Early life and career
Castiglione was born in Hamden, Connecticut and graduated from Colgate University with a BA in Liberal Arts. He was the radio voice of Colgate football and baseball while a student. He then received an MA from Syracuse University. While at Syracuse, he worked a variety of on-air jobs for WSYR-TV (now WSTM-TV). He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio broadcasting football games for $15 a game, and as sports reporter for WFMJ-TV in 1972. His first major job as a sportscaster was in Cleveland in 1979, where he called Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers games and did sports reporting for WKYC-TV. He also called a handful of Milwaukee Brewers games for pay-cable channel SelecTV in 1981.
Career with the Red Sox
Castiglione joined the Red Sox broadcast team in 1983, teamed with Ken Coleman. He admitted not being in the booth when the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series, as he was in the clubhouse covering Red Sox' seemingly impending victory celebration. After Coleman's retirement in 1989, Bob Starr became the lead announcer for the Red Sox. After Starr's departure at the end of the 1991 season, Castiglione became the team's lead radio announcer along with Jerry Trupiano. Castiglione became nationally known when the team won the 2004 World Series, with his broadcast of the end of the game. His jubilant "Can you believe it?" after the final out became a catchphrase.
During the 2007 season he shared announcing duties with a rotating duo of Dave O'Brien and Glenn Geffner. With Glenn Geffner leaving for the Florida Marlins broadcast booth, Castiglione shared the booth with Dave O'Brien, Dale Arnold or Jon Rish in 2008. Dave O'Brien and Jon Rish were his partners since 2009 through April 2013. In 2011, Dale Arnold returned to be the primary fill in on Wednesday games. Starting in May 2013, Rob Bradford, Lou Merloni and O'Brien were his partners after John Ryder replaced Rish, with Merloni and Bradford stepping in for fill-in play by play duties. In 2011, O'Brien became the lead announcer with Castiglione moving back to the secondary announcing role. Castiglione does play by play in innings 3-4 and 6-7. He does all innings when working with Bradford and Merloni.
In 2016 with O'Brien moving to NESN, the Red Sox television network, "Joe C." began working with former Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Tim Neverett and once again was the primary game announcer calling inning 1-2, 5 and 8-9 on WEEI. In 2017 Castiglione and Neverett rotated games as the primary and secondary announcers.
Castiglione claims to have been a New York Yankees fan as a kid. He said in his autobiography that he then closely followed the Pittsburgh Pirates because they were the closest to Youngstown, and likewise became an Indians fan after moving to Cleveland.
Castiglione is currently a Lecturer in the department of Communication Studies at Northeastern University, where he teaches a course on Sports Broadcasting. Current Padres play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo and current Red Sox Spanish-language announcer Uri Berenguer were among his students and broadcast booth interns. He has also taught at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.
Non-Red Sox work
He occasionally has called college football and basketball, most notably including games of Lafayette College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he worked alongside his oldest son, Duke, now with WCVB in Boston.
In 2004, Castiglione published a book called Broadcast Rites and Sites: I Saw It on the Radio with the Boston Red Sox (ISBN 1-58-979324-2). The book is a collection of stories from his days covering the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. It was updated in 2006 to include material on the 2004 World Series. In 2012 Castiglione returned to writing with a second book entitled Can You Believe it? 30 Years of Insider Stories with the Boston Red Sox. In this book, the author takes the reader back to the 2004 ALCS with the Yankees and that year's World Series as well as the team's return to glory in 2007. However, much of the book is about the 30 years that Castiglione spent in the broadcast booth and the personal relationships he built up over that time woven between the ups and downs in Red Sox history.
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