For 15 years, TJ Connelly has made music fit the moment at Fenway Park.
But the beloved Red Sox DJ announced Wednesday that he is leaving the position to focus on his independent radio show and step back from the long, unpredictable hours of baseball season.
“It’s a good job, but a really hard job,” Connelly said in a phone interview. “I’m comfortable with the legacy I’m leaving behind. I’m proud of the things I have done, and I’m ready to go try new things.”
The team is actively searching for his replacement, a Red Sox spokesperson told the Globe.
Connelly started his daily music and commentary radio show, Uncertain Times, during the first lockdown last March to supplement his lost income and help newly isolated listeners. After 235 episodes, he has earned a considerable fanbase and funding through Patreon.
The stream plays alternative, indie pop, and “weird stuff,” Connelly said, while staying away from the news and politics. But the song choices often reflect his thoughts on current events.
“It would not be possible to give UncertainFM the attention it deserves, and do baseball at the same time,” the Watertown resident said. “But in many ways, it’s the same job as before. Instead of playing along with a sporting event, I’m playing along with our whole lives.”'
Connelly will still DJ games for the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins.
Listeners, players, and fellow musicians have long praised Connelly for matching the music to the mood on the field — and in the stands — with a comedic bent.
In the weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing, he put more local bands on the rotation. And he blasted “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Natural” when David Ortiz retired. Some games have been interspersed with portions of Frozen’s “Let It Go” and maybe a little Miley Cyrus.
“TJ has been part of the Red Sox family for more than a decade and we are sad to lose such an incredible talent,” a Red Sox spokesperson said in a statement. “Finding the right song to match the countless moments and emotions that take place throughout a game is a rare art form, one that TJ perfected over the years.”
Josh Kantor, Red Sox organist and Connelly’s colleague, likened their relationship to “an old married couple who finishes each other’s sentences.” The pair always chatted before and after games and slowly molded to one another’s musical needs and styles.
Working with someone new will be “an adjustment,” Kantor said.
“We’ve forged a fantastic relationship and a special friendship,” he explained. “And we both get really excited about trying to come up with musical ideas to suit an occasion in a ballgame. Knowing that he’s always bringing his A-game inspires me.”
Connelly attributed his success in the job to his expansive musical knowledge and strength thinking on his feet. He said he flips through his repertoire in mere seconds, “overthinks things quickly,” and does his best to not repeat songs for regulars.
Before joining the Red Sox, Connelly created webpages, worked at WFNX, and ran lights at music at ImprovAsylum in the North End.
“Without knowing it, I have been training my entire life to run an internet radio show,” he said.