The stunning news today came across all media channels: Carl Beane, 59, died after his SUV crashed against a stone wall and a tree in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
A local announcer in the Boston area for many years, the affable Beane drove a Suzuki whose rear tire cover showcased his name. Police determined that it was a single-car accident and that his vehicle, heading north, crossed the double solid lines, left the road and hit a tree and a wall. No passengers were in Beane’s vehicle. No other automobiles were involved in the crash.
Talented, honed in to his craft, a pleasing personality, Carl Beane will be missed by those who knew him and the millions who listened to his voice at Fenway Park.
I got to know Carl Beane just a little bit while I interviewed for my book Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of Red Sox Nation. Humble and knowledgable about all things Boston sports, the public address announcer par excellence was just a pleasure to speak to.
His memories and perceptions added very much to my book. What follows is just a taste of the late Carl Beane:
CARL BEANE: The first time I went to Fenway was in 1957. We lived in Western Mass., and my dad didn’t drive, so we took the bus. We’d eat lunch in Bickford's and then we would walk about two miles from the bus station to Fenway. My dad was always able to get seats in section 18, right between home and first; we'd have a clear view of everything. He had been following the Red Sox since 1933 when he was about nine years old, the year Thomas Yawkey bought the ball club.
CARL BEANE: Opening Day 2003 was my first day as public address announcer. I couldn’t wait. All I got to say was “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I have your attention please? If your car is parked on Lansdowne Street you have 10 minutes to move it or it will be towed.”
That was my first announcement. I got booed.
When I told the crowd the game was postponed because of rain, I got booed even more.
I had always been a big fan of Sherm Feller. His style wasn’t “Big Me.” It was just do the information in a regular sedate voice. He absolutely mentored me.
My opening announcement at Fenway begins: “Good afternoon ladies and gentleman, boys and girls. Welcome to Fenway Park.”
That is what Sherm always said. At the end of every announcement, I'll add “Thank you.” Sherm did that, too. I sit in Sherm Feller’s seat in more ways than I can say.
On April 11, 2007, Dice-K was at the ready for his first Fenway Park start. Every single seat was filled before the first pitch. The attendance was 36,630.
CARL BEANE: The game was live in Japan both on radio and on TV and there was a national Japanese media contingent at the ballpark, 170 members. I announced him in Japanese: "Now welcome to Boston, number 18, Daisuke Matsuzaka.”
He looked up. I could tell that he was very happy.
Harvey Frommer has written many sports books, including Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox. This article, including all quotes unless otherwise noted, was adapted from that book. Visit his website.