year in college, Neverett called Nashua Pirates Double A baseball in his native New Hampshire.

“I came back to Emerson after my freshman summer having done 40 [to] 45 games of Double A baseball,” Neverett said. “The very first check I got, I made a photocopy of it and I framed it and hung it in my room and I brought it to school with me. I hung it in my dorm room because I wanted that motivation—not to chase the money, but the fact that I was a professional. That was neat to me. I got paid to broadcast baseball.”

With WEEI, Boston’s sports radio, it’s safe to assume Neverett is now paid more to broadcast baseball than the 25 dollar per-game rate he collected that summer.

Sophomore journalism major James Kline, who had a front row seat for the event, said Neverett’s success in the field gives him confidence about his future prospects in broadcasting.

“Emerson’s not a school that’s really known for sports,” Kline said. “To know that someone like Tim has made it to the pinnacle … it definitely gives me high hopes for a career in sports broadcasting.”

Sox fans in the room surely wished Neverett’s visit to campus was delayed by a scheduling conflict—the 112th World Series. Neverett, who predicted Boston would make a run at the division crown in a January interview with the Beacon, said his first season lived up to expectations.

“It was fun. I’d seen things offensively I’d never seen before in baseball,” Neverett said. “The team set records, the team was amazingly good offensively. You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some, you’re going to have some bad nights, but every night that I had was a good night.”