NESN has decided to load up their in-studio roster for the upcoming 2021 Boston Red Sox season with some familiar faces, with Ellis Burks, Jonathan Papelbon, Mo Vaughn, and Kevin Youkilis all announced by NESN as contributors to the network’s pregame and postgame coverage on Friday.
Of the new additions, Burks, whose 18-year MLB career included seven seasons with the Red Sox, including one as a member of the 2004 World Series champion club in his final season, will be the only one expected to spend time in both the broadcast booth and as part of the pre/post coverage. A two-time All-Star, Burks earned an All-Star selection and received both the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger as an outfielder with the Sox in 1990.
Vaughn will join NESN after spending the first eight seasons of his 13-year career with the Red Sox, earning all three of his All-Star selections in Boston. Vaughn is one of 10 Red Sox to win the BBWAA Most Valuable Player Award, doing so in 1995 after batting .300 with 39 home runs and an American League-leading 126 RBI. He also earned a Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award in 1995. He was a frequent visitor to the Jimmy Fund Clinic during his playing days in Boston.
Inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2018, and arguably more 2021 famous for being Tom Brady’s brother-in-law, Youkilis spent nine of his 10 MLB seasons in Boston and won World Series championships and was a three-time All-Star with the Red Sox. Youkilis is also the franchise leader in fielding percentage at first base (.997), and holds the AL record at first base for consecutive games without an error in a season (135 in 2007) and career (238 from July 2006-June 2008).
Papelbon, meanwhile, will make his jump to television with his 219 saves in a Red Sox uniform over his seven-season run in Boston still standing as a franchise record, with his 368 career saves ranking ninth all-time.
Despite these additions, NESN confirmed that Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley will remain part of the play-by-play crew, while Lenny Dinardo, Jim Rice, and Tim Wakefield will all remain in their roles as in-studio analysts.
Dave O’Brien and Massachusetts native Mike Monaco will handle play-by-play duties, Jahmai Webster will serve as sideline reporter (replacing Guerin Austin), and Adam Pellerin will also contribute to the in-studio coverage.
The Red Sox will begin their 2021 campaign on Apr. 1 against the Baltimore Orioles.