SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres made it official Wednesday, announcing that outgoing NESN play-by-play man Don Orsillo has been hired as part of their broadcast team.
According to a statement released by Padres president and CEO Mike Dee, Orsillo will have a dual role in 2016, Dick Enberg's last year as Padres TV play-by-play man, doing games on both radio and TV. Orsillo will shift to television full time in 2017, the statement said.
Industry sources said the club hired Orsillo to a six-year deal and gave him a raise over what he was being paid by NESN, where Orsillo had been broadcasting Red Sox games for the past 15 seasons. Orsillo expressed surprise and disappointment to learn earlier this season that the Sox were not renewing his deal for 2016, announcing plans to hire Dave O'Brien, the ESPN broadcaster who has been part of the organization's radio team for the past nine years.
Orsillo was popular with Red Sox fans, but his true popularity seemed to catch the club by surprise only after the news leaked that he wouldn't be brought back. Fans brought signs to the games begging the team to keep him, and a petition to bring him back garnered more than 65,000 online signatures.
"We are excited to add Don to our broadcast lineup," said Dee, who was an executive with the Red Sox during part of Orsillo's tenure with Boston. "Over his 15 years broadcasting Major League Baseball, Don has established himself as one of the premier play-by-play men in the game. We look forward to both his fun-loving personality and outstanding play-calling ability resonating with Padres fans during what we expect will be a very long career in San Diego."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.