“Until I heard the Voice I never did a crazy thing in my life”…..Ray Kinsella

The passing of Carl Beane last week set my mind to thinking, thinking about voices and the role they play in our lives. Think about it, who doesn’t like music? Who doesn’t sing in the shower? Who doesn’t at least once, envision themselves, mike in hand, making lovely ladies swoon and men green with envy?

Ray Kinsella in the most famous cornfield in the world.

The magic of Fenway was conveyed to me in voices. The first voices I recall belonged to these three men.

Curt Gowdy, Ned Martin and Art Gleeson teamed up on the old WHDH radio and television stations for what back in the day were known as crossover broadcasts. They would rotate from the radio to TV broadcast with two of them on the radio and one in the TV booth. What was the need of having two guys in the TV booth, the “listeners” could see the game, so why the need to talk about it so much? Something todays voices would do well to remember.

They teamed up in 1961 and remained together through the 1964 season. The partnership ended with the passing of Gleeson following the 1964 season.

Bill “Monbo” Monbouquette struck out 17 Washington Senators on May 12, 1961 at Griffith Stadium.

My first “radio” Red Sox memory came when Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette set a team record when he struck out 17 batters in May of 1961. When “Monbo” took the mound that night, three Red Sox pitchers shared the record having struck out 15 opponents.  Joe Harris did it first in 1906, “Smokey” Joe Wood duplicated the effort in 1911 and Mickey McDermott joined them in 1951.

I used to fall asleep listening to the Sox games on the radio, but on this particular night, this particular eight year old had no interest in sleep. The Sox were ahead 1-0 and “Monbo” was mowin em down! The lead was stretched to 2 zip when Monbouquette walked with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh and then in the bottom of the frame he punched out Senator catcher Gene Green for his 14th “K” of the night. 

Senator center fielder Willie Tasby became “Monbo’s” 15th strikeout when he went down with one out in the Washington eighth.

The Red Sox and Monbouquette carried a 2-0 lead into ninth having parlayed only two hits into two runs and “Monbo” was a strikeout away from Red Sox history. He wasted no time as he got first baseman Dale Long on strikes leading off the ninth but he still had work to do.

Dale Long

He added strike out number 17 following an error by third baseman Frank Malzone, but then he walked a batter, gave up an RBI single and it took a great catch by right fielder Jackie Jensen to preserve the 2-1 win. The Sox had their win, “Monbo” had his record and I could finally go to sleep.

Jackie Jensen

Red Sox great Mel Parnell joined the broadcast team following Gleeson’s death but the following year Curt Gowdy left headed for NBC and broadcast immortality. Ned Martin emerged as the Red Sox voice of legendary proportions but that’s another story for another day.

The voices of Fenway spilled from my eight transistor radio, to the 19″ black and white Zenith TV and then, of course to the field itself.

When I first heard the golden pipes of this man,

Sherm Feller

I incorporated his routine into my games of wall ball played solo against the side of my house. “Now batting for the Red Sox number eight Carl Yastrzemski left field, Yastrzemski.”

And when Fenway lost Sherm, it took a while but they found another treasure in Carl Beane who, recognizing history and understanding tradition, honored his predecessor with his legendary Fenway greeting, “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls welcome to Fenway Park.”

Carl Beane

Art and Sherm and Curt and Ned and Carl are gone from us now, but that’s the funny thing about voices, the voices, they’re never gone!

 And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, May 16, 2012.

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About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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