Tragedy struck the Red Sox yesterday when Fenway Park announcer Carl Beane died after suffering a heart attack while driving his car in Southbridge Massachusetts. He was 59 years old.
Beane and Fenway Park were a perfect fit! A perfect fit because Carl understood the story of baseball in Boston, the story of baseball at Fenway Park; he understood that the story is, baseball.
Bob Sheppard and Carl.
Taking his cue from greats Bob Sheppard (Yankee Stadium) and Fenway Park’s own Sherm Feller, Carl’s baritone voice enhanced the Fenway Park experience, it did not become it! He instinctively knew that and why not, for he grew up in Massachusetts, a fan of the Red Sox and spent his youth listening to Sherm Feller announcing games at Fenway.
His philosophy was simple, “just give them the information and get out of the way. They don’t come here to hear the P.A. announcer. They come here to watch the game and enjoy this jewel of a ballpark.” (USA Today)
A radio sports broadcaster since 1972, Beane became the voice of Fenway Park in 2003 and was at the mike during the redemptive campaign of 2004 and again in the World Championship season of 2007. His voice has been heard throughout the baseball world, from the hallowed halls of Cooperstown to the revered nooks and crannies of his beloved Fenway Park, and beyond.
I never met Carl Beane and only know him the way the millions of the Fenway Faithful have come to know him through his work as Fenway’s voice. However his energy touched the lives of so many beyond the confines of Fenway Park and his impact is best told in their words,
‘The only thing bigger than his booming voice at Fenway Park, is his even bigger heart and his desire to make a positive impact on those around him.” Elaine Martel – President, Marlboro Lions Club – May 2007
“Mr. Beane is a homegrown man. He has never forgotten his roots and where he came from. He returns to our local schools each year to talk to students about literacy, achieving their goals and also to share his sports knowledge and memorabilia. Mr. Beane is truly a wonderful tribute to our hometown!” Mrs. Murphy, Phelps School – Agawam, MA
The last time I heard Carl work was April 20, 2012 and he was in his finest form. He welcomed all to the 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park and then in true Beane fashion he “got out of the way” as the moments and the day spoke for themselves.
Carl Beane’s voice has been silenced however the impact of his life lives on in the hearts of those who loved him and in the lives of all those he touched from the school kids he regaled to the couples whose weddings he announced.
I never knew Carl Beane but I thank him, for the part he played in always welcoming the little boy in me home.
And so it is on this sad day in Fenway Park history, May 10, 2012.