The son of former Red Sox radio voice Jerry Trupiano is taking a modern approach to help his dad go way back to where he first made his name in broadcasting.
Brian Trupiano, an affable 29-year-old who works in IT staffing but has a voice that suggests he, too, could have made a living behind the microphone, is instead trying to get his father back in the game.
With a push from friends and inspiration from a Houston-based petition, he has started a Facebook page titled WeWantTrupianoForTheAstros. The concept germinated when 84-year-old Milo Hamilton announced before the season that this would be his last year in the Astros broadcast booth.
Despite his classic pipes and 14 years of calling games for the Red Sox, Trupiano has not had a baseball broadcasting job since the Sox chose not to renew his contract in December 2006.
Replacing Hamilton in Houston would allow the 64-year-old Trupiano to get back to doing what he loves - and return to a place where everybody already knows his name.
“Houston is where he started his career, where he started to make a name for himself,’’ said Brian, who rattles off highlights of his father’s résumé: two years in the late ’70s as the voice for the World Hockey Association’s Houston Aeros, plus calling games for the NBA Rockets (1978-80), the Astros (1985-86), the NFL Oilers (1980-89), Division 1 college basketball and football.
“His experience in Houston has really been the bulk of his career,’’ said Brian. “To go back there would be a perfect remarriage for him.’’
Trupiano’s dedication to his real marriage was the primary reason he didn’t pursue other baseball jobs in recent years. Shortly after the Sox let him go, his wife Donna Trupiano was diagnosed with cancer.
“Dad stepped up, took her to the doctor when she needed to go, and that was his priority in his life,’’ Brian said. “To see her get healthy and beat this, he needed to be 100 percent with her.’’
Donna is cancer-free, so the timing is right for her husband to return to his second love.
“She’s doing great,’’ Jerry said. “She had a couple of tough years there, but she’s a fighter. Sick of seeing me around here, I can tell you that.’’
Brian started the Facebook page without his dad’s knowledge. It is still building a following - it had 275 likes as of Thursday - but is generating some buzz. While Brian is not sure the Astros are aware of the page and Jerry acknowledges that his calls to team owner Jim Crane have gone unreturned, the cause has some prominent supporters.
“Jim Nantz and Joe Buck are giving him some really good support and trying to broker anything between [Jerry and the Astros],’’ Brian said.
Buck, of course, is the son of Trupiano’s mentor and idol, the late Jack Buck, and a longtime friend. And while he was a student at the University of Houston, Nantz got his first job in broadcasting as an intern for Trupiano.
Hello friends, indeed.
“Nantz once was the baby sitter for our two boys,’’ said Trupiano. “Can’t afford him now.’’
Trupiano, who cohosts a weekend show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, realizes that there are only so many play-by-play jobs to go around, and that landing one in Houston or elsewhere won’t be easy.
“I told my wife years ago, once you get into baseball, you’re set for life - boy did I miss on that one,’’ said Trupiano, who also called Montreal Expos games for a couple of seasons (1989-90).
“But any day you spend in major league baseball is better than any day you spend anywhere else. I knew at 9 years old what I wanted to do and I was lucky enough to do it for years. I’d like to do it again.’’
Rebuttal from Boggs
WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan’’ morning show has been getting a lot of mileage out of the sad rantings of Dennis “Oil Can’’ Boyd, who last Friday detailed his drug use as a Red Sox player and accused former teammate Wade Boggs of racism. It requires a sturdy suspension of disbelief to find any credibility in Boyd’s words, but it was compelling radio Thursday when Boggs called the show to defend himself. “Absolutely, positively, 100 million percent, I am not a racist, I am not a bigot,’’ said Boggs, his voice crackling with emotion. “You have a delusional drug addict who let not only his family down, but his team, the city of Boston, Red Sox Nation when it counted most. Now he wants the good people of Boston to go out and spend money on this garbage to support his habit. I find that extremely amusing.’’ . . . A tip of the ball cap to the Red Sox for coming to the appropriate decision Thursday night and leaving the public address microphone silent during the first home game since the death of Carl Beane Wednesday. After the legendary Sherm Feller died in 1994, it took until the hiring of Beane before the 2003 season for the club to find the right voice. Beane, so genuine about how much he loved his job and so very good at it, will be similarly difficult to replace.