December 16, 1968 |
|Other names||Donny Man, Announcer Boy, Toad|
|Sports commentary career|
|Team(s)||Boston Red Sox, Boston College Eagles, Providence College Friars|
|Sports||Major League Baseball, College Basketball, Beanpot Hockey|
Early life and career
Orsillo was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, where he often dreamed of being a broadcaster for the Red Sox. He moved to and grew up in Madison, New Hampshire and was educated at John H. Fuller Elementary School. At the age of 12 he attended Kennett Junior High School in nearby Conway, New Hampshire. Don's family moved west just before high school. He is a 1987 graduate of Miraleste High School in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where he played on the Marauder basketball and baseball teams.
Before doing Major League Baseball games, he worked in the minor leagues announcing Pawtucket Red Sox games on the radio from 1996 to 2000, having previously done games for some of the New York Mets minor league affiliates. Don started with the Pittsfield Mets of the New York–Penn League for the 1991 and 1992 season and then moved up within the organization.
Boston Red Sox
He has been NESN's play-by-play man since the beginning of the 2001 season (his first game included a no-hitter thrown by then Red Sox pitcher Hideo Nomo against the Baltimore Orioles). He also called Cal Ripken Jr.'s final game, as well as the no-hitters thrown by Derek Lowe in 2002 and young Sox pitchers Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Originally, he only called the team's games which aired on NESN, with longtime Red Sox announcer Sean McDonough taking Orsillo's place alongside Jerry Remy for games which aired on local stations WFXT (2001 and 2002) and WSBK-TV (2003 and 2004). For the 2005 season, Orsillo did games on both NESN and WSBK, working with Remy. This would be nullified the next season, when NESN took over airing all Red Sox local telecasts.
Orsillo works with color commentator and former Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy. During the 2009 season while Remy was out due to health problems, Orsillo worked with color commentators including Dennis Eckersley, Nick Cafardo, Sean Casey, Dave Roberts and Frank Viola. He is sometimes referred to by fans as "announcer boy," after he was given that nickname by Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield in a NESN commercial.
Other announcing duties
In addition to his Red Sox duties, Orsillo has called the Beanpot hockey tournament and Boston College Eagles men's basketball on NESN. He is also the play-by-play announcer for Providence College men's basketball for Cox Sports. Orsillo has also called Big East basketball for the Big East Network which is run by ESPN Regional Television. He was also a Springfield Falcons (AHL) broadcaster and voice of the Falcons from 1994 to 1996.
Every fall since 2007, Orsillo has been one of the voices of the Major League Baseball Division Series on TBS. He is one of four play-by-play men to work each of the years TBS has had rights to the playoffs (Dick Stockton, Brian Anderson, and Ernie Johnson, Jr. are the other three). His first call was the 2007 National League wild card playoff between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres, with Joe Simpson serving as his color man. After working with Harold Reynolds in the 2008 Division Series, Orsillo has had Buck Martinez as his color commentator ever since. His most recent Division Series assignment was the 2013 series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics.