Friday, May 11, 2012

The Voice is Silenced

The name Carlton Beane sounds like a wild pitcher in the latest John Grisham book, but our friend Carl Beane was the PA voice of Fenway Park.  He died of a heart attack while driving on Wednesday afternoon.  He was only 59.  Last night, upon the Red Sox return to Fenway, the Public Address system was silenced.  (As were the Red Sox bats, but that's another story.)

Carl worked at a radio station in the central part of the Commonwealth, WARE in Ware.  One of only two radio stations in America where the call letters and the city of license are an exact match.  Naturally you want to know what the other one is:  it's WACO in Waco, TX.  Since 2003, the year I got my season tickets at Fenway as a Father's Day present (thanks,  Kathy), Carl has been the Voice of Fenway.

In addition to the gift of a booming voice that echoed off the Monster and the beams supporting the upper deck, Carl knew just how to play it.  When you go to a game in other cities (I've been to games at 38 Major League ballparks) you are almost always treated to a PA voice that sounds bored to tears when announcing the visiting players, but when the home team is up the fans are treated to what is known in the radio business as yucking.  If you really go overboard it's called puking.  "And now, batting for YOOOUUUUR Ariiizzzoooooona Diiiiamondbacks, the shortstop, number 6,STEEEEE-veeeennn DREEEEEWWW!!!!"  Carl never did that.

He did, however, master....the.....pause.  One spring, when Carl was visiting the radio station, he told me a Jeter story. Derek had said to Carl, "I know why you take all those pauses, like 'Now batting for the Yankees....the shortstop......#2......Derek...........Jeter.'  It's so that people can boo me four times."  Carl responded, "Exactly."

He also recorded an announcement for me that I used to have as a ring tone. "Your attention ladies and gentlemen, now batting for the Red Sox, the left fielder...#13...Don...Kelley."   I've been going through old backup drives the last couple of days trying to find it.  No luck.


  1. Very sad. But those are cool/interesting anecdotes. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Courteney MitchellMay 11, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Such a nice guy - we have a mutual friend who threw a party after the 2007 WS victory, and he let me try on his 2004 ring and take a picture with it. I hope you find your ringtone - that is SUPER cool.

  3. Actually, there is another call letter & town match that you didn't mention. That would be WWMX in Wwmx, Maryland. An odd tradition in that town is that you can only properly pronounce the name of the town (Whim-ix), at only 10 minutes before the top of any hour and very quickly.